On May 23, the breaking news was announced that the Mariners would extend their lease with Safeco Field through 2049, according to an article by Ballpark Digest. The article also quotes Seattle Mariners Chairman John Stanton as saying “We want this ballpark to be our home for the next 100 years. Safeco Field should be to Seattle and to the Mariners what Wrigley Field is to Chicago and the Cubs and Fenway Park is to Boston and the Red Sox. We sincerely appreciate our partnership with the PFD, who share our vision to ensure that our fans will continue to enjoy Major League Baseball in a state-of-the-art facility for decades to come.” This is not necessarily as bold a statement as it would sound, as Safeco has already seen its fair share of MLB history. The Mariners have seen the rise of hall of famers Randy Johnson and Ken Griffey Jr. while Edgar Martinez waits eagerly for his well-deserved spot.
As well as these hall of famers, the Mariners’ individual hall of fame holds several more notable names. Jamie Moyer holds several pitching records for the franchise and even pitched in Safeco’s inaugural game in 1999. He also received the Roberto Clemente award for his community service. Coach Lou Piniella led the Mariners to all four of their playoff seasons which included two Manager of the Year awards. At the time of Dan Wilson’s retirement, he had the highest fielding percentage of any catcher in American League history, and even somehow managed two inside the park home runs. Even the recent years have bred household names for baseball fans everywhere. Ichiro Suzuki is one of the all-time greats and with his retirement this year he’ll likely soon be inducted into the hall of fame. Felix Hernandez and Kyle Seager are two of the longer-tenured Mariners as well who have both made their mark.
Players aside, being a Mariner fan has been one of the most fun things to do. Sure they don’t win as much as they’d like, and they currently hold the record for the longest playoff drought between all of the four major sports that stretches back to 2001. Still, the atmosphere in Safeco is second-to-none and they manage to make up for their lackluster performances with incredibly lovable personalities. One of the highlights for being a Mariner fan is their constant releasing of new commercials. One of the new 2018 commercials include a moment where in a mound visit, the opposing team invites Robinson Cano to ask for input on what to pitch to him. Naturally, Cano says he’ll just hit anything, and he does. Another commercial involves a scene where Kyle Seager, while bald, tries to attempt a hair flip in the mirror. Ben Gamel comes across this and having the longest hair on the team, does one of his own to show Seager how it’s done. These commercials have been produced for 22 years now, and have featured all of the best the Mariners have to offer. A few years ago they held a day where fans at the stadium would get discs to celebrate the 100th official Mariner commercial.
On that note, something the Mariners have done well is their pre-game gifts. I can’t particularly speak on behalf of other teams but the Mariners have been giving out bobbleheads for the better part of a decade. Even now I’m sitting at a desk with four or five of them from over the years above me. Just by being a casual fan I get to make some memorable experiences and come home with something by which to remember them. I also can’t forget about the times they would give out the annual trading cards. One game every year they would give fans a pack of cards with each of the Mariners on it, and those were arguably my favorite day. My dad and I made a point of going to those ones at least.
The Safeco Field experience is definitely one of the better ones out there. I enjoy the food, the people, and getting to yell without needing a legitimate reason. Safeco has brought about some of the best memories I have in this life. Maybe I don’t go expecting a top tier baseball team to make it all the way to the World Series, but I’ll be damned if they aren’t some of the most lovable characters in the MLB.