Lone Star M’s Fan: My Mariners Journey


Well it’s finally the day, and quite the joyful day for me. I’m a displaced Mariners fan who wishes he spent his Summer nights in Safeco field (I still have never been, and I’m quite disappointed) rather than at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. I currently reside in the heart of Texas, but for the next two days that’s A okay as I’ll get to watch my Mariners step in between the white lines and take the field. I’ve made the five hour journey from Dallas, Texas to Houston, Texas, where I’ll see the Seattle Mariners battle the AL West leading Houston Astros.

So I guess for this to make the most sense, I need to start from the beginning. How on earth am I a Mariners’ fan, when I’m from Dallas, Texas and have absolutely no ties to Seattle whatsoever? Well, when I was a young kid, I fell in love with the game of Soccer and was given the number one (I was the smallest on the team, number one is the smallest size shirt, all you other small kids know how this works). Then, I chose number five on my youth baseball team when one was already taken by someone else on the team. Then on my next baseball team, my childhood worst nightmare occurred when both 5 and 1 were taken by others on the team. So, I did what any innocent, young, and uncreative mind would do, and combined the two to make the number 51.

Nothing came of it until 2007, when I was sitting in a New York hotel room watching the MLB All-Star game. On the screen appeared Ichiro Suzuki, number 51, and a speedster who hit for contact. As a small speedster at age 10, I instantly liked this player as he is exactly how I viewed myself as a baseball player. Then, what happened next will forever hold a special place in my sports loving heart. Ichiro turns on a pitch and hits the ball to deep right center at AT&T Park. I can still see it hitting the wall and ricocheting away from the outfielders, allowing Ichiro to glide around the bases and make history in doing so with his inside the park home run. I started hopping and dancing around the hotel room like a fool, a dance that to this day my family still calls the “Ichiro dance”. And on that night, I became a Mariners fan, for better, and since that day, often for worse.

Even though Ichiro has come and gone, my Mariners’ fandom sure hasn’t. I’ve spent countless nights staying up late from those West coast home games, watching ESPN’s “Gametracker” religiously as I don’t get the games. I’ve experienced heckling from Rangers fans, especially during their playoff run in 2010, and I’ve had my heart ripped out multiple times from this organization. Most prominently when I was sitting at a family gathering, and I get a text from five friends saying Ichiro was traded. I thought it was a joke, but it turned out to be true, and I talked to no one the rest of the night. My childhood idol, gone, and of all places to the New York Yankees. I still believe to this day that those pinstripes never looked more out of place than when Ichiro was donning them.

A fun fact about my M’s fandom is this, I went to Globe Life Park in Arlington five times to watch Ichiro and the Mariners’ take on the Texas Rangers, and I’ve experienced the following.

2 Ichiro off days (I mean the man never gets days off, except when I’m in attendance)

A hitless Ichiro all 3 games he had played

5 Texas Rangers wins

1 batting practice home run hit by Ichiro Suzuki. (If you’ve never seen him take BP and you’re a fan of his, it’s a MUST. I swear he saw me in his jersey while he was shagging fly balls, and on his first swing in batting practice he puts one right into my glove.) Needless to say, that ball is safely in a case and tucked away in the security of my bedroom.

That being said, the last time I had the pleasure of watching the Seattle Mariners, it was a day game against the Texas Rangers last season. My two buddies from high school and I skipped a day of school and traded it in for a nice day at the ballpark. Unfortunately for me, the Mariners’ lost that one as well, and I’ve yet to see the M’s get a victory live and in person.

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So, with a different venue and a different opponent, I’m hoping I’ll finally get a different result. I’ve never been to Minute Maid Park, and I’m incredibly excited to be down there this afternoon and tomorrow to watch the M’s. The Mariners need these two games in the worst way, and you better believe that I’ll be true to the blue and cheering them on as loud as I possibly can.

So for all you who get to watch the M’s from beautiful Safeco field, you’re very fortunate and this M’s fan in Texas is jealous. This team can be frustrating, but it’s always a blessing to see nine guys in Mariners’ blue taking the field, and I certainly don’t take it for granted. For the next two days, being a Mariners’ fan in Texas will have it’s perks, and I can’t wait for them to say “play ball” in the Lone Star State!

Go M’s!

Next: Mariners Analysis: What Tonight's Game Means

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