Last night was a fun time at T-Mobile Park! I had not been to the ballpark since last October and it was exciting to return to watch the Mariners kick off the season against the Cleveland Guardians.
First things first. The prices of parking along 1st Avenue shocked me. The lowest price I saw was $40.00 plus a hefty walk. The offer closest to the park was $90.00. We ended up parking for free on 4th Avenue, a first, and walking. We have a superior plan for our next visit.
In line to enter T-Mobile Park, we met a man and his son who flew in from Nebraska just for Opening Night and were flying home the next day. The son is a baseball player, and both were wearing caps for his team. Since we entered just after the gates opened, the crowds were lighter. We had terrace seats beyond 3rd base so had a great view of the field and the rest of the stadium.
In terms of attendance, I would say that the 100-level was full all the way around as was the 200-level. As far as I could see, so were the suites. The 300-level had space left but not as much as I remember other times. The bleachers were well populated as well. The crowd was nice and loud.
Opening Day festivities opened by an introduction of the Cleveland Guardian team. No boos but claps only for Mike Zunino. They then introduced Mariners’ staff and coaches. The roar began when the players came out on a pink carpet (nod to T-Mobile?) and ran across the field. The sound was especially loud for Julio, Ty France, J.P. Crawford, Geno Suarez, and L. Castillo, although every player received plenty of love.
Seeing Seattle greats Gary Payton (Sonics), Jewel Lloyd (Storm), Kacy Keller (Sounders), Ken Griffey, Jr. (Mariners), and Marshawn Lynch (Seahawks) for the first pitch(es) was fun. There was also Coleman, a six-year-old boy in remission from cancer, who had visited the team during Spring Training and ran the bases.
The game was tied at zero for much of the game. Luis Castillo and the Cleveland pitchers were strong. Cleveland’s Karinchak, who lost the battle with the pitch clock, started getting help from the spectators who not-so-kindly started counting it down as they do at basketball games when the shot clock is under ten. Matt Brash took Ramirez off his feet with one of his pitches.
Ty France was the night's hero with his three-run homerun in the 8th inning!
Kudos to the people who contributed to the photo and video graphics on the large screen. I especially liked the fire imagery for the Bomberos and the way that each player’s outline was filled with their photos. Very nicely done!!
If you are in the area, you want to see this team play in person!! It is still hard to believe that the Mariners are back in action. The offseason seemed long, but that's now all in the past as the season s underway.