09/13/22 – Padres at M’s

Autos – Robert Suarez, Nick Martinez, Josh Hader, Mike Clevinger
Final Score – Padres 2, Mariners 0

Pregame

There was plenty of anticipation by autograph seekers as the San Diego Padres rolled into town. By the time I got in, the Mariners were done but the Padres were still doing BP. Mostly it was pitchers who were signing. Thank you to Robert Suarez, Nick Martinez, Josh Hader, and Mike Clevinger for signing! They signed by near the left field corner, plus Hader and Clevinger proceeded patiently and graciously down the line to the dugout, signing or posing for pictures for just about anyone who asked. I missed Seattle native Blake Snell, who signed a bunch at the home plate corner of the dugout. There were some batters signing here and there, including Juan Soto signing a couple on the field but I didn’t see many, if any, signing for the folks in the stands.

Just before the game, I had my usual angst about which side and which spot to wait at. The Mariners side looked surprisingly crowded for a Tuesday night, so I waited on the visitors side a couple of spots from the camera well. I missed Joe Musgrove over by the left field corner. Actually, I don’t remember if Musgrove signed at the end of BP or just before the game. Anyhow, Manny Machado didn’t come out, Soto did a long prayer and then went to the dugout, and no one came by, not even Wil Myers. At least my buddy got a ball signed by Ha-Seong Kim over at the dugout. Apparently, calling out in Korean helped. 🙂


The Game

It was a nice night for baseball, with an official attendance of 34,740. Both Logan Gilbert and Yu Darvish pitched very well. Gilbert gave up a run in the top of the 4th while Darvish brilliantly stymied the Mariners through eight scoreless innings. In the top of the 9th, Paul Sewald gave up one more run to make it 2-0. I think Darvish could have pitched a complete game, but San Diego brought in Josh Hader to close it out.

Final Score – Padres 2, Mariners 0

09/10/22 – Braves @ Mariners

SGA – Dan Wilson Funco
Autos – Ty France, Marcell Ozuna, Raisel Iglesias, AJ Minter
Final Score – Mariners 3, Braves 1

Pregame

There was a significant line, but not a super long one, as Season Ticket Holders entered the stadium for an early gate opening and each fan received a Dan Wilson Funko figure. Willie!!!!!! What a man 🙂

Dan Wilson Funko Pop

On the M’s side, the BP auto scene was pretty slow. Julio did not appear and Ichiro did not stop by. Andres Munoz signed a bunch at the first base end of the dugout, but I didn’t have anything for him. I waited by the home plate corner of the dugout. JP Crawford signed one or two but that was about it. It was a little better over the middle of the dugout. Sam Haggerty came by and signed a couple of jerseys, but not my card. Fortunately, Ty France came by and signed a bunch! When it was my turn, I slid my clipboard with the card and a blue Sharpie over the dugout to him. For whatever reason, he signed with a black Sharpie. No worries, it’s very nice. My first Ty France auto! Thank you Ty!!!

Ty France! Vive La France!

I wouldn’t say the Braves side was slow, but I would say you needed to be at the right place at the right time. Vaughn Grissom and Austin Riley signed some before I got over there. Marcell Ozuna signed a whole lot at the corner by the camera well, including my MLB’ers ball. Thank you Marcell! I tried asking him “Como estas?” and he said, “Esta todo bien”. With help from him and Siri, I learned that means, “It’s all good.” Right on, man! I actually had a nice card for him at home but I couldn’t find it, so MLB’ers ball it was.

Down by the left field corner, I got autos from Raisel Iglesias on a card and AJ Minter on the MLB’ers ball. Thanks guys! I tried asking Iglesias about his tattoos but I don’t think he understood me. Certainly, I didn’t understand him lol. I asked Minter about the cool Braves hats (I think they were black with the A stenciled in red) and he said they were for BP only. Fine with me, those caps are sharp. 🙂

At the home plate corner of the Atlanta dugout, Ronald Acuna Jr. signed a couple of cards, a couple of jerseys, and a bat at the home plate corner of the Atlanta dugout. I was all the way at the other end and got over there kind of late. I actually ended up in a decent spot but he didn’t signal for my card. That was a bummer. I don’t remember any other Braves signing for the rest of BP.

Both the Braves and Mariners sides were packed just before the start of the game. I picked the Braves side. If the third base dugout corner is the first spot, and the second spot is next to the camera well, I believe I was at the third spot down the line. Dansby Swanson signed at the fourth spot (of course lol). It was too crowded to get over there. He signed before the anthem, apparently kept the marker, took off his hat and went to stand with his teammates for the anthem, and then went back and continued signing a bunch with the same marker. Don’t know that I’ve ever seen that. It was pretty cool! Anyhow, all the other Braves gave the auto seekers The Heisman.

While all the Braves stuff was going, I occasionally peeked over to the M’s side. Carlos Santana signed over by Julio’s usual spot, Mitch Haniger DID sign at his spot over by the Key Bank sign, and I saw Julio over there at Mitch’s spot at some point on the way to the dugout.)


The Game

It was an eerily hazy night because of the smoke from wildfires in Eastern Washington, but still breathable. The birds near our house have been doing weird stuff for a couple of days now, so much that my daughters named yesterday and today “Animal Mayhem Days”. We’ll see if that extends through the weekend into next week, or what. At any rate, there was a large crowd with a paid attendance of 44,965.

The first 4-1/2 innings were a pitchers’ duel between Atlanta’s Max Fried and Seattle’s George Kirby. I started in Section 141 and later went up to Section 330. Both locations had very nice views of the game.

In the bottom of the 5th, Sam Haggerty tagged a ball 401 feet into Edgar’s Cantina (well, at least over the left field wall) to put the M’s up 1-0. My Oh My!

In the bottom of the 6th, Geno Suarez clobbered the ball 423 feet to deep center field to make it 2-0 good guys! It was his 28th homer of the season. Are all the guys still gonna dye their hair black and blonde if gets to 30? Lol.

Trouble brewed in the top of the 7th as the Braves got men to 1st and 3rd. Out came Kirby (to a standing ovation) and in came Andres Munoz of Los Bomberos.

Matt Olson hit into a fielder’s choice scoring Dansby Swanson. Travis d’Arnaud bounced the ball just ahead of home plate and Cal Raleigh tagged him out as Olson advanced to second. Then Munoz struck out Michael Harris II to put out the fire!

In the bottom of the 7th, Jesse Chavez walked pinch hitter Adam Frazier. JRod came up and drove him in with a double to the center field wall! M’s 3, Braves 1.

Erik Swanson came in for the top of the 8th and took care of business with the help of sliding catch in left field foul territory by Sam Haggerty. (Haggerty was 2 for 3 on those sliding catches in foul territory, incidentally.)

In the bottom of the 8th, Kirby Yates walked Meeeeetch Haniger. Geno Suarez flied out to right, after which a fan entered right field. He eluded the security agent from right field and made it to the middle of the left before he was tackled by the left field security guy, the right field guy, and like 10 other people. The left field security guy got a standing ovation while the field invader went to Time Out for the evening. After that delay, Carlos Santana struck out.

Paul Sewald came in for the top of the 9th. It’s been a bit of an adventure for him lately, but not today! Acuna grounded out. Swanson struck out. Austin Riley struck out too. Pauuuulie! M’s win!

Final Score – Mariners 3, Braves 1

09/06/22 – White Sox @ Mariners

Autos – Mitch Haniger, Julio Rodriguez!
Final Score – Mariners 3, White Sox 0

Pregame

I’m not quite sure what word best sums up the pregame auto scene — weird, slow, bizarre, awesome…. It wasn’t indescribable or unimaginable. I guess the one best word for my experience would be “weird”, even if my post here seems very run of the mill.

I heard that the previous day (Labor Day), Dylan Cease signed a bunch in the bullpen but few of any of the other ChiSox signed anywhere else during BP, and none signed just before the game. A bunch of the Mariners pitchers signed, like they often do after “throwing practice” before a day game, but no M’s signed right before the game. I chalked all that up to the 3:40 start time and a large holiday crowd) a regular start this time of year is 6:40).

I was expecting a little better today, with a much smaller projected attendance of around 17,000. The M’s were done with BP before the bullpen gates opened. The White Sox were doing their BP and continued as the regular gates opened. They signed about three total items by my count, all by Gavin Sheets. Well, probably missed some other stuff but it was clearly meager. I do know that my buddy called out to Dylan Cease as the pitcher entered the dugout and forgot to stop for the fans.

So this was definitely a day to wait for the M’s just before the game. I went over and had my usual angst about where to wait. I started in a spot where Mitch Haniger stops by, two or three spots from the camera well. My buddy insisted that Mitch stops there EVERY time as part of his routine. Since it was early, I also checked out the area down the line where the netting ends. That’s a spot where Julio Rodriguez SOMETIMES stop by, a little more often than spots closer to the dugout. It’s also a spot where he often goes first before proceeding towards the dugout to other spots. There was a whole lot of space there! About 10 people total, a couple of kids and the rest adult autograph crazies. I had nice cards ready for both players. What to do?

I ended up starting in the middle spot, which was great. Haniger signed an ice parallel of an old Topps Fire card. (Get it? Ha ha.) I was one of the first people he signed for, and even had the opportunity to pass along a jersey for a fellow grapher. That was kind of cool. Thank you Mitch!

Anyhow, the national anthem hadn’t even started yet. I quickly skeddadled out of there and heading towards the end of the netting. There were a few more people now, maybe 20. There was also some time to wait because Julio is usually the last Mariner to finish his pregame stretches.

Going over there turned out to be a great decision! JRod came by!!! I think he signed balls for a couple of kids with a black Sharpie. He was about to sign one of the grapher’s cards (another crazy guy right next to me) but the guy insisted that he used blue. Surprisingly to me, JRod obliged and seemed to sign the card with his standard auto. Then, he grabbed my card!!! He signed it slowly and neatly (also in blue) so I was thinking it would be perfect. When I stepped away and got to look at it, I was like, “Whaaaat?”, and started cracking up. Lol it’s the most bizarre JRod auto I’ve ever seen (at least since he signed my home white jersey ha ha). I think he started writing it too big, was thinking about who to sign for next, ran out of room, tried to salvage it, and finished it with a little flair. Weird, bizarre, non-standard, unique, and very special — my first JRod auto on a card! Thank you Julio!!!!

One other thing, the first guy next to me had his card in one of those scrapbooks. It’s big, so it’s easy for the player to grab and provides a nice sturdy surface for signing. Of course, it also repels some players. I’ve used a small clipboard and had both types of experiences. One time I had a card for Nellie Cruz on a clipboard. I must have stuck it too close to his face cause he looked at me like I was crazy. (I don’t think he signed the card that day but I don’t really remember either way.) Recently, I had a card for Anthony Banda. The clipboard helped me get the card to him and back. (Well, with the help of an usher cause when I slid the board it got stuck in the dugout. But anyway…) He signed it very nicely. I have a small binder for the cards I bring, but I rarely hold it out in a crowd because I don’t want the it drop or for the cards to fly out or whatever.

That card for Julio got pretty dinged up because I tried many times (guessing between five and twenty, ten seems about right), and each time I hold it, put it somewhere, secure it, hold it out, put it back, on and on. So next time I’m focused on asking JRod for an auto on a card, I’ll try the clipboard!


The Game

It was another glorious night for baseball, with a game-time temperature of 74 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. It’s been a few days so I don’t remember all the particulars. The M’s took an early lead versus Johhny Cueto.

Logan Gilbert got in trouble here and there, while also striking out a bunch of fools (I mean White Sox lol). He ended up with a nice line, 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 SO. He got in a bunch of trouble in the top of the 6th, and I thought we should have taken him out, but he managed to pitch his way out of it. After the strikeout to end the inning, Logan was super pumped! He was double pumping his fists and thumping his chest and all that kind of stuff. His demeanor on the field is usually much more reserved and even keel, so it was so much fun to see him celebrate like that. Totally warranted. 🙂

Cal Raleigh added a late home run to fire up the M’s fans, and Los Bomberos (Brash, Munoz, and Sewald) took care of business for innings 7, 8, and 9!

Final Score – Mariners 3, White Sox 0

2022 Panini Prestige Football – Good Enough for the Start of the Season

I got a blaster of 2022 Panini Heritage Football from Target. It was $25.99+tax for 6 packs with 11 cards per pack. Overall I’d say they’re fine. Nothing spectacular but a nice way to kick off the new football season in a timely fashion. You know, like before it starts or even ends.

The first card I saw was Jonathan Taylor’s. That was pretty cosmic because I plan to select him with the first overall pick in this year’s fantasy draft! I saw the back first and then the front. I mean it doesn’t have the awesome “Fun Facts” like last year’s Score release, but it has a nice overview paragraph plus the standard stats. The front has the glossy picture with a relatively unobtrusive modern design. Given this cosmic occurrence, I wondered if this would be some kind of super blaster. It wasn’t lol.

The Rookie Cards are pretty much the same, with the RC logo. They come about two per pack. The blaster had 6 (need to double check that) RC’s including parallels. Here is Boye Mafe from the Seahawks (he made the roster!).

Speaking of parallels, there was a nice assortment with various colors and patterns, including the blaster exclusive diamonds. 🙂 There were also some cool inserts.

No Seahawks other than the Mafe rookie, but I did pull a Russell Wilson card. Even if he’s on the Cyber Horses, I’m still a fan. 🙂 Mile High Cyber Horses, that would be a pretty cool fantasy team name, although my all-time favorites remain my sister-in-law’s Victorious Secret and my wife’s Football Team (well before there was a Washington Football Team btw).

That reminds me, I have a nice autographed Russell Wilson 8×10 with a blue auto that’s a little hard to read. Think I will scan it, print it, and trace the auto with a silver or “rave green” paint pen to make the auto easier to read! Then I can also put up the enhanced reprint while safely filing away the original auto.

Back to the card, some of the players on new teams have updated pictures (don’t know if they are Photoshopped or real) while some have pics with the uniform of the old team but the logo of the new team with the little explanation.

My favorite card was in the last pack, a Kyler Murray “Heroes” insert. Sweet! Refractor looks even better in person of course. 🙂 (By the way, under the influence of this card, I drafted Murray for my fantasy team lol.)

So overall, the blaster was pretty middle-of-the road. Nothing bad, reasonably priced (which is saying a lot these days), just not much spectacular. It’s definitely nice to have some new cards heading into the fantasy draft and the actual NFL season. Who knows I might get another blaster or pick up some of individual cards. (For Prestige, the hobby box relics and autos are at a completely different level and price point than the blaster offerings.). Overall, I give 2022 Panini Prestige Football blaster 3 out of 5 stars.

08/28/22 – Guardians vs. M’s

SGA – Ichiro Bobblehead
Autos – Triston McKenzie, Andre Knott, Terry Francona, Oscar Gonzalez, Miles Straw
Final Score – M’s 4, Guardians 0

Pregame

The crowd was lined up early for the Ichiro Bobbleheads. Other than making Ichiro look like a young white Manny Acta rather than a man from Japan, the bobblehead was pretty sweet! A stack of 10 Gold Gloves plus three Silver Sluggers and a bunch of other stuff. 🙂

With the early arriving crowd, the M’s side was the most packed I’ve ever seen for a Sunday morning “pitching practice”. It was kind of insane. It’s usually very quiet and sparse when the gates open for a day game, but the first couple of rows were filled with seekers young and old from the right field corner all the way to the end of the M’s dugout. A few of the pitchers, including Logan Gilbert, came by but I didn’t manage to get any autos.

Towards the end of Cleveland’s “pitching practice”, I missed Zach Plesac, Tyler Freeman, and Will Benson. However, at the corner of the dugout, I chatted briefly with my new favorite Guardian, Triston McKenzie! I asked him if he still uses the nickname “Sticks” and when he said yes, I asked if he could write it next to his auto. He graciously obliged. Apparently it’s actually “Dr. Sticks” lol. I also asked if the “24” pendant he had on his necklace was for Ken Griffey Jr. He said no, it’s been his number since he was 6 years old and is his current number (shows you what I know). However he also said that Griffey was a big part of that. Later I noticed that I gave him my Mariners team ball instead of the visitors’ ball. Doh! Anyway, there’s Dr. Sticks’ auto under Raul Ibanez’s in all it’s glory, on the wrong ball. It’s no big. He could be a Mariner someday for all we know. Think I’m gonna paint the seams on the Mariners ball blue and green for easier identification at future games. I also got an auto from field reporter Andre Knott, this time on the correct ball. 🙂 He’s both entertaining and informative on the Cleveland television broadcasts. Thank you Triston and Andre!

There was an “Ichiro Round Table” starting around 12:30. Beforehand, Terry Francona was by himself at the visitors’ dugout. I decided to just try! I walked over to the area above the middle of the dugout and asked him to sign my card. He obliged! (The usher handed him the card and sharpie and he tossed back the signed card clipped on the marker.). Thank you Tito!

The round table was narrated by Rick Rizzz, and included Alvin Davis, Edgar Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr., and, of course, Ichiro Suzuki. They told funny stories and also provided some serious compliments. They used the same words over again — “preparation “ and “routine”. Practice makes progress lol. I was over by the tunnel where the employees and guests were going on and off the field. The “heavy hitters” went in and out of the M’s dugout. I heard Edgar signed balls from a couple of kids but that was about it.

Just before the game, I was still over on the Guardians side and asked some guys to sign. At the dugout corner, I called over to wild man James Karachak. He looked over once but did not come over despite multiple requests lol. Then I went to the corner by the camera well and it was much better. Both Oscar Gonzalez (that dude is huge) and Myles Straw came by and signed my MLB’ers ball (the visitors’ one ha ha), through the net no less. Thank you, gentlemen!


The Game

Robby Ray pitched a gem, Dylan Moore hit a 3 run homer, and Ty France added a solo homer. We won!

Final Score – Mariners 4, Guardians 0

08/27/22 – Guardians @M’s

SGA – Ichiro T-shirt
Autos – Logan Gilbert, Andres Munoz, Triston McKenzie, Raul Ibanez
Final Score – Guardians 4, Mariners 3

ICHIRO! ICHIRO!

Pregame

Ichiro Hall of Fame Night! He got inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame this evening. I got there an hour before the STH gate opening, which turned out to be plenty of time. They were giving out Ichiro tshirts. I took an XL. It’s huge but probably will be able to shrink it to fit.

Ichiro HOF T-shirt

For the M’s, Logan Gilbert signed a chrome-stock card. I tried to rub off some of the sheen with my shirt but apparently there was still too much. Sometimes I’ve gotten good results with a blue sharpie, but it doesn’t adhere so well and skips a lot. The black sharpie seems to work better on the chrome finishes. So of course I forgot and gave him a really nice card with a blue sharpie— and it skipped. At first, I was really disappointed. However, the more I look at it the more I like it. The streakiness actually provides an interesting effect. In the future, I’d spend more time a white eraser attempting to prep the surface. Andres Munoz also signed a bunch, including my team ball. He was very polite and patient with fans. Thanks for signing Logan and Andres!

On the visitors’ side, there wasn’t much going on with Cleveland. I eavesdropped on Triston McKenzie doing an interview with a guy who I think is from MLB TV. I’d seen his baseball card but had no idea he was so well spoken. Triston talked about lots of things, including representation of Black Americans in the MLB, encouraging more kids to play the game, his favorite music and sneakers, and how he might have become a doctor if he weren’t playing baseball. Anyhow, I waited around till he finished the interviews. Then, he signed for me and several other people. Further, he was very patient when he took selfies with my buddy Akira, Akira’s mom, Akira’s mom and dad, Akira with his mom and dad, etc. lol. Thanks Triston!


Before the Ichiro Ceremony

Well I knew plenty of “dignitaries” would be there for Ichiro’s ceremony, and that they usually either come out the tunnel near the visitors’ side or from the M’s dugout. I didn’t really know where to stand, and the M’s dugout area was packed. So I waited by the tunnel. Before I was politely asked to skedaddle, Raul Ibanez (Rauuuuuuuuuuuuuul!) signed my team ball, and did so very nicely may I add. Thanks man! Other than that, most of the people coming out the tunnel were Mariners staff, former players and coaches, and other guests. The heavy hitters and most special guests, like Ichiro wife, came out of the M’s dugout. Anyway, getting Rauuuuuuuuuuul’s auto was a pleasant surprise. I forgot he was part of the first Ichiro era. Thanks again man!

Ichiro Mariners Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

The tribute to Ichiro and his induction into the Mariners Hall of Fame was great. Lots of highlights, congratulations from present and former players, speeches, etc. etc. Ichiro gave a long speech that delayed the start of the game by about 15 minutes. Anyhow, at the end he got his Mariners Hall of Fame blazer and it was all good. 🙂

PS Later in the evening, I took a picture with Ichiro’s plaque. Both corny and fun, like a lot of things at the ballpark. 🙂


The Game

I started the game in Field Level seats and later moved into the Terrace Club. I actually like watching from Field Level better, so much closer to the action. I find the Terrace Club to be like watching on tv, but it’s better if the stadium is packed and you have to like go to the bathroom or get food or something like that.

Luis Castillo was great for the M’s once again! 6 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 10 K, and 1 R on a HR to Jose Ramirez. He finished the sixth with a 2-1 lead, courtesy of homers by Eugenio Suarez and Julio Rodriguez off Guardians’ starter Zach Plesac. Castillo got a well-deserved standing ovation when he was done for the evening.

Standing O for Luis Castillo

Los Bomberos! Diego Castillo took care of the top of the 7th. In the bottom of the 7th, Jake Lamb smoked a pitch deep into right center field for his first homer as an M, extending the lead to 3-1! See look, the smoke was still drifting minutes afterwards. Things were looking good.

Aftermath of Jake Lamb‘s Home Run Bomb

Drama in the top of the 8th, with Andres Munoz on the mound. Unfortunately, too much drama. Steven Kwon to first, moved to second a bloop single by Amed Rosario. Jose Ramirez double to right to score Kwon and move Rosario to third. Josh Naylor hit a sharp grounder to first to score Rosario. Then Andres Jimenez hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Ramirez. Cleveland took a 4-3 lead. Bummer.

In the bottom of the 8th, James Karachak entertained us with various antics as he retired the M’s. Matt Festa took care of business for the M’s in the top of the 9th.

In the bottom of the 9th, Emmanuel Clase came in for Cleveland. JRod popped out, Dylan Moore grounded out, and Mitch Haniger… grounded out to end the game. The Guardians stole this one.

Final Score – Guardians 4, Mariners 3.

08/23/22 – Nationals @Mariners

SGA – Native American Heritage Night Cap
Autos – Nelson Cruz, Darnell Coles
Final Score – M’s 4, Nats 2

Pregame

It was an adventure getting to the ballpark, but I made it safely and in plenty of time thank goodness. As part of Native American Heritage Night, the first 10,000 fans received a special cap courtesy of the Emerald Queen Casino (run by the Puyallup tribe). The paid attendance was over 38,000 so glad I got there early, it’s a nice hat. 🙂

The Nationals were taking BP. My buddy Akira had a game used Nelson Cruz “Los Marineros” jersey. He got Nellie’s attention by the home plate corner of the visitors’ dugout, so I was pretty sure NC23 would come by. He did! I didn’t know whether to ask him to sign my Players’ Weekend “Boomstick” shersey with a black paint pen or a nice Stadium Club card with a blue sharpie. I opted for the shersey. It’s not perfect but it’s nice! I actually have an All Star shersey that he signed after the ASG in DC but it has bled/faded/etc. Hopefully this paint pen auto will fare better. Nellie proceeded to sign my buddy Akira’s game used jersey (complete with game diet), some balls, a card for my buddy David, and several Funkos. Later, Nats coach (and former Mariner) Darnell Coles also signed the random MLB’ers ball. Thank you Nellie and Darnell! I didn’t see many other Nats players or coaches signing, although I heard Nellie signed a bunch again just before the game.

Instead, just before the game, I tried for JRod and the other Mariners. I was originally at a spot by the end of the netting, with my buddy David and a guy trying to get his Julio jersey signed. I wasn’t feeling it, so I went to a spot closer to the camera well (like the second one over, I think). At the next spot to my right, Mitch Haniger came and signed a bunch, mostly balls for kids. A few minutes later, Julio signed near the angled part of the wall far down the first base line. You know, like right near my original spot lol. It looked like he mainly signed balls for kids, and not my buddy’s item, but he also signed that other guy’s jersey! Yay for him! I’ll have to try again. 🙂

I will say that I was very relaxed about autos today, and even thought it was a little disappointing not to get an auto from a current Mariner, I wasn’t devastated. I still felt pretty relaxed! Very pleasant. 🙂


The Game

There was a big crowd on hand on a beautiful night for baseball. Robby Ray was dealing for the M’s, and Eric Fedde was holding up his end for the Nationals – until the bottom of the 4th. Jessie Winker singled up the middle, and then Mitch Haniger hit a two run homer to left to put the M’s up 2-0! It felt like that would be all the M’s would need. Well, not exactly…

In the top of the 7th, Joey Meneses homered to deep center field. JRod tried for a leaping grab but it was well out of reach. I didn’t realize that Meneses also broke up Robbie Ray’s no no lol. It made the score 2-1. Later, with two out, Ray came out to a standing ovation. He deserved it! Check out the pitching lines below!

There was a pretty crazy intro with the lights going out and flames on the scoreboard and stuff for Andres Munoz, who apparently is one of Los Bomberos. He took care of business for the third out.

In the bottom of the 7th, the Mariners extended their lead. JP Crawford reached on an infield single, and Geno Suarez hit a rocket to left to put the good guys up 4-1.

Bombero Erik Swanson handled the top of the 8th. Bombero Paul Sewald gave up one run in the top of the 9th but it didn’t matter. M’s win!

Final Score – Mariners 4, Nationals 2

08/09/22 – Yankees @M’s

Autos – Albert Abreu
Final Scote – Mariners 1, Yankees 0 (13 innings)


Pregame

It was slim pickings in autograph land. I planned to arrive forty minutes ahead of the early gate opening, but due to an accident on the light rail track I was more like twenty minutes late. At least I got to the ballpark!

George Kirby was signing, and I chatted with him a little from afar but missed on an auto. Also missed on Cal Raleigh (he only signed on the field) and Matt Boyd (he only did one or two).

I walked over to the visitors’ side a little late and missed Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Jonathan Loaisiga. Most of the dudes didn’t stop by for any fans (even those in the field).

Two guys who did stop by were Nector Cortez and Anthony Rizzo. Both signed for other people (Cortez a bunch and Rizzo just two) but not for me. I felt rejected and wondered if I did something wrong, looked too much like a “with it” middle-aged adult (or a “scumbag” middle-aged adult for that matter). Or was it the dark transition lenses somehow making look less trustworthy or something? I get so disappointed and sad and frustrated and all that when I’m right in front of a guy and they skip me and sign for other people (usually women and children but sometimes even other dudes). Have you noticed what happens when I take this all personally? Lol I can bring out the violins and tissues and all that, but I don’t think I did anything wrong and ultimately it’s out of my control. What I can do is prep, try to be in a decent spot at a reasonable time, ask the Universe, and enjoy all the great people and the nice ballpark while waiting for a player to come by. When a player does come over, I can ask politely (nonverbally and/or verbally), wait, and be grateful when someone does sign an item!

Of course everyone wanted an auto from the great Aaron Judge. Earlier during fielding practice, the wife of one of my Japanese baseball buddies called out to Judge. He smiled and acknowledged her and all that. We started going crazy and he started busting up, we started busting up, he continued laughing and so did we, etc. I thought for sure he would come by, but he did not. Oh well, at least we tried. I suppose that was the bad news.

The good news was, one guy did sign, and very nicely in both manner and the auto itself — Albert Abreu. Earlier this season, I had problems with Sharpies skipping on 2021 Topps Opening Day cards. Apparently, something about the gloss on that release can mess up autos. So I tried the whole rubbing off some of the sheen with an eraser thing, and it the auto turned out much better. I thought it was “perfect” but did see a couple of very minor smudges and one little gap afterwards. Anyway I feel like I learned a little something in terms of card prep. Thank you Albert! You actually made my day in terms of autos.

Albert Abreu

Some of the other good news was that I made it to BP, I was prepared, my homies and the other fans were cool, it wasn’t crazy crowded, some of the players waved or said hello, some other fans got baseballs and autos, and the weather was fantastic!


The Game

From MLB app

It was an old fashioned pitchers’ duel. Both Gerrit Cole (7 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 8 SO) and Luis Castillo (8 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 7 SO) were excellent, with neither yielding a run.

From there, it was a battle of the bullpens, with a seemingly endless parade of relievers from both sides. Some were excellent and some were “good enough”. Neither team could score, even as the game proceeded into extra innings with the runner on second and all that nonsense.

The Yankees threatened a couple of times but shot themselves in the foot with multiple base running blunders coupled with great defense by the M’s!

Meanwhile, the Mariners loaded the bases in the bottom of the 12th. Eugenio Suarez seemingly could have been hit by a pitch to force in the winning run. I mean it almost looked like the Yanks were trying to hit him to get the game over already, but he avoided the ball with both his body (by reflex I suppose) and his bat (striking out to end the inning).

However, in the bottom of the 13th, the M’s again loaded the bases. Pinch hitter Luis Torrens came up and… singled to right field, scoring none other than… Eugenio Suarez! Game finally over! Mariners win!

Final Score – Mariners 1, Yankees 0

08/03/22 – Angels @ M’s

Autos – Luis Castillo, Logan Gilbert
SGA – Replica Retro Mariners jersey
Final Score – Mariners 2, Angels 1

Pregame


The Game

(Start of) Game Summary

07/23/22 – Astros @Mariners

Autos – Chris Flexen, Chas McCormick, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve
Final Score – Astros 3, Mariners 1

Pregame

I got there on time for the general gate openings 90 minutes before first pitch. So of course they opened all the gates two hours early instead. Sometimes they do that when a big crowd is expected (over 41,000 tickets sold for today).

Autos were slow on the M’s side. Usually for day games there’s no BP but you’ll see pitchers and catchers, and such was the case today. I missed on several, including Luis Torrens, Diego Castillo, Ryan Borucki, and Paul Sewald. However, Chris Flexen did sign my team ball. Thanks man!

On the Astros side, I missed on Framber Valdez and Jose Urquidy, but closer to the game thibgs got much better. 🙂 I brought a jersey card for Chas McCormick. I found a new use for those cards with huge one color jersey swatches — get ‘em signed! Why didn’t I think of that before??? Anyhow, Chas was kind enough to sign my card in the jersey at the corner of the dugout, and a bunch of stuff for other fans. Thank you Chas! I was pretty stoked, this was actually my main auto goal for today.

It got better… during warmups, a little further down the line, Alex Bregman talked to some kid for around a minute, but he also pointed to the boy next to me at the next spot in. Sure enough, Bregman came over. I held the net open for the boy, and also stuck out my pen and marker. He signed for both of us! Thank you Alex!

It got even better… in the next spot over this guy had a Venezuelan flag and Altuve jersey, and yes he signed it. He signed a few more. I made it over, held out my hat and marker, and he signed it beautifully! Thank you Jose! I’m cool with him again lol. Wonder if I’ll wear that hat now or what.

Speaking of wearing it or what, I finally picked up my custom replica Sunday Julio jersey. Those guys worked their magic! Yeah there’s still one small spot that has errant Sharpie on it, most of the Sharpie streak, but the first 4 is now as good as the second 4, and overall the jersey is awesome! I asked Paul how to take care of it, and he basically said don’t get it dirty and don’t wash it. :). If you have to wash it, do it inside out. I was too scared to wear it out of the store lol. It’s in a nice shopping bag for now. I’m still deciding what to do. I have a white one that is signed nicely (but has some skippage), and a cream one that is personalized and signed meticulously (but the yellow paint mixed with the blue number and turned into a harder to read green). I’ll probably just wear my other M’s jerseys and then see if I can get this new one signed, I don’t know yet, but the “new” custom jersey is awesome! Thank you jersey guys!


The Game

As would be expected, it was a pitchers’ duel between Logan Gilbert and the great Justin Verlander. (A couple of my buddies got JV and Jordan Alvarez autos on baseballs last night. I was jealous at first but now I’m just happy for them. Insane!!!). Gilbert had a rough top of the 4th and the ‘Stros put up 2 runs.

In the bottom of the 7th, while I was in a long line for a soda, Carlos Santana homered to right. Excitement built as the M’s got Eugenio Suarez to third and Adam Frazier to second, but Cal Raleigh and Sam Haggerty both struck out. Justin Verlander double pumped his fists as he went to the dugout with a 2-1 lead. In the top of the 8th, Jose Altuve singled and later scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 3-1. That was the final score.

Final Score – Houston 3, Seattle 1