If baseball isn’t your bag, no problem.
You can still join your friends at Seattle Mariners games.
There’s a lot more than sports going on at Safeco Field. More than peanuts, popcorn and, the hot new item this year, toasted grasshoppers.
Oodles of art in and around the ballpark is worth perusing, maybe for a seventh-inning stretch six innings earlier than normal.
Art in the park’s installations were part of the game plan when the stadium was constructed downtown in 1999.
“You don’t have to be a great lover of art to appreciate it,” said Rebecca Hale, Mariners spokeswoman.
The works by Northwest artists have baseball themes, but with different takes on the sport and art.
One example is the massive baseball bat chandelier in the rotunda of the homeplate gate entrance.
“The bat sculpture has 1,000 regulation-sized bats made out of a translucent resin material, connected together in a whirly structure with lights that wink on and off all around,” Hale said. “People just go, ‘Whoa’ when they look up at it.”
Look up, look down. At the nearby landing is a 27-foot diameter terrazzo compass rose, the icon of sea navigation and keystone of the Mariners logo.
On the main concourse, stand in awe at the 24-foot porcelain mural with colorful faces of the crowd. Admire the quilt made with pieces of discarded pop cans and other metal containers creating logos of 30 Major League Baseball teams. Snap a selfie by a sculpture of sportscaster legend Dave Niehaus, perched behind a microphone with his Mariners scorebook in front of him. Make a wish by the Children’s Hospital Wishing Well, where the fountain is activated each time a Mariners player hits a homerun.
After a few innings of art, grab a bite and a brew at the venue of your craving. There’s craft and draft beer, hot dogs and cold sushi. Burn off the calories with a few laps around the concourse. Do a little shopping — or a lot. One shop has 10,000 baseball caps of not only the beloved Mariners but also other Major League teams.
For kids, there’s a mini-ball diamond to run around and a playground.
There are special game nights for knitters, ladies, dancers and dogs. In addition to bobblehead giveaways, fans can get hats, fidget spinners and bags of potting soil.
Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @reporterbrown.
Positions of the Field
Location: Upper Concourse Third Base Line
Issaquah artist Tina Hoggatt created a series of porcelain enamel on steel panels, each portraying a figure from the history of baseball representing the nine positions of the field. These include players from the Negro Leagues, All-American Girls Baseball League and Japanese Professional Leagues in addition to Major League Baseball.
The Defining Moment
Left Field Gate
Seattle artist Thom Ross captures one of the most exciting and “defining” moments in Mariners history — the moment the Mariners beat the New York Yankees in the 1995 American League Division Series. Edgar Martinez line d a double into left field scoring Ken Griffey Jr. and advancing the Mariners to the American League Championship Series for the first time.
Main Concourse Right Field Gate
Seattle artist Ross Palmer Beecher created three large “quilts” made from pieces of found metal stitched together with red wire similar to the stitching on a baseball. The logos are “sewn” onto license plates of the states and Canadian provinces. One quilt references the history of baseball in the Pacific Northwest, from the Seattle Rainiers and Spokane Indians to the early days of the Mariners.
West facade of the Safeco parking garage
Fall City artist Donald Fels created a series of metal relief sculptures of hands gripping baseballs for six basic pitches. Made of laser-cut, etched, powder-coated steel and aluminum, the pitches are mounted on every fourth column of the garage’s exterior.
Left Field Gate
Seattle artist Gerry Tsutakawa’s bronze sculpture of a catcher’s mitt or old-fashioned baseball glove is an icon of Safeco Field and a place for fans to meet before or after the game. Near the center of the glove an aperture appears as an abstract symbol representing a ball nestled in the leather, or a hole where a fastball burned through.
Home Plate Gate, Main Concourse
Artists Linda Beaumont, Stuart Keeler and Michael Machnic created a dramatic sculpture that’s a chandelier of 1,000 translucent bats molded of resin and mounted on brushed aluminum spiraling forms. Lit with flickering incandescent lights, the piece conveys the power and movement of the swing of the bat.
Children’s Hospital Wishing Well
Center Field Main Concourse
The Children’s Hospital Wishing Well, designed by Dillon Works of Mukilteo and the Seattle Mariners, features a young child with a baseball bat preparing to swing for the fences.
Collect ’Ems (Out of Left Field) and Ephemeral
Center Field Gate
Seattle artist Helen Lessick created two separate works, “Ephemeral,” designed to be enjoyed and even collected by fans at the game and “Collect‘Ems,” a series of five “baseball cards” about the gear, rules and other aspects of the game and its history.
Dave Niehaus Statue
Right-Center Field, Main Concourse (Section 105)
The bronze statue, created by Lou Cella, has many subtle touches, including a tie from Dave’s collection, and a scorebook open to Game 5 of the American League Division Series game against the Yankees, with Dave’s actual notes from the game. The railing behind the statue, designed by Creo Industrial Arts of Everett, also features several of Dave’s unforgettable phrases.
Terrace Club and Suite Levels
A collection of 43 paintings, prints and photographs, as well as a sculpture of a larger-than-life umpire all on loan from the Safeco art collection. The largest piece is “Safe,” by Scott Fife, an umpire inspired by a 1955 image of Emmett Ashford, the first African-American umpire in the Pacific Coast League.
Left Field, Center Field, Right Field Gates
Bow artist Ries Niemi designed and fabricated a number of artworks on steel gates and fences on the exterior of the ballpark. There are steel cutout figures of players in classic poses. They are dressed and equipped from various eras of the game, recalling the grand heroes that can be found at the entry to Greek and Roman churches and arenas.
Location: Center Field Gate Main Concourse
Chinese-born Canadian artist Gu Xiong created a 24-foot long porcelain enamel on steel mural that tells the story of the diverse fans as well as the players. One panel is an array of items consumed or discarded at a game — hot dogs, popcorn boxes and soda cups. Side panels have portraits of more than 40 of baseball’s greatest players.
— Source: Safeco Field. More at www.mlb.com/mariners.
June 22: Pride Night
June 23, July 3 and 28: fireworks
June 25: 2nd Chance Father’s Day, with backpack coolers for the first 10,000 dads
July 4: Patriotic Cowboy Hat Day with hats for the first 15,000 fans
July 6 and Sept. 5: Bark at the Park
July 9: Salute to Kids Day with run around the bases for kids 14 and under
July 20: Stitch n’ Pitch Night. Bring your knitting, stitching, quilting or other fiber arts projects to the game, get help from the experts.
July 30: Fidget Spinner Day
Sept. 6: Potting Soil Night, with bags of dirt for first 5,000 fans leaving the game
Guided tours of Safeco Field are year-round.
Through Oct. 31, on non-game days, tours are 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
There are no tours on gamedays with games before 6 p.m. On gamedays with games after 6 p.m., tours are 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Cost is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors/military and $10 for children.