Thursday, August 2, 2007
Day 39: SAFECO Field
All photos of Seattle and SAFECO Field available on Flickr.
After the Owlz game in Orem, we drove through the night and arrived in Kennewick at 7 AM. Erik drove until about 3:30, and after a stop for food (a meal we dubbed "din-fest," between dinner and breakfast), I drove as we crossed into the Pacific Time Zone with the sun rising behind me. The combination of energy drink and the constant threat of hitting a deer kept me awake during the drive. We slept until about noon at Erik's aunt's house and hit the road for Seattle around 1pm, arriving at 5. Seattle looks like an awesome city, and I've wanted to go there since I was like 10, so I am really looking forward to exploring it more tomorrow. But for now, it was fundraising and baseball.
After making about $45, we headed into the ballpark. SAFECO Field is now in its 8th season already and it is amazing. Retractable roof, spectacular view to the downtown from the seating bowl and Puget Sound from the concourses, ridiculous food and beer selection, huge team shop, and not to mention a pretty good team. Ichiro Suzuki is, in my opinion, the most exciting player in baseball, and catcher Kenji Johjima is one of my favorite players, so we were in for a good time at the ballpark. As expected - lots of coffee stands, local beer stands, and a large Asian influence both in terms of people and food. There was a neat little vendor called "Intentional Wok" that I just had to stop at for sushi; the pun was worth it in itself, but the sushi ended up being remarkable as well, as it is the park specialty (order the "Ichi-roll"). I didn't hit up any of the coffee places, but I'm sure that we will make that token visit to Starbucks or Seattle's Finest tomorrow.
The game had a lot of action, even from our way-up-there seats. The pitching matchup was definitely the best we've seen so far - Jared Weaver against Felix Hernandez. Despite giving up 4 runs and taking a hand to the throat in a play at first base in the 5th, King Felix last 8 and struck out 7. Behind Ichiro's and Guillen's combined 7 hits, the game looked to be a lock with reliable closer J.J. Putz coming in in the 9th. However, Putz surrendered the lead on a 2-run blast by Gary Matthews Jr. and the game went to extra racks. SS Yuniesky Betancourt drove in the winning run in the 12th with a bases-loaded single, despite Mike Scoscia's crazy defensive alignment which featured the center fielder moving in to the infield.
Tomorrow is our first off day in 11 days, and after sleeping as long as my body will allow, we plan on doing some sightseeing about town before heading to Canada for a second time on Friday.
park stats and rankings:
aesthetics - 6
views from park - 9 (would be a 10 if Qwest Field didn't partially block the view)
view to field - 5
surrounding area - 8 (downtown, Puget Sound)
food variety - 9
nachos - n/a (we had garlic fries instead)
beer - 7 (great variety of local beer, a bit pricy)
vendor price - 7
ticket price - 3 ($18 upper deck was the cheapest)
atmosphere - 5
walk to park - 6
parking price/proximity - 10 (on a street 3 blocks up for a buck)
concourses - 9
team shop - 10 (lots of old school M's stuff and tons of caps)
best food - garlic fries, although sushi is the local delicacy
most unique stadium feature - Mariner Moose Pen, view(s)
best jumbotron feature - Captain Plastic public service announcement for recycling
best between-inning feature - the Rally Jig
field dimensions - 331/405/326
starters - Jared Weaver (LAA) v. Felix Hernandez (SEA)
opponent - Los Angeles Angels
time of game - 3:51
attendance - 34470
score - 8-7 W
Brewers score that day - 8-5 L