Seattle Mariners 2015 FanFest (Photo Gallery And Thoughts)

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This looks familiar. The namesake media campaign. – Photo credit: Dan Hughes

The 2015 Seattle Mariners FanFest was this past weekend. For those of you that weren’t able to attend, you missed out on a chance to interact with some Mariners players past, present and future. You also dodged a large bullet in the form of standing in lines forever!

Lines to get into the event, lines to get an autograph, lines to ride the zipline, lines to take your swings in the home run challenge, lines, lines everywhere.

“It feels like Disneyland,” one passer by told me as I was, you guessed it, standing in line. “I can’t believe the crowd. They should be able to do something about this.”

Photo Credit- Dan Hughes

My son and I drove up from Salem, Oregon and got in the first line outside at about 9:30 am. With the gates opening at 11 am, we liked our position. But upon messaging a friend who was mere feet from the door, he informed me that there were at least 100 people in front of him and he got there at 8:30 am.

Getting an autograph came down to luck. Could you be one of the first 225 people through the doors to get Nelson Cruz‘s voucher, guaranteeing you an autograph.

The answer for us would be no. But that’s due in part to the fact that the “line” outside became a free-for-all as soon as the doors opened. People pushed their way through the pack, to one of the security points and into the stadium far ahead of many that were in front of them the entire morning.

My suggestion? Treat it like Black Friday at Best Buy. A half hour before the gates open, have the vouchers handed out in line. Then, when the gates open, people can relax without trying to trample people to get an autograph.

In the end, my son and I met and got autographs from Austin Jackson, who was extremely friendly and talkative as I had heard.

After getting our autograph, we went down to the concourse, grabbed something to eat and went to the line for the home run challenge.

We were in line there for 1 hour and 37 minutes before we took our three swings a piece. My son didn’t hit any over the wall, but he looked damn good doing it.

Some of the Mariners future stars were on the field giving positive feedback and encouraging the kids on the field. Patrick Kivlehan spent some time chatting with my son.

And I will boast, I got a “Wow” out of him when I launched the first one onto the concourse.