At first I didn’t want to count the baseball in my collection. Mainly because I didn’t get it on my own. But then I was thinking about all the other baseballs I didn’t really “get on my own” either. Like, from the bullpen police officers or from the grounds crew. What difference does it make who gives it to me? It’s still a baseball from a Major League stadium. So it counts. Cop-out because it’s a Sunday and there’s no batting practice? Continue to read…
You could literally hear a pin drop during the first thirty minutes of being inside the stadium. Nothing was happening.
Safeco Field is really awesome though. Days like these are kind of relaxing. I can just stand on the party deck and take in the atmosphere. Smell the green grass…feel the gentle wind on my face…take in the silence. It’s all a very unique experience. I wandered the stadium once the rest of it opened up and made my way over to the Mariners side of the field. I attempted for an overthrow or even a toss-up but unfortunately it was Kids Appreciation day and every baseball that the players had went to the kids. I expected that to happen. And they got to walk the field too:
When the Mariner pitchers were warming up it got very crowded but I played the crowd accordingly. Most people were after autographs. So when one player got done throwing and came to sign autographs I’d fill the empty holes and line up behind players that were still playing catch. I was hoping for an overthrow because after a player got done throwing he’d pass the baseball off to a kid that was walking by on the field. I even ran out to the outfield to possibly snag a baseball from Brandon League or Jamey Wright…
…but as you can see many kids were passing by there too. When Brandon League got done he rolled the baseball onto the warning track to some kid that was barely paying attention.
I needed a new strategy and a new one fast if I was going to snag anymore baseballs today. I didn’t get a chance to try the Rangers for any baseballs and before I knew it all the players were off the field. Except for a few Mariners in the bullpen. I quickly headed that way. I was walking by the Mariners bullpen and all of a sudden a baseball came flying my way. It bounced off a few fans and landed at my feet. I stepped on it to keep it from rolling around and I quickly picked it up. I looked around for anyone that may have dropped it and I tried to hand it off to the nearest kid because I thought it may belong to him. He immediately waved me off and told me he didn’t want it. I had to ask him a few more times if he wanted it because I was literally in shock. What kid at Safeco Field didn’t want a baseball? I asked him who threw it and he told me that Jason Vargas tossed it to him. I shrugged and walked away.
Soon I was being yelled at by some 6’5 280 pound biker guy. It was noon and this dude was already intoxicated and trying to explain to me that, that’s his baseball. He told me that he caught it and gave it to the kid and the kid tossed it away. I didn’t believe a second of it because I was standing right there when the baseball came flying in. Plus the dude was drunk and being very rude to me. I told him “better luck next time.” and walked away. I lapped once the stadium just to make sure he wasn’t following me.
And I also got pictures of the new Dave Niehaus statue:
Once I got back to the party deck I gave the baseball I snagged from Vargas to friend name. Her name is Fay and she lives nearly three hours from Safeco Field but still manages to come out to the ballpark every week or so. Here she is holding the baseball up with Miguel Olivo in the background:
That was her very first baseball this season. She was pretty happy to get it and later got it signed by her favorite Mariner pitcher, Brandon League. She even has a Facebook fan page if you’d like to check it out or join. Just click here
In the third inning, Ian Kinsler hit a ball that landed well into foul territory. The umpires initially called it a home run and when they did everyone went nuts. While the umpires were reviewing the play here was what the Mariners bullpen looked like:
The call eventually got overturned and they called the home run back. Before that the umpires blew another call when Felix Hernandez tried to make a sweeping tag on Endy Chavez and missed. But Chavez clearly ran out of the baseline. It would’ve been an out but the umpires ruled him safe.
In the fourth inning, Adrian Beltre went deep off of Felix Hernandez. The ball landed in the Mariners bullpen and close enough for me to glove-trick it out of there. I had enough time but I just stood there looking at it. Well, to be honest, I would have had to knock the ball closer and then rig up my glove to snatch it up. So it would have taken some time. I probably would have still got it though. Here’s a picture of me running around the bullpen after the baseball in hopes it bounced out and into the fan area:
The Rangers eventually won 3-0. The good news? I got an awesome picture with the Tacoma Rainers mascot!