This past Saturday and Sunday I went to two baseball games in a row. This is a far cry from a couple of years ago when I didn’t even really consider going to a game. A year ago it was a challenge to take two kids to one game, and this weekend I took three kids to two back to back games. And how did it go?
We got to Safeco Field early, but it was not as early as I had hoped. Turns out this day was Mariners Hall Of Fame Induction for Randy Johnson and Dan Wilson. This brought a number of older Mariners fans to the ballpark, and the promotional giveaway was a bobblehead with the famed pitcher and catcher.
Not only was the line literally around the block wrapping around Safeco Field, but the gates had opened earlier than expected. Probably for crowd control. It was crazy busy outside, with people trying to get in, people milling about, and people leaving with their bobbleheads.
I took the kids to the playground instead of heading down to the field like we usually do. There were too many people already by the bullpen, and not nearly enough players out and about to make it worth our while. There the kids played (and played and played) while I checked Twitter. @Mariners solicited song requests for the DJ to play, and I suggested Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back In Town” (inspired by the Mariners players returning for the ceremony). And yes, it was played.
I didn’t take as many pictures for this Saturday game as I should have, but I did get a few. Here’s one of Ciárán with his face full of cotton candy.
And here’s one of me and Déla on our way back to our seats after a bathroom break.
It was a nice day at the ballpark, as evidenced by this picture.
Déla had a great time.
Part of the reason Déla was having a great time was that she had people she knew, and the two of us could go on our own leaving Ciárán and August in the stands. Those other people we knew were from our church, as we were participating in a group outing (special group discount, etc.).
Sunday was another baseball game, and Felix Hernandez was pitching promising to be a fun day at the ballpark.
Arriving early, just before the gates opened, we headed down to the bullpen, and Tom Wilhelmsen was signing autographs. A bit further down the bullpen, somebody was calling out for Brendan, apparently able to see him from their vantage point in the bullpen. Not getting any luck, Tom took it upon himself to get Brendan’s attention who then went over to these fans and said “Hello” or whatever. He did act as if he knew who they were. He then signed autographs. According to somebody’s twitter feed he was there for 45 minutes signing autographs. Here’s August getting Brendan Ryan’s autograph. I do wish we had hung around a bit more, instead of immediately getting out of the way to allow others to get his autograph. I would have liked to have his autograph for myself.
On our way to the playground we ran into The Moose. If you’re not familiar, he (I assume) is the mascot for the Mariners. The kids hung out with him for a minute, we got some pictures, and then headed over to the playground.
On our way to our seat after the playground we stopped off at the coloring table and the kids all colored some sheets of Mariners players.
Continuing our way to our seats we took a detour to the bullpen, and Felix Hernandez was warming up. Naturally it was crowded.
Felix Hernandez is Ciárán’s favorite player and was excited to get to see him in action so close up.
Here is the grounds crew doing a dance routine during the 4th inning.
And here is a picture of Felix Hernandez in action with the King’s Court in full effect.
Towards the end of the 6th inning we decided to head over to some other areas of Safeco Field to get some different vantage points. Our first stop was Lookout Landing, essentially the left field corner.
While in this area The Moose came around and interacted with the crowd.
Then we headed down to the field level to finish watching the game. After Felix Hernandez left the game early, relief pitchers took over, with Tom Wilhelmsen closing things up.
This was a Sunday game where the kids were allowed to run around the bases after the game. I could make an entire blog post about this one event. The long line, the emergency bathroom break, the long line, the wait, and the long line. Finally we were able to, along with several hundred others, emerge from the inside of Safeco Field.
Here they are on the field going around the bases. August was very excited to do this, and I think Déla was to a certain extend. Ciárán wasn’t so sure, but he did it, and had a smile on his face as he stepped off the field.
I almost copied and posted all of my tweets regarding the Mariners to make up the bulk of the test of this blog post, but it’s already after 11 at night and I’ve been working on it for almost 2 hours. I end it here.