Mariners home opener! Finally back to the ballpark after taking 2020 and 2021 off. One of my buddies asked how was this first game back. This was my response:
Weird… get there on time, security check was smooth, great to see everyone, bowed to my buddy’s parents, no autos yet, liked seats both downstairs and upstairs, M’s played great, not as cold as I thought, waited for concession lines to shorten but they didn’t, left after 6th inning to eat on the drive home, spilled stuff on my jersey, looks like it came out in the wash, mostly already packed for today, all in all glad I went. 🙂
The M’s played awesomely and dominate the game. Great stuff 🙂
Final Score – Mariners 11, Astros 1
The auto situation was much better than yesterday! The line to get in, even for Season Ticket Holders like yours truly, was very long. It was a Ken Griffey Jr. Bobblehead Night after all. I haven’t opened the box yet but it looks pretty cool in the picture.
By the time I got in, the M’s were wrapping up BP. Af a gap in the netting, Matt Brash signed a ball for me (it’s going to be a team ball most likely). Down the right field line and past the netting, Logan Gilbert signed and took photos with anyone who wanted one. He was very patient and gracious. Thank you to Matt and Logan, two of our great young pitchers! Ichiro didn’t sign, but I missed Julio Rodríguez at the dugout corner. Sounds like he signed a bunch! Encouraging for a future visit to the ballpark. 🙂
I switched jerseys and headed over to the Houston side. Other than chatting with some cool fellow auto crazies, there was not a lot of signing going on. I pretty much settled into the corner by the camera well. This used to be prime real estate, and you can still reach under and around the netting with a ball or a card. However, it looks like the best spots are going to be the corner of the dugout (on the 3rd base side) and the first gap in the netting (one section over from the camera well). McCormick signed a hunch for people at the dugout corner, and Jeremy Peña signed a ball for the Spanish speaking brother next to me. I think Bregman signed one card at the dugout. Their bullpen catcher said he would give me a baseball, I just had to wait. So I waited and waited… and waited, but nothing. What’s up with that? I thought he was going to be a man of his word lol. Goodrum, Brantley, Altuve, Alvarez, etc. did not sign. Saw Jordan The Batboy, hadn’t seen him in years, he would often toss baseballs to fans at the dugout after an M’s win. (Or was it Jeremy? Think it was Jordan.)
I continued to camp out at the camera well while some of my buddies were at the gap in the netting one section over. They were in the right place. Yuri Gurriel came over! In my haste to get over there, I knocked part or all of somebody’s beer over. Sorry!!!!! Total party foul. I offered another but he was very chill about it. I got in there and may have knocked down one of my buddies’ buddies. Or he may have been kneeling down already. Sorry again!!! Just too excited. Anyway, Gurriel beautifully signed a nice Stadium Club card… and I smudged it. Doh!!! Maybe that’s what I get for not being more careful with my body. It’s still very nice though. I might try to “fix” it with a white eraser or magic eraser or something. Or do some digital artistry. We’ll see! (PS After a bunch of erasing and reiinking, the new artistic collaboration between me and Yuli looked a lot better. :))
After the auto action, it was time to watch the game. I sat in Row 3 for the first inning and then headed for the concourse. I wanted to make sure I got some food this time! After switching back to my M’s jersey and waiting probably an inning and a half in one of the crazy lines, I was the proud consumer of a Mariner Dog, small nachos, and a refillable soda. Yes!
I proceeded upstairs towards my ticketed seat location. Don’t let the guy with Hawaiian shirt fool you – it was freezing! When you sit upstairs at Safeco Field, you often get the wind. The wise among us bring blankets. I didn’t. At least I brought a warm beanie, some kind of fleece with large ear flaps. I think my face mask also helped. Guess I could have used a black beanie for more of a Darth Vader effect. 🙂
Justin Verlander did Justin Verlander types of things, and pitched a gem. 8 scoreless innings with 8 strikeouts on 87 pitches. Great for the ‘Stros and a bummer for the M’s.
Final Score – Astros 4, Mariners 0