Trooper and The Gang are off on a 10 day vacation, so we’ll take a break from our normal jackassery and share the adventure with all you wonderful bloggy readers. This posting is being made from the hotel next to the Happiest Place on Earth, our base of operations for the next 10 days.
At Glass Works, a young artisan gave us an impromptu lesson in glass blowing, all the while he was fashioning a decorative shot glass that I’ll be picking up on my way back through. I’m sure martinis will taste better with a measuring device I saw in production.
Donairs from a street side vendor, a quick purchase of some discount Mariner’s gear and we were off to Safeco Field for the 7:10 first pitch. And what a game! The third game of a three game stand against the hot Yankees and the Mariners were trying to prevent the sweep. A low scoring defensive game provided highlight plays every inning from both teams: double plays, stolen bases, doubles and triples robbed by diving fielders and runners gunned out at home from deep in left field.
We had chosen our seats along the first base line so we could see Ichiro’s heroics up close (as it appeared did nearly every person of Japanese heritage). While he didn’t see much action, we were treated to one vintage Ichiro leaping catch at the wall as he robbed the Yankees of a sure run to keep the game tied at 1 run apiece.
The kids danced for the cameras between innings, enticing the jumbo-tron camera guy to hang out in our section for much of the game. The popcorn was hot and the lemonade was cool and refreshing. And the game wore on: 9 innings, 10 innings, 11 innings. The bullpens for both teams were rapidly depleting as both teams kept putting the winning run aboard, only to strand him when the next batter went down swinging at air.
In the bottom of 12, and long, long past the kids’ bed time, the Mariners' shortstop Luis Rodriguez came to the plate. Being the baseball genius that I am, I informed Mrs. Trooper that a batter hitting a dismal .186 with a measly single home run all season was a guarantee we were going to a 13th inning. No sooner were these wise words out of my mouth when Gonzales unloaded on a slider hung over the edge of the plate and sent a bomb deep over the wall in right field. Game over! Mariners win! And three Canadian kids became instant fans of America’s Pastime.