Thanks to the generosity of the Seattle Mariners, Lukas, Annabelle, Mrs. LIAYF and I, along with some good friends, spent the afternoon at Safeco Field here in Seattle enjoying their annual January FanFest and getting ourselves psyched up for the upcoming baseball season.
If you are a fan, and I for one am a big one, you can't help feeling a bit of optimism with the change of direction that new GM Jerry Dipoto has so swiftly implemented. His ideas seem so logical and many are ones that long time fans have been calling for for ages.
As for our visit today, our whole party had a blast touring the dugouts and the clubhouse, seeing and hearing firsthand how the players prepare for, and relax after, their home games. My favorite parts were seeing Kyle Seager and Robinson Canoe's lockers, as well as a private sneak peak at the clubhouse batting cages where future Hall of Famer Edgar Martinez and newly inducted member Ken Griffey Jr spent some so many hours perfecting their craft.
After that we toured the many exhibits set up for visiting fans before making our way to the kids play area to let Lukas, Annabelle and their friends burn off some much needed energy.
Of course, that made us all pretty ravenous, so we logically feasted on some ballpark fare, and before calling it an afternoon Lukas and I, along with our friends ventured out to Left Field with our baseball gloves and had a memorable game of catch together, covering much of the very same turf that so many big leaguers have also covered since Safeco opened bck in 1999. It was a whole lot of fun, and Lukas really enjoyed himself.
Almost as much as I did.
|Lukas and a good buddy, ready for outfield catch session.|
True story - I have a jar of dirt in a special place in my garage from the initial groundbreaking of Safeco back in February of 1997. (it was parking lot so I guess in this case they torn down a parking lot, and put up Paradise.)
By the way, I was happy to learn that you can sign the kids up for the Mariners Kids Club for free this year, which has a lot of cool benefits. We could have done it at FanFest today, but the lines were long so we'll just do it online
All in all, it was a fun afternoon and it certainly got me excited for the upcoming Mariners season, as different as it promises to be
Maybe this will finally be the year that the team returns to the playoffs.
Hope springs eternal!
Disclaimer: The Mariners provided our tickets free of charge, but did not ask for any corresponding publicity.