Here is the 2012 annual review of my blog. Before you scroll down and click the link to read all of the fantastic stats that WordPress has put together, I wanted to give some special shoutouts. First, to my top commentors. Mateo Fischer in Minnesota, Tood Cook on the East coast, Nick Badders in California, and @NYBisons (obviously from New York). It’s great to have such loyal readers and commentors. I’d also like to give a special shoutout to all the 32,000 views I’ve accumulated over the last couple of years. I range anywhere from 25 views a day to sometimes 75-100. It’s really nice to have such dedicated readers. And not all of the readers are from America. I have quite a following from Australia, Japan, The Netherlands, Mexico and Russia. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Wow! My very first Seahawks game at the new Century Link Field in downtown Seattle! This is actually my third NFL game I’ve seen in my lifetime. And I’m proud to say that each game I’ve seen has been the Seattle Seahawks. My first game I saw was against the New York Giants when the Hawks played football in the Kingdome. I think I may have been like, 13 or 14 years old. I went with my Dad and the neighbors. It was pretty awesome, as far as I can remember. My second game was in St. Louis at the Edward Jones Dome. I watched the St. Louis Rams play but that wasn’t as exciting because both teams were looking at losing records and the attendance was really low.
Today would be extra special because not only was I about to see an awesome game with awesome fans in Century Link, I was also going to visit the ‘Pen at Safeco Field. I hadn’t been inside Safeco Field since May and I was dying to be there. And since Safeco was getting sort of a face-lift, I was extra excited to see how things were shaping up. After all, this is my home stadium where I ballhawk in and I wanted to get a sneak peek of how things were changing. As soon as I entered Safeco, I immediately started looking around and taking pictures. I probably took over 50 pictures of the construction going on. But I’m only going to post the important ones for you to see because…well, that’s about all you need to see!
I wandered up to the second level and started looking around. Here’s what I saw:
The above picture shows some construction in front of the visitors bullpen. I’m not exactly sure what they’re doing other than moving the fences in around the entire outfield. So I guess this is apart of it. Also, (which I will show soon enough) they’re turning the left field bleachers into an open air restaurant called “Edgar’s Cantina” which is named after our beloved DH, Edgar Martinez. It should be interesting but it takes a little bit away from my chances of scooping up baseballs. So, understandably, I have mixed feelings about it. Here’s the construction in the LF area…
…the seats have been removed, as you can tell, and they’re getting ready to open that area up. It’s kind of sad to see those seats go because the few times I did sit there, I really enjoyed that spot.
Here’s the right field portion of the construction:
You can kind of tell where the fences are going to be at from where they’ve layed down that grey looking dirt stuff. Also, take note of the scoreboard that’s being built. Pretty sweet, huh?! It’ll be exciting to see Safeco after all this mess is done. Meanwhile, I had a Seahawks game to attend! I didn’t stay in the ‘Pen very long and off I went towards the Clink!
When I got across the street, I was slightly confused as to where to go. Being that this was my first Hawks game, I didn’t have my routine down like I do at Safeco for Mariners games. I got in some line that seemed like the right place to be to enter Century Link but (another cool thing for sports fans) I accidentally got in line for the Century Link Field House. The Field House is basically a place where Hawks fans can tailgate indoors prior to kick-off. If the people behind me weren’t talking about it, I probably would’ve been really lost. I snapped this picture right before stepping out of line:
I’d like to take this moment to thank the Safeco Field staff for not putting Mariners fans through the same routine the Seahawks staff put the Hawks fans through. Metal detectors? Strict bag searches? If Safeco went to that, consider my time watching live baseball games at the stadiums over. This was a real pain in the ass. And let me tell you why; when you get up to the security guy, you have to empty all your pockets. Just like you would at a TSA checkpoint in the airport. I was surprised they didn’t make me take off my shoes! If they touch on anything that makes the detector beep, they question you like you’re a criminal. It was such a hassle. The plus side (and I’m pretty sure this is why they do what they do) is you can bring whatever you want into the stadium. So I’ve heard.
I had a ticket in section 126 which was right behind the end zone so I had no problems getting through the security guards that were standing guard in that area. Friendly? No, sir. Of course, with my winter beard, my heavy-duty leather coat and my black beanie on my head, I sort of looked like a trouble maker:
Really, I just wanted to get as close to the field as possible to take some awesome pictures. And since I was there so early, I had a lot of time to kill. And I got some awesome pictures!
Here’s a picture of the field:
And that was pretty much my view during the game. It was actually a very nice seat for what I paid ($130). I was shocked when I got to my seat and thought back on how much I paid for the ticket. I guess the people who had those seats couldn’t go at the last moment and just wanted to get something back. Usually those seats run around $150, I think. The game was sold out so I had to resort to Stubhub to get the ticket, which I’m not a huge fan of because I like to get authentic ticket stubs from games I attend.
Anyway. I didn’t run around the stadium and explore like I would at a MLB stadium. I don’t know why. I was super-excited to be at the game, amongst the Seahawk fans, and to just be in the playoff atmosphere. Everyone was excited. Everyone was pumped and ready for football. It was such an awesome experience! The thing I noticed about Seahawk fans as opposed to Mariner fans, Seahawk fans seem a little more blue-collared. They seem a little bit more gritty and the backbone of Seattle. The working class. It was incredible. Mariners fans seem a little bit more family oriented.
While I was standing at my seat, a Seahawks fan who I assume attends every home game, placed a St. Louis Rams door mat in the walk way and then encouraged everyone to wipe their feet! I thought that was so unique and awesome! Well, until drunk guys decided to spit on the mat and pretend to poop on it and wipe their butts. Like, okay, guy. You made your point, move along. The kids stomping on the mat was priceless, though:
Seattle attracts such interesting characters. If I took pictures of all of them, this blog would be one giant entry of how awesome Hawks fans really are! Nevermind how loud this freaking stadium got during the game, just people watching and seeing how unique we really are out here really made my day:
Before the game, the Seahawks are really amazing at recognizing the “12th man” who is kind of a tribute to the fans. And here’s a pre-game ritual involving the 12th man…
…how cool is that?! A gigantic 12th Man jersey unravels down in the Hawks Nest over the fans! I really wanted to sit in the Hawks Nest for this game but there were no tickets available. My seat was amazing, anyway, but next season I’ll sure be sitting in the Hawks Nest!
As far as the game went, it seemed like an utter disaster. Russell Wilson was sacked five times in the first half. I figured since this was my first Seahawks game in the Clink, of course the game would go like this. The Seahawks were held scoreless in the 1st quarter and it seemed like the Rams were just running all over them. It wasn’t looking good. Miraculously, the Seattle Seahawks were able to pull a win out of what seemed to be heading towards a devastating loss! Century Link was so loud I could barely hear myself yelling over the noise! And my throat is so sore now…but it was so worth the experience! Next year, I’d like to travel to Candlestick and watch a 49er’s game and then watch a Raiders game in the Coliseum just to compare. The Seahawks are heading to Washington D.C to face the Redskins in a first round playoff which makes me sort of sad because I wanted to watch a playoff game in Century Link.
Maybe next year, right?
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On April 1st 2011 while I was visiting the Oakland Coliseum, I met this guy:
His name is Benson. And he’s from Southeast Asia. Really a cool guy. When we first met, the Coliseum was his 17th baseball stadium he has seen. That year, he was on his way to see Busch Stadium and Kauffman Stadium as well. This year, I played a little catch-up with him via email and he stated he had only three more stadiums left to see. In 2013, he plans on seeing Skydome, Target Field and I think Tropicana. I hope to catch up with him at Target Field (since I’ve plans to go there anyway in ’13) and get some more pictures with him. He collects autographs and the occasional baseball. It’s really awesome meeting people abroad that share the same interests as myself.
Specifically for this blog entry (and with his permission) I asked him a few questions regarding baseball. Some of the things I found out were his favorite baseball stadiums and favorite players. You know, the cool stuff we all like to talk about.
Me: “So when we first met, you were visiting your 17th Major League stadium, right? How many stadiums have you seen now?”
Benson: “I’ve seen 27 total.”
Me: “Wow! You know, I’ve lived in the United States for 32 years and I’ve only seen like, 14 stadiums! Plus the Tokyo Dome in Japan, but. Anyway, what’s been your favorite stadium so far?”
Benson: “PNC Park and Safeco Field!”
Me: “Awesome! Seattle gets a little shout out there, that’s pretty cool. I practically live in Safeco Field during the baseball season, so for me, it gets kind of boring at times. But it’s always an adventure there. Its a great stadium. Plus, we have a roof that retracts! So we always get baseball! Do you have a favorite baseball player?”
Benson: “Josh Hamilton and CJ Wilson.”
Me: “Josh Hamilton may not return to Texas. That would be a bummer, huh. Any favorite teams?”
Benson: “Rangers and Angels.”
Me: “Ahh! Division rivals! How does that work when both teams play each other? Oh, forget I asked. That’s like when the Mariners play the Athletics. I’m just a confused baseball fan when that happens! So wrapping this up, my friend, what are your plans for the 2013 season?”
Benson: “Visit Toronto, New York and Minnesota!”
Me: “Good choices! Maybe catch you at the All-star game in New York next year! If not, see you in Minnesota!”
I did this auction once before and it was pretty successful. I was able to raise quite a bit of money for the Seattle Humane Society (which is my charity of choice) and since I’m the founder of Snagging Baseballs for Puppies, all proceeds went to the shelter. Some of the history on these autographed baseballs is that they’re all authentic. I’ve met the current or former player in person and acquired the autograph. Some players I met at MLB Fanfests and some I’ve met at the stadiums I’ve visited. Like the Ryan Rowland-Smith autographed baseball, I met him at Safeco Field and got him to sign the baseball prior to him entering the stadium. Same with the Brian Moehler signed baseball. I caught up with him before a game at Busch Stadium.
So on with it, shall we? Below is a picture of the baseballs I’m parting with. Here’s the deal. Each signed baseball took a lot of resources, time and energy to get. I got a little bit of a personal time with that specific player so they mean a lot to me. So why am I parting with them? Because I’m trying to find great ways to make people happy and get some money donated to my charity. If you’d like one of these signed baseballs, leave a comment below or shoot an email to WaynePeck@Yahoo.com letting me know what baseball you want and a good address so that I can send it to you. When you claim a baseball, make sure you are able to donate. Although, donating is not required, it’s a nice gesture and kind of defeats the purpose of this whole thing if you don’t donate. The minimum donation amount is $5.00.
Here are the baseballs:
Top row from left to right: Rich Hacker, Brian Moehler
Second row from left to right: Dave McKay, Ryan Rowland-Smith
Baseball on far left: Jose Cruz
Third row from left to right: Glenn Braggs, Bruce Chen
Fourth row from left to right: Jim Maloney, Gary Mathews Jr
So there you go! Here’s the link to my official Seattle Humane Society charity page and all you have to do is click on the “Support Wayne Peck” link and you’re off and running! Thanks to all that have taken an interest thus far!
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