Topic: Safeco Field
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June 12, 2013 at 2:55 PM
“Take me out to the ball game.”
Who came up with that song that everyone sings during the 7th-inning stretch?
Since I go to Safeco Field with my family more and more often these days, I had to look it up.
You see, baseball was not a part of my childhood growing up in Spain. Everything I know about the game, I’ve learned in my 40s. The song tells the story of a baseball-loving gal who asks her boyfriend to take her to the ballpark. It was written in 1908 and first sang at a major-league park in the mid 1930s, according to Wikipedia.
Isn’t it amazing that it has become a national sports anthem of sorts? The Spanish soccer teams I grew up watching sure have their own songs, but I can’t think of any particular tune that is common to the entire sport, let alone played consistently throughout the stadiums at one particular moment of the game.
Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd;
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don’t care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the MARINERS,
If they don’t win, it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game.
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 28, 2012 at 7:53 PM
Sketched May 6, 2012
Every time I go to Safeco Field my appreciation for baseball and what the players do goes up a notch. You could say I’m making up for all those years when baseball didn’t even register with me, having grown up in soccer-crazy Spain.
A few weeks ago, I went to see the Mariners on a Little League Day, when kids and their families are allowed to walk around the field before the game starts. That was a highlight for me and my family, but not the only one.
Before the game, we found an empty spot on the railing by the bullpen and watched pitchers warming up just a few feet away. From TV, I knew that pitchers can throw the ball more than 90 miles per hour, but getting this close really gives you a sense of their strength. Up close, the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand in a blur, and before you know it, lands in the catcher’s mitt with a loud ‘thwack’ that sounds like nothing else I’ve ever heard.
I think it was just meant to be that I sketched Kevin Millwood. He’s been making headlines for his strong starts recently. And just yesterday, at another Little League Day at Safeco, Millwood made my son’s day by autographing a ball for him.
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.
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