This pretty much sums it all up.
But I’ll keep going.
In a city starved for a winning team, the magic that comes with making baseball’s playoffs is alive and well again in Seattle. This after 21 long, too many to remember “I thought this was going to be the season” years.
When you figure it out in days, it’s been 7,665 24-hour segments that Northwest baseball fans have endured, hoping beyond hope that we’d be playing some October baseball. And I mean the playoff kind, not facing Detroit to make up some games due to a strike to start the season.
My world was so much different back in 2001. It was the year of the 9-11 attack, a morning I’ll never forget. It was back in my Murdock, Hunter & Alice Days on KLSY. I didn’t know it at the time, but the show had less than two years to go when those M’s went to the playoffs that year.
And you may or may not remember, that was the year that we were so incredible during the regular season. We won 116-friggin’ games (which are much harder than regular games), and then took the then-Cleveland Indians in 5 games, only to lose to the New York Yankees, 4 games to 1. We simply ran out of gas. You take those 116 wins, add in the playoff victories and the Mariners won 121 games in one season…and still didn’t get to the World Series.
For me, the buzz in the city, the excitement of the playoffs, being a part of the most magical part of baseball in the Emerald City, will never be forgotten. If you were there, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Somewhere in my archives which I plan to inventory when I retire (Ha! that’s funny!) are photos of KLSY’s involvement at those playoff games. We rented a flatbed truck and set up in the parking lot of that brewery across from the stadium. However, at the time, it was just a parking lot. And we hired “Rick the Peanut Guy” to stand on the truck and toss peanuts to the Mariners fans on the way to the game.
While 2022 continued to look promising all season long, we didn’t make it to our first Mariners game of the season until this past Sunday. Since I’m a big believer in sharing experiences for your benefit, I thought I’d pass along a few tips if you’re planning to head to any of the post-season games.
This is obvious and a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how you get caught up in the excitement of actually going to the game and your dumb-brain takes over. This past Sunday wasn’t even a playoff game, but we knew it was going to be a pretty full game. Yet, somehow it seemed like a good idea to leave 90-minutes before game time. This could easily be the plot of “Dumb and Dumber 3” if they ever make it. By the time we got there, everything in the stadium lots was taken unless you had reserved a parking spot. So, we went wide and re-entered the stadium district, grabbing the first $60 space we could find which, after fees and taxes, shot up to $75.
Yes, our parking cost more than our game tickets.
TAKE THE TRAIN
Sound Transit spent billions of dollars to build a train that runs not far from our house to an easy walk to the stadium. We didn’t take it because “we didn’t want to do a lot of walking.” The $75 parking lot was as far south of the stadium as the train would have dropped us off on the north side. And, had we taken the sensible mass transit, it would have cost us $2 each. That could have allowed us to spend the remaining $71 on food and beverages.
Friends from the east side came across the bridge and then parked in a neighborhood by one of the train’s stops. It made for an easy in and out and I swear, if I ever try to drive down there again and pay for parking, I’m getting a tattoo on my right forearm that says, “Take the train, Dummy!”
OR JUST STAY HOME
I realize that we have it in our heads how cool it would be to actually be there, to say we were there. But if you add up the cost of the parking, tickets, food and drink, this afternoon at the ballpark cost us over $250. I’m pretty sure I could hire a cook to come in, whip up some steak and lobster as I sit in my living room, watching my 70-inch TV with the sound up for less than that. At one point, my wife decided to wander up and buy a pre-made Margarita. I didn’t see her for three innings. Thankfully, she didn’t miss much. By the time she had gotten back, the Mariners were down 7-0 and I needed a drink. We left after a listless 7th inning and missed the Mariners coming back with three runs. The final score was an ugly 10-3 loss to the 47 games behind first place Oakland A’s.
ENJOY THE RIDE
As baseball fans in Seattle know all too well, playoff baseball doesn’t come along very often, so make sure you grab this adventure while you can. Baseball is such a tiered sport, that once you get into it, there are so many intricacies and nuances to watch for. I was blessed to grow up up in a baseball home, with a Los Angeles Dodgers team full of players to admire and enjoy for as long as I remember. In recent years, I’ve gotten back to following them and now, there’s the slightest of chances that they could actually face each other in the World Series. That network nightmare would be a dream come true for me, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
The playoffs start on Friday. This just possibly could be the year, which is always true in baseball, every year. This is really happening, so get on board.
How fun! Yeah, it’s been a while.