Sports

Ishikawa wasn't the only one who had a memorable day in Seattle

Travis Ishikawa wasn’t the only big leaguer at Safeco Field over the weekend.

I, too, felt like I was in “The Show” on Saturday afternoon when the Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants got together for an interleague contest.

No, I didn’t make contact with a 90-mph fastball or field any groundballs. But I did get to walk on Safeco Field’s ultra-green grass, sit in the plush press box and eat until I couldn’t eat anymore.

I also got a head nod from Barry Bonds and saw the inside of a Major League locker room after a game.

It might have been my best day as a reporter. I can’t even imagine how Ishikawa feels getting to live the life of a Major Leaguer day in and day out. What could be better?

Let’s just get this out in the open, right quick.

As the sports editor of the Federal Way Mirror, I’m used to pulling up to the baseball fields at Decatur, TJ, Federal Way and Todd Beamer high schools in my Nissan Maxima and attempting to find a parking spot where I won’t get dinged by a foul ball off an aluminum bat.

I usually sit in the normally unpacked bleachers with a spattering of students and parents, and can hear conversations from inside both dugouts. Don’t get me wrong, high school sports are great. I couldn’t be doing what I’m doing for a living if I didn’t love the aura surrounding prep athletics.

But the memory of covering the Major Leagues for just one day is going to be tough to get out of my head, especially next March when I’m sitting in the wind and the rain at Federal Way High School’s baseball field.

I had the best seat in the house Saturday. Seats directly behind home plate that Microsoft businessmen pay hundreds of dollars to sit in.

And I didn’t have to pull my wallet out of my pocket, including an all-you-can-eat and drink buffet.

But that just goes with the territory when you are a member of the press corps at Safeco Field. So thank you, Travis Ishikawa, for getting called up by the San Francisco Giants last week.

The day started with picking up my press pass at the will-call window off of Edgar Martinez Way. I felt kind of dumb when I had to ask the lady what to do next. But she told me where the media entrance was and explained what my pass gave me access to. It ended up being pretty much everything.

During batting practice, I was allowed to walk around the field and talk to whoever I felt it was necessary to talk to, except for Bonds — who was off-limits to reporters. Not a big surprise there.

But I was there for one reason only — to chronicle Ishikawa’s first Major League start against his hometown Mariners at Safeco Field.

“This is one of those things that I will remember for the rest of my life,” Ishikawa said. “It was pretty cool.”

It was also pretty cool for me, especially the all-you-can-eat part. To be honest, I left the press box after an 8-1 Seattle win Saturday feeling a little bloated.

I finally realized why most of the reporters who cover Major League baseball, the NBA and NFL on a regular basis are tipping the upper end of the scale. The food you get in the press box is amazing.

They actually have a cafeteria just for the people in the press box with all the food you can think of and, needless to say, I took full advantage of the situation, especially after asking the lady working the counter where I paid for the stuff.

She laughed and told me, “It’s all free.”

So I started out the game with a turkey sandwich, a bag of potato chips and a Coke.

But that was far from the end. I sucked those down before Gil Meche’s first pitch. Then I just thought I should take it easy, so I went back and grabbed a bucket of popcorn and a cup of Seattle’s Best Coffee.

But that was just the beginning of my Kobyashi, competitive-eating-esque performance inside the Safeco Field press box Saturday afternoon.

Following my second hot dog, I started to feel a little self-conscious, like everybody in the press box and cafeteria were whispering under their breath about the glutton nobody had ever seen before.

But I got over that following the first bite of the oatmeal-raisin cookie in the sixth inning.

My personal buffet finally ended in the top of the ninth with another refill on my Coke, and that was only because I was “forced” to head down to the Giants’ locker room to talk with Ishikawa.

I hate it when work conflicts with free food.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jul 18 edition online now. Browse the archives.