Well, I never did follow up on my last post with more thoughts on SBC Park in San Francisco. The main things I remember: it was loud, crowded, and very blustery. They played the Oakland A’s, a big rivalry, and the fans were really raucous, to the point of obnoxiousness. Sensory overload hit Henry and Brad quickly on their walk around the stadium (I was already overloaded from a day traipsing around the city and so had reached a mindless numbness), so we retreated early, longing for the expansive concourses and mild-mannered fans of Safeco.
On to our two most recent games back here at Safeco Field…
Mariners v. Cleveland Indians, July 17, 2004 at 7:05pm
Final: Mariners 5, Cleveland 6
Seats: Section 112, row 28, seats 1,2,3
Weather: Hot, sunny, and muggy
Transportation: Drove, parked at Donna’s Diner for $8.00
Hat Trick: #3
Food & Drink: $39.00 of the usual stuff
Play Area: Henry and Brad played at it. Henry’s hat got taken by another kid, who threw it in at hole in the play structure. A nice person working at the play area got the hat for Henry, and then threw the other kid out, even though he was clearly too young to understand what he’d done! Sigh.
Freebies: Stickers, baseball cards.
It was fun to see the new guys (Bucky Jacobsen homered), but in the end it was the same old frustration. Curmudgeon guy next to me had a lot to grump about! (He does have to get up at 4am everyday, though; I recall being pretty grumpy myself when I kept those hours.)
Mariners v. Boston Red Sox, 7:05pm July 19, 2004
Final: Mariners 8, Red Sox 4 in 11 innings (We stayed until the end.)
Seats: Section 129, row 31, seats 1,2,3
These were fantastic seats, in one of the sections right behind home plate. We were near a bunch of Bosox fans, which made for some interesting shouting matches during the game. (“Let’s go Red Sox!” they yelled. “Nineteen-Eighteen!” we yelled.)
Weather: Sunny with few puffy clouds, warm with decreasing humidity. A nice evening for baseball.
Transportation: Drove, parked in the usual lot for $10.00.
Hat Trick: #1 (Henry called it!)
Food & Drink: $37.75 of the usual junk.
Play Area: Yep, me and Henry. Saw the Coast Starlight (Amtrak train), Henry ran around with a bunch of other kids, and even played some pretend baseball with them.
Freebies: Mariners “School Pack” which consists of 2 pencils, a pencil sharpener, a stubby ruler, and a plastic case to carry them in. Stickers, baseball cards.
Okay, so that’s it for that game… not! Brad said after that this was one of the most exciting ball games he’s attended. At least, the last 4 innings were. The Mariners came back from a two run deficit by scoring two home runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game; they won in the eleventh on a walk-off grand slam home run. So, we’ve now seen a walk-off balk, a walk-off walk, and a walk-off grand slam. There were some good defensive plays in the game and some bad ones, both adding their share of excitement. Both new guys and old guys contributed and the game (in those last 4 innings) was fun baseball. Having all the Red Sox fans around us screaming (and then groaning) probably enhanced the experience.
Having family from Massachusetts, I am sort of a Red Sox fan; you can’t escape it, I think there’s a gene. My own personal baseball cheering hierarchy, which is still evolving as I learn more about the game, goes something like this:
- Will root for the Mariners regardless of opponent.
- Will root against the Yankees regardless of opponent.
- National League team of choice: NY Mets.
- Will root for the Red Sox in most other cases, even with sulky or churlish players, unless they are playing the Mets in interleague or World Series play, in which case I have to go with the Mets.
- Pitch to Bonds.
- Trade Yankee pitcher Mike Mussina so I can root for him.