"Come to Seattle!"
-All of Seattle to Ohtani
If any of you have read my SEAside Thoughts over the past two plus years, you know that I've been a religious fan for as long as I can remember, dating back to 2000. There've been far too many lows and far too few highs in my time watching the Mariners, but last night, and this week? This was as special of a week as any non playoff moment that I can remember. Let's start forward and work back.
An All-Star game fit for Seattle
Like the previous time the Mid-Summer Classic made it to Seattle in 2001, this game was defined by beautiful weather (unless you were a right fielder), defense, and pitching. From the first batter to the final pitch, the best baseball players in the world showed a packed TMobile Park what greatness on the field and mound looks like. A 2-1 AL victory seemed inevitable before a stunning 2-run home run by MVP Elias Díaz off of King Fel… I mean Félix Bautista to give the NL a 3-2 lead and their first win in 9 All-Star games.
Luis Castillo ended up not pitching, but both George Kirby and Julio Rodriguez well represented the Seattle Mariners. Julio drew an important walk in the 9th inning to keep the AL hopes alive, before Phillies Craig Kimbrel struck out Guardians Jose Ramirez to seal the deal. The Julio at bat was special as around 50 thousand fans were screaming, "JULIO, JULIO, JULIO".
It was a chilling and special moment, it shows the type of player the Mariners have, one universally loved by all baseball fans. It also showed the types of fans Seattle has, as another moment early in the game caught the attention of the baseball world.