How Did This Happen?

This blog is focused mainly on the Seattle Mariners, but I keep track of other teams as well (mainly, the Baltimore Orioles, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Philadephia Phillies, but there are occasional nods to the Seattle Sounders, Green Bay Packers, and Detroit RedWings, among others). This is not really a typical sports blog; I prefer to talk about my own personal experiences at games and with the game, rather than focus on statistical analysis. I know what stats are and generally how to use them, but have no love for numbers. Trust me, it’s for the best. This blog assumes that the reader is familiar with the roster and business of the Seattle Mariners. This site also operates under the belief that if you’re reading it, you also read Lookout Landing, USS Mariner,  etc. on at least a semi-regular basis.

I’m a 43-year-old ex-musician living in West Seattle, a 10-minute drive from SafeCo Field. I went to my first baseball game back in my teens when I lived near Portland, at what used to be PGE Park (now a stadium for the MLS Timbers FC). I guess I must not have shown enough enthusiasm for it for my folks to take me again, but I remember having fun there. I also remember expecting more people to be in attendance. Poor Beavs. (I may have thought I was at a major league game at the time, I don’t remember).

Back in 2004, a friend called me and told me that his girlfriend got tickets through her job to a baseball game at SafeCo, and did I and my boyfriend want to go? We did. I remember we were sitting way up in the nosebleed 300 level over the first baseline, and it was very sunny and hot. I don’t recall if the Mariners won or lost, but it was 2005 before I went to another few games. In 2006 I organized a few outings with friends; it was more of a social event for me, a reason to go drink overpriced beer, eat overpriced ballpark food, and hang out at a place a lot of us would not normally go. We paid attention to the game, but only peripherally. About the middle of 2007 was when I decided that I liked the game enough to start following it on TV, and my visits to SafeCo increased, as did my attention to players other than Ichiro. The first time I saw JJ Putz save in person from the left field bleachers, that was pretty much it, I was hooked; JJ remains my favorite player to this day. I don’t know if it was the dramatic entry to Thunderstruck, or I had one beer too many or what, but I was officially addicted to baseball. Games were made a priority, and I eventually became the person who always asked what channel The Game was on when I was at other people’s houses.

For my birthday in late 2007, some friends and my husband (formerly boyfriend) pooled money together and got me two seats in a 16-game plan for the 2008 season. I picked out the area I figured would give me the best vantage point on the game; behind the plate in the upper deck, section 331. I went to FanFest, plotted out who was going to go with me to which games, read updates on the roster, and started really immersing myself in the team and the game. I created a filter in my personal LiveJournal account to talk about the games I went to, and air my opinion on how well the games were going (it was 2008, there was a lot of swearing). With the persuasion of friends, that turned into a public LJ account (which is filed as my archive in the links listings), which turned into this site, after the 2008 World Series.

While I don’t generally mention stats, I know a good player from a bad one, and I know the rules of the game. I love baseball like a fat kid loves cake, no joke. My opinions may or may not match a given reader’s, and that is perfectly fine with me, I have no problem admitting that what I don’t know about this game could fill a few volumes – but I am interested in furthering my education, so if you read something posted here that is incorrect, please feel free to let me know. I own my mistakes, and you will likely see a lot of “EDIT” notes here. I welcome new information and criticism – but if you post a response here that looks like trolling or spam, it will be deleted. I have no problem with polite disagreement, but I won’t argue with you if that’s all you hit ‘reply’ for. Be civil, that’s all I ask. I also welcome discussion, questions, etc. I’m pretty much an open book, and I don’t bite.

I no longer sit in section 331 – in 2009 it was in 323, and 2010 it was 182. Currently, I’m in 182 again over left field, the best and simultaneously least expensive spot for season tickets. I may not go back to the upper deck – but I will always remember my first season up there.



25 Responses to How Did This Happen?

  1. Jake Squid says:

    So, what is your recommendation for an electronic drumkit?

  2. section331 says:

    PinTech kit (mine’s an American, but I don’t know if they make that one anymore), with SilentTech heads. It’s a simple 5-piece kit.
    -the foot pedal. I never figured out how to set it up – which is fine, because I play standing up, but the instructions are not great.
    -the frame. It’s ok for a while, but started to deteriorate after two-three big tours; I would recommend replacing it with a Memory-Lock frame of some sort, but that’s just my preference.
    -the cymbals. Do not put up well with heat/moisture/excessive pounding. I’d recommend replacing them with Roland CY-8’s, which are far more likely to withstand general abuse and travel.

    -the drums themselves, which operate much like acoustics. The SilentTech heads specifically are made of a mesh material, so there is no “tick tick” sound over the sound of the amplified drum brain (I use an Alesis D4) like there would be with regular plastic pads, and the rebound is just like hitting an acoustic drum, so no excessive strain on the hands and wrist. They rule. You would also need a drum key, because they change out just like acoustics. I played acoustic kits for ages before I got this thing, so I was used to it.
    -easy to set up – the whole thing took me about 15-20 minutes or less, depending on how much of a hurry I was in
    -reasonably affordable, and Pintech carries several different configurations, ranging from a simple 5-piece, to far more involved kits.
    -they’re just fun to play

  3. Jake Squid says:

    Thank you. This is the sort of info I’ve been looking for for ages. Got rid of my acoustic kit 10 yrs ago because it was just too loud for the spouse & the bunnies, but I’ve been afraid to lay out $$$ for an electronic kit because I know nothing about them. I appreciate your help.

  4. section331 says:

    Hey, no problem!
    Yeah; I usually practice with a CD player with the smaller headphones, under larger studio headphones that feed into the D4, so I can hear both the music and the machine at the same time. There is a little bit of beat-related pounding, but the neighbors can’t hear it. I’ve used both Alesis D4 and D5 drum brains -both are easy to program/set up with the kit, and should be FAR less expensive now than they were a few years ago. We found a D4 on eBay for like $150. I don’t know where you’re at, but you might check Trading Musician, too, for electronic gear. I believe Roland’s Boss line also features a drum brain of some sort, but don’t quote me on that – sometimes the older technology is the easiest to use (and less expensive), and holds up amazinging. My first D4, I had for about 15 years before it finally kicked the bucket. 🙂

  5. Marie in the US says:

    Your knowledge is just amazing. I enjoy reading your blog even if you don’t do stats. Keep writing.

  6. CAJ8 says:

    You’re 37? Really?

  7. section331 says:

    Yes, it is sadly true. I turn 38 in November of this year.

  8. djgil says:

    Brilliant reads! Not like a lot I’ve seen out there. Would’ve never pegged ya for a big baseball fan, luv!!!

    Wonderful meeting and getting to know you…and look forward to our future misadventures! 🙂

  9. section331 says:

    Yeah, the Mariners are really my babies, but I do enjoy a good match. Obviously. haha! 🙂

  10. Max Tcheyan says:

    Hey – I have a cool writing opportunity for you with Bleacher Report, alongside what you’re doing here. Email me if you’re interested.


  11. shep (UK) says:

    Found you on BaseballGB website. This will be a regular read for me I think; well written.
    I always used to particularly enjoy late night games from Safeco with Randy on the hill and the train whistles (and Lou Piniella) going off…before Five pulled the coverage that is…happy days.
    I still tune in to M’s games on Gameday Audio whenever I can.

  12. section331 says:

    How sweet! Thank you!
    I’m not sure how much I’ll have to write about for a bit, but I’ve been trying to keep up on what little news there is. I was never a fan in the Piniella days, but a friend told me I would have loved it – he’s quite a firecracker! 🙂

  13. Chad Ashby says:

    I also write a Seattle Sports Blog for the Kitsap Sun, called the 360 Sports Blog. It covers the Mariners in addition to the Huskies, Hawks and Sounders.

    Would it be possible to do a link exchange? I am thinking we both link to each other under the blogroll/links sections of our respective blogs. Please let me know what you think.

  14. section331 says:

    Certainly! Thanks!

  15. Dave says:

    I clicked on the link to your post re-capping yesterday’s USS Mariner event. I am an instant fan of your blog. In fact, I think that your blog is possibly the perfect counterpart to my blog.

    My blog is a music blog which highlights a song-a-day. Your bio mirrors mine in that you admit to being a baseball fan in a “for the love of the game” non-technical, passionate fan kind of way, eschewing some of the stat head, analytical stuff while acknowledging that you are a musician by profession.

    I’m pretty much the exact opposite. Although, I do not make a living through sports, I know crazy amounts of stuff about all things sports related. I love music the same way that you enjoy the Mariners, which is to say that I like it all but admittedly would not make the best critic.

    I’m adding your excellent blog to my blog roll and look forward to reading your take on the M’s this year.

    BTW, I grew up in West Seattle and have been going to as many M’s games as possible from the beginning. When I was an junior high, they had a thing called the Pepsi Junior Mariners. For ten bucks, you got tickets to five games along with other souvenir stuff. It’s a long way from there to my current place of owning a 1/3 of a full season ticket with four seate per game.

    Go M’s and Happy New Year.


  16. section331 says:

    Thanks, Dave! Very kind of you.
    I am not currently making music; I had to drop it back in 2005 while in pursuit of permanent employment. Temp jobs gets a little annoying after a while. Plus, to make a long story short, after 17 years of not enough sleep, shady promoters, and dealing with some bandmates and members of our little music scene whose heads were far too big for their bodies, I just got tired of it. I still listen to music, but I no longer am responsible for making it. I still needed a creative outlet, and I enjoy writing and telling stories, so here we are. 🙂
    That Pepsi Junior thing sounds like a hell of a deal.
    Happy New Year to you, too, and as always, Go Mariners!

  17. jdwink says:

    Don’t know if anyone has mentioned it, but your site makeover has made it very difficult to read. Light blue type just doesn’t have enough contrast, especially in a relatively small font. How about changing to black?

  18. section331 says:

    Nobody has, but I appreciate the feedback. I may try and look into it – I’m not 100% happy with this layout, but I am at the mercy of WordPress for them, and if I want to keep my custom header, my choices are limited still. I had a better layout that was just black and white ,but another Ms blog also chose that, so I wanted mine to be different.
    I am not, however, in love with this one. I will see what my other options are here…

  19. johnemack says:

    As a part time resident of section 331 and a drummer, needless to say I enjoy your blog! Section 331 is the bomb, you get a great view of the entire field, good views of downtown, many concession options within close proximity and quick access to your choice of a men’s and/or ladies room. Keep up the good work!

    • section331 says:

      Thank you! Actually, I chose the section for the view a few years ago, and only afterward did I realize it’s awesome proximity to bathrooms/beer/food/etc. You can’t say that about all the sections there – though I would like to sit somewhere that they would just bring me food from Thai Ginger all game long. 🙂

  20. Showed this to my wife as her Mother sits in section 331 and has Season tickets, you have probably heard her, shes in row 8, wifes quesiton is where are you in regards to that row?

    • Megan Shear says:

      Ah. I was in row 14, seats 1 and 2 back in 2008. The blog is actually named after those seats, my first as a season ticket holder. Currently, I am in 183, though I have been in 323 and 182 for 2009 and 2010, respectively. 🙂

  21. Steve says:

    Hey Megan —

    Thought you might be interested in my new Ichiro blog, Super Ichiro Crazy…

    Best — Steve

  22. SodoJoe says:

    Just trying to see if I can get added to the Blog Roll. Just added you to mine. Don’t you just love listening to Brock and Salk? I literally Laugh Out Loud when I listen to them. Let me know.


    • Megan Shear says:

      Looks good to me. 🙂
      I work in a building where AM signal is very weak, so unfortunately, B&S are not that available to me much these days, but I do enjoy their program when I can catch it. 🙂

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