Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Opening Day Mariners

Yesterday, a nice Spring day... the last day of March, I went to the Mariner’s opener against the Texas Rangers which felt like the first day of Winter it was so cold.

My father Stan Naccarato “Mr. Tacoma Baseball” and his wife Jeanne, had a couple of extra tickets that Frank Wright couldn't use (Thanks Frank!) so they invited me and my brother Steven to go along. We had fantastic seats in the Commissioner’s box in the second row next to first base just four seats from the Mariner’s dugout.


After settling in and bundling up and borrowing the extra pair of gloves from Dad, we set out to find something to eat. Should it be something good-- along the lines of stir-fry or sushi I wondered...or maybe Ivar’s fish-n-chips (their French fries look seriously good)....What about some garlic fries my brother suggested? No way--I said-- I hate those! I barely can stand the smell from 40 paces away!

No…I think for tradition’s sake I needed to have a huge hot dog with mustard and relish [$6], and a draft beer [$6]. Steve did the same. Dad went for a bowl of Ivar’s chowder (looked a little pasty to me, but Dad said it was dee-lish ). Jeanne went for a Salmon Caesar.

So with pageantry unfolding all around, fireworks and dignitaries, a young child cancer survivor ran the bases making us all tear up, to the introduction of this year’s line up, the golden glove presentation to Ichiro, and a beautiful opera singer’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and so on, it was an exciting and emotional opening day. Like it should be.

The game? Not so much.

Our new Pitcher Eric Bedard got way into his count in the first half of the inning by like 30 pitches…the Umpire’s strike zone seemed to be like the size of a soft ball… by the 4th inning, almost 2 hours had passed, and with a cold North wind blowing some snow (!) onto the field, it seemed like the game was going to last forever. Dad wanted to leave, but I reminded him we could either get in the freeway rush hour mess and crawl to Tacoma or sit in our seats at Safeco and watch the game. Besides my butt felt frozen to the seat and I was unsure I could even get up.

The girls next to me bought some peanuts ...hmmm maybe some hot roasted peanuts would help chase away the chill. I got up and found the Peanut Roasting stand by Aisle 126 and shelled out $3.75 (sorry bad pun) for a cup of warm salted peanuts in the shell. Back at my seat I braved taking off my gloves and poured some of the warm peanuts into my frozen fingers. Steve and Dad grabbed some also...we all gave each other " the look". These peanuts tasted rancid and old. Yuck. You need to take these back, said Dad. They're horrible we all agreed. Well, stop eating them I said to Steve, or they won't give me my money back! I contemplated not returning them anyway and instead dumping them into my pockets as a way to stay warm. But at the next inning change I walked over to aisle 126 and approached the woman who sold them to me and told her they were rancid, and wanted my money back.

"Really? she said. They must be from last year!" And then she gave me back my money. The guy standing next to me-- that had just bought his cup of roasted peanuts-- didn't look too pleased about the overheard conversation but I didn't stick around to see what happened, as the crowd was screaming, and I wanted to see what I was missing.

In the 6th inning everything turned around and we went ahead, and with the lead firmly in place we decided to leave after the 7th inning stretch. Mariners eventually winning 5-2.

Go Mariners!!
Thanks Dad & Jeanne for the great time and for hanging in there!

No comments: