Jan 18, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Aerial view of CenturyLink Field (right) and Safeco Field in advance of the 2013 NFC Conference championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
From 2009-2013 Felix was an All-Star four times– and the only time he wasn’t, in 2010, he won the Cy Young with a 2.27 ERA and a 13-12 record. He has been the Mariners darling, especially since Ichiro was traded to the Yankees.
And in recent years, with his national notoriety peaking on August 15, 2012– when he threw the 23rd perfect game in baseball history– Felix has become the superstar the Mariners have always dreamed of.
It was on May 28th, 2011, that the King’s Court debuted in section 150 of Safeco Field. Crazy fans, donning gold Felix Hernandez shirts, stood and cheered with every two-strike count. “K! K! K! K!”
When Felix buckled the knees of the batter– which over his career has come at an 8.4 per nine innings clip– the Court erupts in his honor.
In Seattle he is King. In Seattle he is loved, adored, treated like royalty. Safeco Field is his palace.
Even now, the Mariners are in the process of deciding the next round of regal Felix apparel.
And Felix loves it in Seattle. He loves the fans, their support. He loves the team around him. If he didn’t he wouldn’t have singed a 7 year/$175 million contract extension, one of the 11 most lucrative contracts in baseball history.
For 11 years he has rewarded Mariners fans with something to cheer about. And the Mariners in turn rewarded him with the money he so well deserves.
Having now spent 8 full seasons in Seattle, with six more years to go, he has a chance to become one of the few lifers in baseball history. And we should all hope he does, because he is the best thing to happen to the Mariners in a very long time.