The Seattle Mariners are an American professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington. The team plays their home games from T-Mobile Park Stadium as a member of the American League West division of Major League Baseball. The team initially joined the league as an expansion team in 1977 where they played in their old stadium, the Kingdome.
The Mariners name originates from the culture of Seattle city life, which has a very heavy marine theme. The team are also nicknamed the “M’s” as the letter features primarily in their logo from 1987 to 1992. The team used to wear royal blue and gold, but recently changed their colors to navy blue, teal, and silver. The team mascot is the Mariner Moose.
The team struggled early on in its career as it failed to field a winning team until 1991. But the team found their place in football in 1995 when tehy won their first division champion and defeated the New York Yankees in the ALDS. The game-winning hit in Game 5, was when Edgar Martinez drove home Ken Griffey Jr. to win the game in the 11th inning, which clinched the Mariners series win. This moment was a powerful one that led to baseball being kept in inspiring the building of their new stadium.
The Mariners currently have one of the longest active playoff-droughts in the MLB, but fans still come out during every home game to cheer on their local team.
About T-Mobile Park Stadium
T-Mobile Park Stadium is a baseball park in Seattle, Washington that is famous for its retractable roof. The stadium has a current max capacity of 47,929 spectators for baseball events and can be found in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood near the western terminus of I-90. The first game played in the stadium was on July 15, 1999.
The stadium was conceived of when the Mariners’ ownership group threatened to relocate the team from Seattle unless a more modern ballpark was built for them. This was due to the age and declining suitability of the Kingdome, the Mariners’ original stadium.
King County voters initially defeated a ballot measure to secure funding until the Mariners made their first appearance in the MLB postseason as well as their victory in the 1995 American League Division Series. WIth renewed interest, the Washington State legislature approved an alternate means of funding for the stadium with public money.
The site of the new stadium was selected in September 1996 and construction began in March 1997.
Like most ballparks built in the last 20 years, T-Mobile Park is considered a “retro-modern” tyle ballpark. It uses features that were more common in ballparks built before the 1950s with modern amenities that baseball fans have come to expect. Fans can see this when they look at elements of the design, including the brick facade and asymmetrical field dimensions allowing for better baseball sightlines.
But here are some of the features that fans should check out when they can.
T-Mobile Park has several food and beverage selection choices above and beyond the typical ballpark choices of hot dogs, pizza, soda, and beer. It also incorporates technology as it can, for instance the brief period when you could order food using a Nintendo DS with the Nintendo Fan Network app.
The famous T-Mobile Park retractable roof is designed to act as an umbrella for the playing field, especially during bad weather. When it is full rolled out, the stadium becomes a climate controlled enclosure. While Seattle’s weather means the park rarely needs to be cooled or warmed, frequent rains can require the roof to be rolled out.
But the most interesting facets of the roof are the rules concerning it during baseball games.
- Batted Ball strikes the roof or
When a ball strikes the roof or trusses, it is judged fair or foul depending on where it lands. However, any ball striking the roof in foul territory will be a foul ball regardless of where it lands.
- Movement of the roof:
If a game starts with the roof open, the roof may be closed during the game if weather conditions require it at the discretion of the home team. Play may continue during closure, unless the umpires decide that it’s necessary to pause play.
On the other hand, if the game starts with the roof closed, it may be opened during the game, but only between innings. And this can only happen after notification from the umpire crew chief. The visiting team may challenge the decision to open the roof, but the decision is made by the crew chief.
One of the more popular attractions in the ballpark is the public art display featured along the exterior of the park and its adjoining parking garage. Some of the more famous displays include:
- “The Tempset” – A chandelier made of 1,000 resin baseball bats above the home plate entry. A companion 27-ft diameter compass rose mosaic at the home plate rotunda captures elements in the history of baseball.
- “Quilts” – Depicting each MLB team logo, made from recycled metal including license plates from the teams states.
- Stainless steel cutouts of players in various poses, such as catching, batting, fielding, and pitching. These cutouts are integrated into the fences at the stadium’s four main gates.
- Six Pitches – A series of metal sculptures that depict hands, gripping baseballs, for various types of pitches. These sculptures can be found along the west facade of the garage.
Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus (1935-2010) was unveiled on September 16, 2011. The statue depicts Niehaus as he was honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame with the Ford C. Frick Award in 2008.
In April 2017, a statue of Ken Griffey Jr was unveiled outside the Home Plate Entrance. After the 2017 season, the bat was broken off in an attempted theft, but a bystander from the office across the street ran down the thief and recovered the bat which was later reattached.