I’ve often wondered what it be like to experience the Diamond Club at Safeco Field.
We’ve all heard about what you get here. All inclusive food and drink, exclusive club bar and lounge, player cameos and seats that have a distance to the catcher shorter than that of the pitcher to his battery mate.
Oh, and one more detail: A lofty price tag.
Luckily for me, these seats were awarded to me as an incentive from a vendor partner. I don’t know that I can mention them here, but many thanks will be showered upon them come Monday.
Anyway, about the club!
As the ferry horn sounded — the audible denotation of the gates opening — we filed in. Chuckles were induced when I saw a few fans speed walking to get passed reception and into the club first.
“Must be the Viva Las Vargas glasses,” I quipped.
Walking into the club, though, it began to make sense. The food. Whoa, the food. The below shot of the deserts was just one example of the gorgeous display of fare put out for our gorging.
There was so much to eat that I quickly started envisioning myself having nothing but celery and water for the next week as a result of what I was about to partake in.
My first round saw my plate fill with a small clump of both Cesar and chef salads. A dollop of garlic mashed potatoes was flanked by a sliver of chipotle chicken under a blanket of smooth avocado sauce on one side and two smallish pieces of brisket on the other.
Why, yes madam, I will take a chilly Manny’s Pale Ale to wash this feast down!
My second foraging trip brought back Philly cheesesteak makings that were prepared out in the open. I passed on the roll to save room for desert.
I needed a Blue Moon to accompany this plate of goodness.
And what of the aforementioned desert? A quarter piece of cheesecake. A strawberry and banana chunk that we were able to submerge under a chocolate fountain using skewers.
At this point I was pretty stuffed. My strategy to take small bits of items so I could sample as much as possible worked out well.
But I never got to the crab stuffed rolls, the bacon wrapped scallops or the other table where a cook was surely sizzling up some awesomeness. There were tons of items I could have shoveled down my throat but had no room for.
You know what I did get, though? To meet Dave Henderson! He was in town to do color on radio for the series.
While I was half way into my cheesesteak, he appeared. Talking to a table of old ladies, he’d glance over numerous times and could see the look in my eyes.
Now, I’ve not always said kind things about Hendu’s broadcasting skills but the man was a fun ballplayer in his day. Not quite a legend, but a household name. And he was flat out funny as heck to talk to in person.
I feel like I’ve already told a full story. But we haven’t even emerged from the club to our seats yet.
With another round of Blue Moons in hand, we weaved our way through the tables and lounge to the tunnel. Day light and a gorgeous ballpark calling, we emerged to what should have been a familiar sight.
In my many, many trips to Safeco Field, I’d never had a view like this. The voices of personnel on the field rang clear. The view into the dugout was like nothing I’ve had before without use of a long-range lens.
This isn’t a game recap, so I’ll avoid all the inning-by-inning details of this particular tilt and instead talk about the surroundings that continued to make the night amazing.
The usher in our row was a sweetheart. She told me she’d been working there for 13 years. That’s the entire history of the ballyard, of course. She was every bit I to the game without losing focus on providing us tremendous service.
It was something else to see someone who has witnessed so many live games still enjoy the drama unfolding on the grass before us. The other users and members of the wait staff and security seemed to share this same feeling.
Included in that is my favorite Mariners employee, marketing whiz Gregg Greene. He’s always someone I try meeting up with at the park. I truly believe he cares about both the product on the field and the enjoyment of every fan that spins the turnstiles. Tanks for dropping by, Gregg!
And there’s more! I was able to snap lots of photos at close range of our hometown boys in white.
Being so close to the pops of the mitt, the chatter of players and feeling like you’re in the game was something I didn’t want to end.
So, the Mariners rewarded me with a couple extra frames.
It would all have to come to an end eventually of course. In the bottom of the 11th inning, the Mariners offense decided it was time for them — and me — to end this night and go home. A night that couldn’t seem to get any more amazing again blew away my expectations when Chone Figgins of all people drove in the winning run with a walk-off-sacrifice-fly to right.
I’d like to end this post with one final note. One last thing about the night that wasn’t really shocking. Something that I’ve sort of known but the above picture and some very .gifable moments in the wake of the win confirmed: Munenori Kawasaki is one weird dude.
Thank you to the Mariners for a wonderful evening.