Mariner madness: Playoffs boost new Lynnwood store

  • BRYAN CORLISS / Herald Writer
  • Monday, October 2, 2000 9:00pm
  • Local News

By BRYAN CORLISS

Herald Writer

LYNNWOOD — You could say Keith Kitayama was on a mission, sir.

The Edmonds man entered the new Mariners Team Store at the Alderwood Mall in search of Mariner merchandise to give as gifts. He left with a commemorative "Wild Card 2000" T-shirt, a coffee mug, a key chain and a 2001 Mariners pet calendar (featuring the players and their dogs).

"The key chain’s for me," he said with a grin.

You couldn’t ask for a better time to open a Mariners souvenir shop than the day after the team clinched a playoff berth, said Chris Poshka, who manages the store, which opened Monday.

"We were praying that we got in the playoffs," Poshka said. "We understood the impact the playoffs would have with our store."

If you go

Among the big sellers are Mariners “Wild Card 2000” T-shirts and sweatshirts. Just printed Monday morning, the navy blue T-shirts sell for $20 in adult sizes, $15 for children’s. Sweatshirts are $35 for adults and $28 for kids.

The store sells a wide selection of hats, including current styles warn on the field, replicas of the Mariners’ original 1977 caps with the old trident M logo and variations. Typically, fitted wool caps in adult sizes run $24; adult-sized adjustable caps are $18; children’s are $9.

Authentic team jerseys go for $110. Replica jerseys run $39 to $69 in adult sizes. Children’s are $46 to $49.

T-shirts with various imprinted designs typically run in the $16 to $18 range.

Official team dugout jackets are $105; letterman’s style Mariners jacket will run about $189.

The store offers a $23 Mariners tie, and earrings ranging from $5 to $8. Key chains are $4 to $9. Coffee mugs run from $6 to $18. A beanie bear sporting relief pitcher Kazuhiro Sasaki’s name and uniform number is $4. Pennants are $5.

The store is the fifth the Mariners have opened, offering team hats, shirts, sweaters, jerseys, shot glasses, pennants and mouse pads for the fan who has everything but wants more.

The store also will have the one thing Mariner fans want above all else — tickets.

If the Mariners’ playoff series with the Chicago White Sox goes to a fourth game, then the new store will be the only Snohomish County location where fans can buy tickets without paying the surcharge added by TicketMaster. The earliest they could go on sale would be Wednesday afternoon.

"We expect big lines for that," Poshka said.

The playoff berth worked its own SoDo Mojo on the wallets of fans.

The new "Wild Card 2000" sweatshirts and T’s — celebrating the fact that the M’s won a wild card berth into the playoffs — were must-have items.

Pat Prichard of Mukilteo, in fact, said she called ahead to make sure the store had them in stock. "I made them hold them for me."

And 80-year-old Nellie Cross of Edmonds picked up a $35 Wild Card sweatshirt and a Mariners’ wives cookbook.

"I’m real excited," she said, standing outside the store with her daughter, Clara Asenberg of Lynnwood. "We’re big Mariners fans."

Sunday’s win at Anaheim that clinched the playoff berth was a relief, Kitayama said (and he wasn’t referring to a Kazu Sasaki forkball).

The 1995 "Refuse to Lose" campaign made fans giddy with its drama — the late season come-from-behind charge to earn a tie and force a one-game playoff for the American League West division championship.

This year, he said, the Mariners were front-runners trying to hold off the challenging Oakland A’s. It wasn’t the same.

In fact, it was kind of a let-down to watch the Mariners lose the division crown to Oakland, said Keith Lee of Lynnwood, at the store with his family, including 5-year-old son Remington, who reports that his two favorite Mariners are Edgar Martinez and the Moose.

But still, this year’s team has been fun to watch, given the clutch contributions from journeyman players such as Joe Oliver and Raul Ibanez, Prichard said. "It’s been a whole team effort."

And wild card or no, Lee said he likes the Mariners’ chances in the best-of-five-games series against the White Sox, who had the best regular-season record in the American League.

"I’m sure we’ll beat Chicago," he said. "I say Mariners in four."

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