A Final Start Fit for a King

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SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 26: Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners acknowledges cheering fans.(Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 26: Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners acknowledges cheering fans.(Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images) /
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Heroes are remembered, legends never die. Félix Hernández will go down as a Seattle Mariners legend after he stepped down from his throne last night. I will take you through my experience from the King’s Court during Felix’s farewell.

I got to the stadium a couple of hours early to scope out the pregame festivities and it was extremely busy. Mariner fans were sporting their yellow Félix T-Shirts, K cards, and rally towels.

A thunderous roar let out from the stadium when Félix walked out to the bullpen. It was from this point on, I could tell that tonight was going to be special.

I went down to the pen to watch Félix warm up but it was tough getting a glimpse since the bullpen had been packed for hours. A loud “Let’s go Félix” chant erupted while he warmed up in his final start.

As he finished warm-ups and strolled out to the mound, the iconic “The Man” by Aloe Blacc played through the speaker. You could feel a buzz in the atmosphere even before the first pitch.

This wasn’t just a normal Thursday night in baseball. This was something to remember. Félix struggled a little bit in the first inning but that didn’t stop his court from backing his every move.

Each and every strike was applauded by fans. Each and every ball was met with an eruption of boos. When the second inning came around, Félix recorded his first strikeout.

He turned and pointed to the King’s Court, in appreciation of their support. I’ve never heard the court this loud.

After five hard-fought innings, Manger Scott Servais let him come out and pitch one final out. A lazy fly ball to center allowed the King to hang up his crown in an emotional exit.

Everyone around me was crying. It just showed how much he means to this team and to his city. He hugged every infielder and made multiple gestures to his fans before exiting.

The King’s Court chanted “Thank You Félix” while the King soaked up his last moments on the field. After the game, Félix came over to the King’s Court and took it all in. He signed autographs, took pictures, and thanked his loyal fans.

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Thank you, Félix Hernández, for 15 years of brilliance.

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