Every last weekend in January my family and I converge on Seattle on Friday night for Mariners FanFest weekend. My wife and I started going before we had any kids and we haven’t missed one since our 1st one in 2004.
I knew this year was going to be a little crazier than past years because Robinson Cano was going to be there. Normally I would show up at Safeco Field around 8:00 on Saturday to get in line but I knew that would not be early enough this year. I woke up early due to a crying baby so instead of waiting around at the hotel I got ready, headed to the stadium and got there at 6:15 were I was about 10th in line. I overheard the people at the front of saying they showed up at about 3:30. The only way I show up that early is if Ken Griffey Jr. ever comes to Fan Fest and I would probably set up a tent Friday night and just sleep there.
They didn’t have as many players there as the past 2 years but with Cano being there I really didn’t care. I heard that his 450 vouchers were gone in the 1st 5 minutes after they opened the gates. Besides getting Cano’s autograph which was priority #1 we also got the other new Mariners, Logan Morrison and Corey Hart as well as some fan favorites Brad Miller, Michael Saunders, James Paxton and top prospects Stephen Romero Carson Smith.
Here’s a fun little fact about Miller’s autograph. I had gotten his auto at a Mariners game last summer and noticed instead of putting his number under his name like what a lot of players do. He had what looked like an AG. So when we saw him at Fan Fest I noticed it again and asked him about it. He said it’s his grandpa’s initials which I have never seen a player do before. He is easily one of the nicest players that I have talked to before.
This year I got to go do the Home Run Challenge with Gracie. I had not done it in a couple years and it was Gracie’s first time. She hit the warning track once and I put 1 ball over the fence. I know it’s just from the outfield but it’s still cool to watch a ball fly over a MLB fence that you hit.
I went to the Mariners Photo Zone twice this year. First time just Avery and I went there was no line. We saw James Paxton and we were in and out in 5 minutes. The second time I went it was with the whole family and there was a long line. You never know which player you are going to see because they switch every 20 minutes or so. I didn’t mind waiting it line because you get to go through the Press Box. I took a really cool picture of a foul ball that came into the Press Box and left a dent in the wall. When we finally got in the front of the line we lucked out and Taijuan Walker was the player we got our picture with. He was really cool and I gave him a “Go Lakers”. He’s a huge Lakers fan which makes me like him even more.
For the 2nd year in a row the Mariners broke attendance records for their Fan Fest, 21,019 broke last year’s record of 17,952. 10,903 on Saturday and 10,116 on Sunday.
34 total autographs
25 on cards
4 on 8×10 photos
3 on tickets
1 on 2009 World Series Ball
1 on Mariners All-Star Plate (Fingers crossed Cano is an All-Star with the M’s)