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April 12, 2013 at 8:09 PM
Sketched April 8, 2013 [Click on the sketches to see them larger]
On Monday, I had the opportunity to make some behind-the-scenes sketches during opening day at Safeco Field.
My 9-year-old son, who loves all things sports, was filled with envy. “You are so lucky! Can I go with you?”
But media passes don’t come with extra seats for the family, so he had to watch from home as I did my work at the ballpark.
Before the game started, I stood alongside photographers on the field and sketched the players while they warmed up and gave interviews in the dugout. “I’m a little more muscular in the shoulders,” outfielder Michael Saunders informed me after checking out my sketch.
In the press box, I joined more than 100 journalists documenting the game. They typed furiously on their laptops as I concentrated on drawing the panoramic view of the stadium and its massive new video screen.
The serious atmosphere inside the room contrasted with the cheers of fans in the stands. That’s where the real fun is, I thought. And next time I’m at Safeco, that’s where I’ll enjoy the game with my son.
Three hours before the game started, the stands were still empty but the field was abuzz with activity. Players were stretching, throwing balls and taking batting practice at a batting cage mounted on home plate.
All the players seemed very relaxed — just look at Saunders wearing slides in the dugout while conducting a radio interview with 710 ESPN Seattle. But I’m sure they were under a lot of pressure to perform in front of more than 40,000 fans.
It was fun to notice the old-fashioned phones labeled “bullpen” and “pressroom” in the dugout.
Moose isn’t free to roam around the ballpark as I thought. “He has a busy schedule,” said Ashley Petersen, the “navigator” assigned to him for this game. After posing for photos with a few fans, he ran to meet 11-year-old Make-A-Wish recipient Marlee of Sammamish. Marlee, a liver-transplant survivor, ran the bases in honor of all children with life-threatening conditions. She was a hit!
Although I’m getting better at knowing who is who in the Mariners team, I was quite lost trying to recognize everybody. I’m embarrassed to admit that I asked Saunders for his first and last name before realizing who he was. I was also at a loss with slugger Michael Morse, who was instantly surrounded by reporters when his interview started.
I did recognize catcher Jesus Montero, since my family always talks about him. He was inside the batting cage when I did this sketch. Manager Eric Wedge and bench coach Robby Thompson were overseeing the practice.
May 3, 2009 at 10:27 PM
May 3, 6:09 p.m. [View Larger]
I just came back from watching the Mariners play the Oakland A’s at Safeco Field, the first Major League Baseball game I’ve ever seen in person. I think I hit the jackpot. For the price of 9 innings I got to see 15. The game lasted more than 5 hours, but we stuck around and watched the last couple of innings from better seats left open by fans who had given up and gone home. It paid off: The Mariners won, 8-7.
April 14, 2009 at 8:40 PM
April 14, 12:41 p.m. Fans head to the stadium for the Mariners home opener against the L.A. Angels. [View larger]
This afternoon I stopped by Safeco Field to check out the scene before the doors opened. I had other things to do in the newsroom but enough time to do a quick sketch. It was three hours before the game and people were already getting there. A food stand with “Seattle’s very best sausages” was already up and running.
The owner of the food stand was wearing a shirt with the number 8, for Hasselbeck. I had to google that to realize Hasselbeck is actually a Seahawks player. So much to learn about football and baseball. I can tell you who the Sounders’ Montero is though!
Anyway, I leaned against one of the pillars supporting the overpass and sketched away as people passed by.
You won’t believe that I’ve never been to a major league baseball game. I only saw the Everett Aquasox once. All the happy looking folks heading to Safeco field made me want to learn more about this sport. We actually have tickets to see them play against the Oakland Athletics on May 3rd. That’ll be my initiation to baseball. It’s about time, considering I’ve lived in the U.S. for 11 years now and my son just started T-ball. I better learn fast. I don’t want to be a clueless dad when I go watch him play.
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