The first homerun I actively remember seeing was by Ken Griffey, Jr.
It was in the Kingdome in 1995. I had been in Seattle for a little over six months. The startup I was working for had just moved from the marina on Lake Union to a building downtown. Our sysadmin was a guy named Steve, who loved baseball and the Mariners. He had season tickets right behind home plate, in the front row of the upper deck.
When we moved downtown, we went from being 4 people and Steve to being about 14. And somehow the idea of a company outing came up and Steve suggested we go see the Mariners. In August or September of 1995.
So we bought 14 tickets and headed to the Kingdome. Three of us were from New York, and two of us, at least, were offering various opinions on the umpires in a very New York fashion.
That was until a gentleman who was leading cheers in our section – he wore gloves to do so – came over and informed us that he was certain we were from out of town, and so he’d give us the benefit of the doubt, but baseball fans in Seattle did not conduct themselves in that way.
As he turned his back and walked away, one of us commented that he was lucky we hadn’t brought the D batteries that day.
I didn’t know what was going on. How could I? But I thought I did. And I was from New York.
I don’t remember much of what happened before the home run, but I do remember that instant when the bat hit the ball because that was the moment the Kingdome got to its feet. I haven’t been to the Metrodome but TBF tells me of the great home field advantage anyone has there in playoff games because it is so loud, and that is the thing I remember most about the Kingdome, how LOUD it was compared to any outdoor baseball game I have been to. In my minds’ eye I can see the ball sailing into the outfield but I will be gentle and say that it is likely my imagination.
And the fireworks! Indoor fireworks! The smell and the smoke and the – INDOOR fireworks? Wow, Dorothy, you’re definitely back IN Kansas if the fireworks are *inside*, I thought.
I remember it most of all because at that moment I felt a little more like I belonged to my new hometown. That I could cheer with the crowd and mean it.
Of course, I did not take this. It is by my friend Alan, and the occasion should be obvious to any of you who are reading. You can see the entire set here. And, read 600 Words For Junior, which made me realize I had something of my own to say.