Hello Safeco!

August 8, 1999 -- Seattle Mariners vs New York Yankees

Our first baseball game at Safeco Field!

(OK, OK, Rosalie wasn't with me 'cause she went back to New York to spend a week with her bud Jess, but she was still with me in spirit..)

I wanted to go on a day when it was sunny, and the weather had been really lousy the day before Saturday, and Sunday started out foggy and rainy and cloudy, too.

But then when the sun broke out about 10:00am at home on Vashon Island I checked the satellite image at Intellicast, and packed the cooler with Peppy and headed for the boat.

It was SeaFair Sunday, so there was a lot going on besides the Mariners! When I was walking up First Ave to Safeco, two F-18's from the Blue Angels made a run right up overhead along First Ave! It was awesome!

We could see part of the Blue Angels airshow at SeaFair over on Lake Washington, during the ballgame!

But anyway...

Here we go!


OK: Now here's what I'd call a great first impression! It derives from the architectural style of the Pioneer Square district; it's got that working-class look from lots of exposed steel; I don't care if they didn't put on as much brick as they said -- it looks great!

This is the Home Plate (southwest, for you compass-direction types) entrance: you go insided and up wide stairs and onto the 100 level concourse and you look right down over the seats out across home plate and the entire field! It's cool!


This is the Left Field (northwest) entrance: there's an entrance at each corner of the ballpark.

I thought I was going to take a lap of the whole place from the outside, but I got to the northeast (Center Field) entrance and said to heck with it!

The Burlington-Northern tracks run along the east side of Safeco, here crossing Royal Brougham Way, and in fact the roof sits atop the tracks when it's "retracted" -- to use the official term -- the roof is either "retracted" or "extended" -- not merely opened or closed...

The horns from the trains (maybe five to seven times per game!) really add to the urban/working-class ambiance, as far as I'm concerned!


So this is the center-field deck out in front of Ribbies -- a major carnivore hang-out! One thing that is really cool about Safeco Field is that there are so many places to watch the game that are not your seats!

I mean, sure, ya gotta have a ticket to get in, but there's nothing saying you gotta sit in your seat! You could watch the whole game from this deck, for example!

The bullpens are just off to the right. The entire back side of the bullpens is wire mesh fencing so you can stand and watch relievers warm-up from, say, three feet away! Might even get some sweat on you, on a hot day!


So this is the view from the 100 level concourse out behind Bone!

There's the deck at Ribbies, and the bullpens beyond, and the Safeco Field sign with the Mariner's logo as a clock...

The concourses are really wide and high -- at least the 100 level, which this is..

This is over on the third base side where stairs come up from somewhere at street level -- I didn't get everywhere at all -- maybe the stairs come up from the Left Field (northwest entrance)

This is inside where the Team Store is..


So here's kinda tha view from our seats: Section 339, row 8, seats 13, 14 and 15 -- the View Box seats right above third base, just outside of the baseline.

And these seats are great! The first impression that I had was that Safeco is really compact! You're right there!

Many of the people in our immediate vicinity were season- or package-ticket holders. I wouldn't hesitate to get season tickets here -- too bad I never asked what they paid..

OK: John Halama's first pitch to Chuck Knoblauch is over for -- ball one -- hmmm..

Oh well...

Hey! It's only the first inning!


Bottom of the first and ARod is out 6-3 Jeter to Tino (ex-Mariner) Martinez and Edgar (Eeddgaaar.. Eeddgaaar.. Eeddgaaar.. - what is up with that, anyway? I don't know the history behind that chant the fans give Edgar..) walks -- one out, one on

Bone comes up and swings away in a little hit-and-run that doesn't work..

But Bone walks and we've got two on and Ibanez strikes out -- two on and two away -- and Wilson flies out to Knoblauch and the inning's over with two left on base..

But, hey! It's early!


The left field light stands are really cool! Very 19th-century ironwork-engineering, the way they're all cantilevered out over the left field bleachers!

Another really cool thing about Safeco is that it's very asymetrical -- by that, I mean that it's very different in many places -- the end of the left field stands is entirely different from the right field -- the outfield is very different on the left field side from the right field side -- and even the concourses are varied, not cookie-cutter identical like the old Kingdome!

So the Yankess get 3 runs in the top of the fourth..

..and in the bottom of the fourth Griffey grounds-out 6-3 Knoblauch to T Martinez and ARod reaches first on what I scored as an error by Tino and we send ARod to try some more hit-and-run by Edgar for nothin' and Edgar K's and Bone K's and we strand one more..

But, hey! It's still early...


Da Moose!

Da poor Moose has got to stay out on the dirt with his ATV!

Is da Moose gonna get to ride on the grass?


No way, Moose!

The hydroplane races are still with us, only better!

The graphics are much better and the race takes place out on Elliot Bay with a cool skyline of Seattle in the background, including the Space Needle!

Also still with us is the ball-cap shell game! Added is a two-Moose tug-of-war with the field split down the middle -- third base side versus first base side -- the louder side of the field causes one Moose or the other to drag the other Moose over the center line and win the tug-of-war! Got it?

Our side (the third base side..) won!


Dragging the infield between the sixth and seventh innings..

(Hey! I thought it was cool...)

So Curtis comes up and homers -- bang! and Girardi pops-out in a funny little deal to Wilson and Knoblauch K's and suddenly Halama can't find the plate, let alone the strike zone..

Jeter doubles; and Halama walks Williams and Halama walks Davis and Halama walks T Martinez and at this point Sweet Lou goes absolutely ballistic at the home plate ump!

Sweet Lou comes roaring out and chews on the home plate ump and gets tossed almost instantly!

And the first base ump comes in to -- umm -- maintain order..


And Dan Wilson says to himself "Well, I'll just keep our pitcher warmed-up.." and goes back to work like nothing's happening!

And Sweet Lou keeps chewing on the home plate ump..

And then the first base ump says something that gets Sweet Lou really mad -- not that he wasn't already -- and Sweet Lou pushes around the home plate ump to get at the first base ump!


And Sweet Lou goes off on the first base ump, including some gesticulations to the ring finger on Sweet Lou's right hand, where he has a World Series ring, and suddenly the guys in the Mariner's dugout start to think maybe, just maybe, somebody ought to get out there..

..and protect Sweet Lou from himself, or at least to protect the ump from Sweet Lou, because it's really clear that Sweet Lou's not calming down!

And suddenly Dan ("Mr Innocent") Wilson's going "Gee, guys, what going on back there? What's all the fuss? Come on, guys, can't we all just be friends?"


And reinforcements arrive from the dugout, because one Mariner isn't enough to get a hold of Sweet Lou!

And Sweet Lou gets dragged off to the showers (cold, I'm sure..) and, well, what were we doing here, anyway?

Oh yeah -- Halama was pitching to the Yankees and couldn't find the plate..

So Brosius gets a single and Spencer flies out to Bell at second and the Yankees have scored four runs and now it's Mariners 0 -- Yankees 7..


So Mariner's bottom of the seventh and ARod singles and steals second and Edgar gets an rbi single and Jason Grimsley comes in for David Cone and Bone K's and Raul Ibanez gets a single and there are two on base and and Dan Wilson gets an rbi single and the Mariners have got two runs back and Russ Davis gets on base, and the Mariners have three runs, bases loaded again..

..and Dan Naulty comes in for Grimsley with the bases loaded and only one out and Brian Hunter grounds out to T Martinez at first unassisted and David Bell grounds out 4-3 Knoblauch to Martinez and that's it...

Mariners 3 -- Yankees 7


...and that was pretty much it...

A Mariner's record attendance for a four game series: 180,849 -- despite the fact that the M's were swept by the Yankees...

This game's attendance: 45,195 -- and it was SeaFair Sunday!

They put the lights on in the eighth inning, for some reason..

Oh.. and the Yankees get one more run in the eighth to make it 3-8, and one more run in the ninth to make it Mariners 3 -- Yankees 9

So in the bottom of the ninth Bone walks and Ibanez K's and Wilson K's and Davis singles, two on, and Hunter walks, bases loaded, and Bell lines-out to Curtis in left field and that was the game...


But hey! Safeco is a really cool ballpark!

This year I suggest you go just to see the new Safeco Field, and maybe next year the M's management will get some pitching and we can go and see a baseball game, too...

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