Todd’s Take: I Took My Son To a Mariners Game and We Left With Half the Stadium!
Saturday afternoon, I took my wife and son to the Seattle Mariners game at Safeco Field with tickets that I won from my insurance agent Ginger Brewer-Tyler. To say that the stubs were the only thing we got for free that day would be a MASSIVE understatement!
Since it was a rare Saturday afternoon game, we decided to get there as soon as the gates opened to watch the M's take batting practice and - hopefully - catch a home run or foul ball. Unfortunately, the club decided to not take BP as they had a night game the day before. Luckily though, the first 15,000 fans through the turnstiles that day got a free USS Mariner replica boat! Pretty neat, but not necessarily entirely unique.
Undaunted, my son moseyed down to the Mariners dugout to hopefully persuade a player into signing an autograph or giving him a ball. Within five minutes - voila`! - a signature from M's star third baseman Kyle Seager!
It didn't end there.
Not even close.
After returning to our seats down the left field line approximately 30 minutes prior to the game's first pitch, we were jolted by the sound of a cordless power drill in the section next to us. Of course we were curious as to what was going on as that is not typically a noise one will hear at the ballpark. The sound was coming from a Safeco Field maintenance man who was replacing one of the seats that had broken. After he removed the old chair and replaced it with a new one, I told Drew to ask him if he was going to throw it away and, if so, if we could have it as a unique souvenir. The man told my boy to "keep it on the down-low" and a few seconds later, my son returned to our aisle again - this time with a Safeco Field seat under his arm!
Already a memorable day before the game had even started, our unique experiences were far from over.
During a mid-inning break, the stadium DJ played the Bee Gee's "Stayin' Alive" over the public address system. Out of the 33,000-plus fans in attendance, the in-stadium cameraman, searching for dancing fans to put on the ginormous video screen at Safeco, locked in on - you guessed it! - Drew!
By now, the other folks in our section were laughing hysterically at this 12 year-old's good fortune, but my kid, whom I now believe was born with a horseshoe in his rear-end, had one more thing up his sleeve!
Once again during a mid-inning break, I ran up to the concourse to throw away some trash. Within the 45 seconds I was away, I came to realize, as I was heading back to the 12th row, all of the people cheering in our section. Suddenly, I realized that my kid had a game ball in his hands courtesy of Mets leftfielder and Seattle native Michael Conforto! He spotted Drew in the stands and lobbed him a ball - clearly stamped with the Mariners 40th Anniversary logo!
The game finally came to a close and the Mariners held on to a 3-2 win. As we headed out of the stadium with all of the wares we had collected throughout the day, there was certainly more than one fan that uttered, "They even let you take your SEAT after the game?!?!" or some such.
It was a day at the park - and I've had countless - that we'll never forget.
How could we?
I'm now sitting in a chair in my living room from our day at Safeco Field!