Today was mother’s day. It was also another Little League day at Safeco Field. But I didn’t know it was another Little League day at Safeco Field. I assumed that was just a one day deal. But it wasn’t. To my initial shock I saw this when I ran inside…
Batting practice was nearly unheard of, of happening on a Sunday. Mainly because a Sunday game follows a night game so I was pretty excited when I saw the BP cage up. There were a few Mariners throwing in shallow rightfield and some Whitesox throwing the ball around in front of their dugout. But no real signs that batting practice was going to happen. Before they allowed us entry to the entire stadium the BP cage was carted off the field by the grounds crew. So much for my excitement. The first chance I got I ran all the way around the stadium to see if I couldn’t catch an overthrow from Tom Wilhelmsen.
Just as soon as I ran past the Mariners dugout to snap this picture I heard the ever-familiar sound of a baseball smacking into the seats. My feet stopped and I turned around to give chase even before my brain could register that a ball made it into the seats. I was even turned around before I could locate the baseball. I had a little help from a nearby security guard that was trying to point out which section the baseball was in. I knew it was on its way down to the front row. So I patiently walked towards the field looking in each row until I found it. Since it was Sunday and there was no sign of BP to happen plus it was Little League Day, getting that baseball took a huge weight off my shoulders.
I approached Tom Wilhelmsen as he continued playing catch and we exchanged friendly greetings. I was going to ask him for a baseball but I figured he saw me pick up the one near the M’s dugout so I saved asking him for another game in the future. When the Whitesox came out to throw the baseball around it was extremely tough to get their attention. Mainly due to this…
As soon as hordes of people starting walking around the stadium I knew that every single baseball on the field would go directly to a youngster. So I scouted for any opportunity to grab an autograph. And a picture.
That’s Angie Mentink. She is the Root Sports sportscaster for every Mariner home game and Seattle Seahawk games as well. She was really fun to talk to. We talked about her short stint with the Colorado Silver Bullets and I also got to share with her my charity for the Seattle-King Co. Humane Society.
I decided to head down into the ‘Pen area and get something to eat. Since it was Sunday I figured I’d try something new. I’ve never had a crepe before so I figured that would be a good option. Here is where I ate…
I bought the roast beef crepe and it wasn’t that good. Maybe it was just me but it lacked flavor. It was messy, and too juicy, and it wasn’t very filling. Plus I don’t like mushrooms and it came with mushrooms. The cheese wasn’t that flavorful either. If I had to rate this place I would probably rate it a three. (ten being the best and one being the worst) The price was average but I didn’t buy a soda there so that helped keep the price down. Instead I bought a soda at the Blazing Bagel and it was much needed to wash this nastiness down. Blegh!
I sat here for about five innings and then I moved down into the ‘Pen area…
When I stood by the Mariners bullpen I saw Jason Phillips (the Mariners bullpen catcher) doing this…
Jason Phillips is the Mariner standing in the middle of the three in the picture. He is also rubbing mud on baseballs. Yes that is genuine New Jersey Mud that he was coating on several baseballs. I watched him for about fifteen minutes rub mud on about eight baseballs. It was pretty awesome. I assumed a grounds keeper did that job or maybe the ball boys. But I never thought the bullpen catcher would be doing it. Maybe he was bored. But it was still awesome to see. Phillips also spit on his hands to get the mud wet prior to rubbing the balls down. So if you’ve ever handled a Major League baseball make sure you wash your hands afer handling one. Go here to watch the story about the special mud.
Aside from all that cool stuff, the Mariners were beat again. This time in extra innings. Brandon League took the loss after he gave up a couple base hits and Paul Konerko went 5-5. How cool is that. I thought about going after the lineup card just for that reason alone but I wanted to try to get one more baseball before the game ended. I didnt go to the umpire tunnel like I usually do because lately I’ve been getting shut down from the home plate umpire. So I figured I’d try something else. But I was denied by both bullpens too. How ironic.
When I got home from the game this was waiting for me on the counter…
Game; May 8th 2011 Chicago Whitesox vs Seattle Mariners
Snagging Baseballs for Puppies has raised; $28.40 this season.
Snagging Baseballs for Relief in Japan has raised; $11.50 this season
You will not regret getting a bagel from this place. Its right between the Mariners team store and the leftfield gates. I tried the cheddar, chive, and garlic hot dog bagel and it was amazing. Also if you want to get a soft drink but you don’t want to pay the ridiculously high price of one inside the stadium, I would suggest buying one from here. They cost $1.97 and you can buy them inside the stadium. Right inside the leftfield gates just hang a hard right and you can use the walk up window.
Once I got inside I saw this.
And I saw this.
I asked a nearby security guard why the Chicago Whitesox were already on the field taking BP. They had no idea. One nearby fan explained to me that it was little league day and batting practice would be ending in twenty minutes. Twenty minutes??!! So I had about fifteen minutes to get on the board or my chances were pretty slim. With that being said I noticed a baseball in behind the centerfield fence down in the batters eye area. Unfortunatly there wasn’t a security guard that would go get it. Fortunatly a deep drive was hit towards centerfield and both the Whitesox athletic trainer and one of the players were in hot persuit. They even ran through the open fence to get the ball. I quickly held up my glove and called out to the athletic trainer that ended up with the ball. He nodded to me and lobbed a high arching throw that missed my glove and bounced over to some fans that had no idea what was going on. Plus I had some guy right on my hip pocket yapping in my ear and encouraging me to jump the fence and go get the baseball in the batters eye area.
To make matters worse? Here came security. One of the security guards started telling me not to jump down there because I could get ejected. I explained I wasn’t going to and that I knew the ground rules of the stadium. She insisted to explain to me the importance of not jumping down there. And I continued to insist that I wasn’t going to do such a thing. Finally a security guard came out of no where and lobbed me the baseball. It somehow ended up squirting out of my glove and dropping back down. So I had to hear another earfull from the security guard of how important it was not to jump down there to get the baseball. In the end I got the baseball. So I suppose it was worth it.
When we were allowed to explore the entire stadium I wandered over to the first base side. When I arrived it wasn’t much longer when a foul ball came my way. It went over my head and landed in the middle of two sections. I was the only one within twenty feet of the baseball so I had an easy grab. Plus the ball didn’t bounce around. I was pretty surprised it stayed where it did. After that batting practice came to an end. Since it was little league day this was how it went until the game started.
Hundreds of people walked the entire field. About the only cool thing that happened was Paul Konerko came out to talk with some close friends or family members. I approached him for an autograph but he said he wasn’t signing right now. So I just took some pictures instead.
When he jogged off the field I told him I was going to catch his 400th career home run. He kind of laughed and shrugged his shoulders. “I hope!” he said. I told him to not worry about it because it was going to happen. After he went into the dugout Edwin Jackson poked his head out and I got him to sign my ticket stub.
He was a little stand-offish at first but eventually with enough beggging I got him to sign an autograph. It was the ultimate experience.
The Mariners on the other hand simply got rocked. By the fifth inning it was already 3-0 and the Whitesox never looked back. Chicago won 6-0. I sat most of the game behind the rightfield foul pole. Those seats aren’t as heavily guarded as the other ones so I really didn’t get harassed by security. I might make those seats my normal seats during large crowds. The outfield gets too packed which makes it hard to catch any home run baseballs.
Game; May 7th 2011 Chicago Whitesox vs Seattle Mariners
Snagging Baseballs for Puppies has raised; $28.00 this season.
Snagging Baseballs for Relief in Japan has raised; $11.25 this season