Red Sox vs Mariners – May 15, 2009

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I already had tickets for the Saturday & Sunday game this weekend, but when I realized that the guys from “30 Ballparks in 30 Days” would be in town, I got to talking with Craig and decided to meet them all at the Pyramid Ale House before the game tonight.  I got there early, way too early as it turned out, so I hung out waiting for everyone to show up and had a few beers in the process.  Around 5pm the place really started filling up in a hurry.  I had a great time trying the different Pyramid beers, like “Thunderhead IPA” and “Curveball”.

While waiting for the guys I got the chance to talk with some other fans, both Mariners and Red Sox.  We talked baseball, our teams and how great the weather was.  Some people I met came from several hours away to be at these games, as Safeco Field is their “home park” cause it’s the closest to where they live, be that in British Columbia or Montana.  I can certainly say that Red Sox Nation is a live and well in Western Washington.

Craig had texted me to let me know that everyone was stuck in traffic and would be a bit late.  He finally showed up around 6:45pm and introduced himself and his friend, Austin.   Craig is the founder of one of my current favorite web sites, Ball Park Chasers, and it was great to finally get to meet him.  We weren’t sure if the other guys had got here yet, though I told him I thought they were there cause I think I had seen Travis walk in and out a couple times, but I wasnt sure and didn’t want to ask him, just in case I was wrong… as it turned out I was right!

Craig called Travis and before you know it Joey and Pedro, plus a friend of theirs, Tim, joined us and we had a great time standing around sharing stories about not only baseball, the ball parks, but life on the road as well.  Safeco Field was day # 28 and ball park # 29 for them, so they had a lot of great stories.  Was fun asking which park really stuck out in their minds as the best overall experience for them, “The Ball Park in Arlington”, and which one was kinda disappointing (of course leaving the Metrodome and Tropicana off the list to begin with), “U.S. Cellular Field”.   Travis shared his story about going to the “Field Of Dreams” in Dyersville, IA and how while he knew he would be in for something special, it was just so much more magical than he was ready for.  I agreed and told him to me, it was like going to Disneyland… the happiest place on Earth.  Everyone got along great, everyone was so happy and had a great time.  I got to spend some time talking with Joey about life on the road, non baseball related things.  He is a great guy, heck they are all 3 great guys!

We talked right into the start of the game, no biggie, but at one point we heard the crowd go nuts and Joey said, “The Mariners must have done something big.”  I told him that when the Red Sox are in town Safeco becomes “Fenway West” and you can’t really tell who has done something  just by the sounds of the crowd.  2 years ago a friend of mine came to a game and when a Red Sox player was struck out, the crowd moaned so loudly he asked me, “Are we in Seattle or Boston!?”

I wish we had more time to talk about things, but after about an hour and 1/2 it was time to get to the game.  As we headed across the street Travis took a few moments and interviewed Craig for the documentary that they are making of their trip.  I stood there talking baseball with Joey, having a great discussion about Jamie Moyer, who pitches for his hometown Phillies.  When Craig and Travis (with Pedro running the camera) were done,  Travis asked if he could interview me.  I said sure and felt like an idiot answering the questions he asked me.  I hope I didn’t look too much like a goober!!

This is where we parted, cause I had to go get my tickets at will call, but I can say that I was so glad I got the chance to meet them cause they are all so humble and such great guys.  Real fans of not only baseball, but life in general.  They told me to look them up when I get to Philly in June, so I am looking forward to that…

When I finally got into the game, I was shocked to see it was already in the 4th inning and 4-0 Red Sox!  I had seats in the center field bleachers, but decided to find me a spot to stand around behind home plate and watch the game from there.  Having been on my feet for several hours, I knew I wouldn’t last long, so I made the most of it taking as many pictures as I could.   I was hurting so badly that I decided I would leave at the bottom of the 5th inning.  I realized that Ichiro would be leading off the Mariner’s half of the inning, so I decided to stay and see that before I left.  Good thing I did cause he took a 2-0 pitch from Lester and deposited it in the right field stands, it was a SHOT, making it 4-1 Red Sox.

I lasted another inning before I just had to go.  If I wasn’t hurting so badly, and knowing that I would be back for the next 2 games and this one was just a bonus, I would have stayed, but I didn’t.  I got to my car, flipped on the game and headed south bound.  What did I miss?  I missed Ichiro going deep again!  I also missed the Mariners making a great comeback and winning 5-4!!  That’s what I get for leaving early I guess, huh?

On my way home, just by the exit for Ponders Corner, I was cruising along in lane # 3 of 4 (the lane next to the inside fast lane) and some dude in a small silver sports car swerved my way and without looking around me all I could think was to swerve and avoid him, so I did!!!  I have no idea how he didn’t hit me!  I am also so lucky that there was nobody in the lanes next to me cause it would have got ugly. God was watching out for me, I KNOW that!!

Random Thoughts:
After leaving 12 men on base in Thursdays game in Anaheim, David Ortiz was BENCHED for this series.
Ken Griffey, JR didn’t play tonight cause he don’t bat vs lefties, like Lester.
Kevin Youkilis was hurt and on the 15 day DL.
Judd Hirsch, from “Taxi” and “Independence Day”, was at the game with his wife.

Team123456789RHE
Red Sox (21-15)112000000480
Mariners (17-19)00001400X5112
W: Jakubauskas, SEA (2-4) L: Lester, BOS (2-4) S: Aardsma, SEA (4)

Boxscore

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