My dad was a huge sports fan. Growing up, he played football and wrestled, but his true love was baseball.
His family would go to San Francisco (from Portland) to watch Giants games, but he was always a Dodgers fan.
However, as us kids grew up, our family rooted for the Seattle Mariners (except my brother, who from some strange reason is a Cubs fan). We attended many games at the Kingdome, which was a giant concrete building filled with astroturf and no sunlight.
I remember clearly one night my dad coming home from work and taking me down to Ticketmaster, to try to get tickets to see the Mariners play the Yankees the next day. I was 16.
Since it was last minute, the only tickets we could get for the six of us (my parents, me, my brother, my sister, and my grandma) was the very top row of the 300 level. Right up against the concrete wall. Literally, we sat in bleacher seats and leaned against the wall of the Kingdome.
I do not remember who won the game (I actually had to look it up, but the Mariners lost 5-3, you can see the box score HERE if interested), but I do remember clearly getting the tickets with my dad, running down the concrete ramps with my sister to get player autographs, and how horrible the green turf was. (It was bad. Really really bad.)
The Kingdome was replaced by Safeco Field in 1999, and I remember attending two games there with my dad: Ichiro’s 1st bobblehead day, and Edgar Martinez Day, where the Mariners honored Edgar at his second-to-last game as a player.
After my dad died, it was hard for me to watch the Mariners for a while, but I am back to being a hardcore fan, even going to Opening Day this year with my mom.
So thanks Dad, for instilling my love of baseball. And calling me at work when Edgar retired so I could listen to the press conference over the phone (ah, pre-smartphone days). And although my dad has been gone 11 years, he hasn’t missed a single playoff appearance. Oh, the trials of a Mariners fan.
Thanks for reading my ode to my dad and my Mariners. 🙂