I have been battling a cold or a flu or something that I am probably going to head to Urgent Care for after work today, so I haven’t been able to get this up as fast as I’d like to, but I did go to Fan Fest on Saturday. Wanted to go back Sunday, but got to hang out at home flat on my back watching TV all day as I’d lost my voice from the day before.
I got up early and met Daniel and his mother at Safeco Field around 9, while battling a bit of a sciatica flareup that has since disappeared, for the most part (thankfully; I am not a fan of using a cane). For season ticketholders, they have an early entry and a bit of a continental-style breakfast upstairs with some croissants, donuts and muffins, bananas, and all the coffee, water, and juice you can drink. We had a sit at one of the tables, chatted about our personal itineraries for the day (mine is usually to walk around the main concourse and then settle in for Dugout Dialogue), talked to other fans, and took it all in.
After we’d had enough of everything upstairs, we wandered around the 100 deck, checking out the Mariners Care merchandise (I wound up getting a signed Casper Wells ball later on in the day) and game-used gear, and generally enjoying the lack of crowds before the main event at 11AM. I took a moment to snap the view from around section 130 or so…
I don’t remember if they’ve had this in previous years, but there was a case with a whole bunch of bobbleheads in it. Not all of them, but it looked like some of the more “special occasion” types from anniversaries or milestones during the team’s history.
I never got a Moose bobble; they seem to have been issued before my time by a few years. Now that I look at that case again, maybe it is all of them?
We stolled around to the King’s Court section, voted on the three shirt choices available (for total transparency, I chose the one that is made up to look like a playing card with Felix on it), and then I sat with Daniel’s mom in the outfield while Daniel went up to the roof control room. We watched the tee batters out in center field, and the zip line getting started up out there as well.
After that we came back around to the Mariners dugout area over section 123, and said hi to Pat Dillon, vocie of the Aquasox, at their booth on the walkway there, before parting ways (them for the downstairs and inside areas where the clubhouse is open and Mariners trivia is usually played, me for the main stands), and I went to watch some baseball players talk about baseball. First up were Mitch Haniger and Leonys Martin with Aaron Goldsmith:
I didn’t take any notes, but I don’t remember the questions from the crowd being anything super unknown about either of these players. Martin commented on the temperature difference between here and home. Haniger has some fans here already, one of whom had followed him since his early minor league days with Arizona. We also got to see some Martin highlights from last year on the big screen.
Pitching prospect for double A Jackson and last year’s winner of the Jamie Moyer Pitcher of the Year Award Andrew Moore was up next to talk about his place in the organization. Admittedly, I was horrible about following up with our minor leaguers last year, and had not heard much about him; due to my inability to actually go anywhere to watch games, I have the tendency to sort of lose a lot of guys between Everett and Tacoma, and double A is where a lot of players get weeded out. Moore is from my home state so I hope he does well. If he’s winning awards, maybe he has a shot; he is a non-roster invitee to Spring Training from what I’m told, so it will be fun to see how he does.
EDIT; the bit above this was written early morning Wednesday, and then WordPress refused to publish, and I lost the remainder of the original article. So here are some more photos and I’m just putting the rest of this out there to make sure it gets out. My apologies for the rush job.
I really wanted to see Jean Segura and Jarrod Dyson, both of whom I am looking forward to seeing play. They are both very slight men, smaller in stature for baseball players than one might normally see, but that seems to have worked out in both players’ favor, as they combined last year for a total of 63 stolen bases (for comparison, Ichiro took 40 on his own in his 2011 year, so not too shabby for two guys not named Ichiro). Consensus seems to be that even though “everyone” “fights” for their jobs at Spring Training, these two are going to be on the Opening Day roster. I can hardly wait!
So after watching Segura and Dyson talk to the crowd, Su and I went to Edgar’s to grab some much-needed lunch and some adult beverages, and were summoned to the Dave Niehaus statue by some members of Mariners Twitter! This was the result:
It was then decided that we should all go and recreate The Double over by the Team Store because there were certainly enough of us to do so, and so this happened:
I am doing the only thing my back could handle at the time, and even that kind of hurt, but I was honored to participate.
Su and I went down to do a bit of shopping after our group parted ways, and I wound up with this little Dae-Ho Lego! At less than $5, it was totally worth it; and I’m not even a Lego person.
It is currently sitting on my desk at work, next to my Felix Hernandez and Hello Kitty Lego. Everyone needs cool desk tzotchkes.
Su and I went back to the Dugout Dialogue to catch the rest of the talks. I would post photos of that, but regrettably I only brought my phone, and we were sitting farther away, so my photos of Jerry Dipoto and Scott Servais did not come out well. On our way over we briefly said hello to Shannon Drayer, and on our way out, we dropped by Mariners Care and I picked up a signed Casper Wells baseball for charity. It’s sitting next to my Garrett Olson ball in the living room, one of those this will never be valuable, but I love it anyway sorts of things.
I had a great time, just like every year. It was a nice distraction from the events of the world, and I was glad to see so many people. I would have gone Sunday, but I had completely lost my voice by that time, and felt pretty rough – wound up staying home from work on Monday, even; don’t get this cold or flu or whatever it is, it is some brutal stuff.
Now, we wait for pitchers and catchers to report, and see when Root Sports NW is going to broadcast the 16 games I hear they’re planning on doing this year. This year more than ever we need baseball ; its been a long cold winter here in Seattle, and I am so ready for hot summer days and warm summer nights, sitting in, again this year thanks to Daniel, section 331.