Tuesday, May 31, 2011


New York Yankees v. Seattle Mariners
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Safeco Field
Seattle, WA
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

While it may seem like old hat to some, I have for many years  considered attendance at a Major League baseball game to be an indication of success in one's life.

So, after posting a story about Seattle's memorial to fallen firefighters while enjoying a tall Americano with coconut syrup and munching a multi-grain breakfast roll at the Starbucks shop in Pioneer Square, I packed my laptop, pen, notebook, and other items into my backpack and took off on foot towards Safeco Stadium.  The energy of the burgeoning coffee shop crowd catalyzed  my ingested caffeine and gave my motor a jump start jolt.

Now, mind you, I knew that I was being impulsive, but this was definitely something I was going to do.

Besides, in less than a month, I would be leaving the Emerald City for good and returning to my home in College Place...the equivalent of Odysseus' Ithaca...and I may not have a chance to watch a Mariners' game again for a long, long time.  

More importantly, this was about ticking off one more item in my very own personal BUCKET LIST--you know, the stuff you just gotta do before the FINAL INNING.

The stadium was just a few blocks away, and though I was a little fatigued from having worked the graveyard shift and not sleeping much the day before, the thought of watching the M's possibly sweep the powerhouse Yankees rejuvenated me like a case of Red Bull.

There were several mobile vendors along the approach to Safeco Field.  I spent almost ten dollars for a bag of Cracker Jacks, a bag of peanuts, a huge hot dog, a can of Pepsi, and a bottle of water.  I made sure I hid my soda pop in a secret compartment in my backpack.  The stadium staff will reject beverages, all part of jacking up its commerce inside the stadium.  But part of being a true major league baseball fan is to know the tricks of the trade.  (I'm happy to report that both my can of pop and I got past the "baseball customs" without incident.)

Finding a ticket, even for this huge draw of a game, wasn't as problematic as I had thought.  Just minutes before finding a ticket counter, a woman on the sidewalk I'd asked about tickets told me the game was sold out.  

Imagine my surprise, then, when the ticket agent offered me a reserve seat in the lofty area adjacent to the third base line.  The cost?  $27!  Oh, well, an early Father's Day gift to myself, I thought.

After going through the checkpoint area, walking around a bit, and going on an elevator ride, I finally found section 337, row 12, seat 17.  At first, I was the only one in that particular section.  Gradually, though, the place filled up nicely.

The following are the pictures I took.  I want to interject here that I called my father and my youngest brother and had a very animated conversation with each of them.  WISH YOU WERE HERE was the common theme.

I sat back and took it all in, enjoying seeing some of the more popular major league athletes, three of whom are definite shoo-ins for this year's All Star game--Ichiro Suzuki of the Mariners, and Alex Rodgriguez and Derek Jeter of the Yankees.

The following are the photos I took, along with brief comments.   


 Derek Jeter, #2, addresses the batter's box.
Jason Vargas is on the mound for the Mariners.
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

 To the left, or towards the north, a view of Qwest Stadium--
home of the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders!
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

 At bat:  #51, Ichiro Suzuki!
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

 A view of right field and the overhead roof.  
If it rains, the roof rolls over the stadium like a giant canopy.
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

 Had to catch that thing Ichiro does with his sleeve at every at-bat.
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

 During a key at-bat, with only one out, Ichiro had the bases loaded.  What a key moment for him to have delivered his first homer of the year!  As it were, he hit into a 6-2-3 double play.  
The crowd raised a huge roar of disappointment.
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

 A view of the huge right centerfield billboard.
(Hawaiian Odysseus)

 Alex Rodgriguez, #13, has a very wide-legged batter's stance.
A former Mariner who abruptly left Seattle and accepted a mega-huge contract with the Texas Rangers, Alex was voluminously booed at each at-bat.
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

Ichiro, seen here doing pre-game stretching in right field, prepares harder and longer than any other athlete.  He truly brings a strong work ethic to the game of baseball.
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

Post-Game Epilogue

Okay, so the M's didn't get the sweep.  In fact, they got shellacked, 7-1, by the Bronx Bombers.  Jason Vargas didn't have his A stuff, and the Yankee bats made him pay dearly for it.  But the Mariners still showed great character in coming from behind and eking out close victories in the first two games, thus winning the three-game series.  At this writing, they are one game over .500, and they may be a game or so out of first place in the American West.  This, from a team that had one of the worst starts of the 2011 baseball season.  If my stats have any bearing, they have won about 10 of their last 13 games.

Go, M's!

And go, Hawaiian Odysseus!  Go to more of these in the near future!

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