i have vague memories of the seattle pilots at my first major league baseball game. it was tommy harper bat day and my dad and i sat in the left field bleachers at sick’s stadium. the biggest thing i remember was spilling part of my hot dog mustard on a kid next to me and him whining to his dad about it.
i remember the feeling i had at my first mariner game in the kingdome. when i walked out of the tunnel and saw the field and the players warming up before the game– i was in complete awe. my dad got seats above third base and we watched the second ever mariner game in april 1977. we played the cailifornia angels and lost.
i looked it up: we were shut out 2-0. nolan ryan pitched for the angels; enrique romo for the Ms. at the first Ms game ever the night before, there were 57,000+ fans. when we went for game two, there were 10,000+ fans. they lost, but we had major league baseball so it didn’t matter!
last night the mariners lost to the astros. we still have the team– unlike the pilfered sonics– but the loss feels like it mattered. we are knocking at the door of making the playoffs for the first time since 2001. twenty years of frustration! it hurts my heart more to come so close than to be out of the playoff race by july. we have never won a pennant nor have we even been to the world series.
sure we had some good years with junior and edgar in the mid 90s. yes– the 2001 season with ichiro and winning 116 games was my all time favorite year. there have been many tears these past 20 years though…
so a common mantra for the mariners for me now has been “lower expectations”
being a mariner fan is a test of faith: how long can we carry this baseball cross?
but until the end of the season, i will still rock my mariners caps along with my seahawk and sonics caps. barring a miraculous winning streak in these final weeks, i’ll stay hopeful because, “there is always next season!”