Tom Paciorek and “Funny Nose Glasses Night”
Former Seattle Mariners outfielder Tom Paciorek will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Saturday’s game vs. the Los Angeles Angels (1:05 pm) at Safeco Field as part of the Mariners 35th Anniversary celebration.
Paciorek, who had an 18-year Major League Baseball career, played for the Mariners from 1978-1981. He was a stand-out baseball and football player in high school and college and was drafted by the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Dodgers in his senior year of college (1968). He signed with the Dodgers and was one of 14 players drafted that year by Los Angeles to eventually make it to the Majors.
While Tom was known for many things as a Mariner, including a great player, his humor was one of his greatest characteristics.
When the Mariners were creating their commercials for the 1981 in conjunction with local personality Pat Cashman, the “Funny Nose Glasses” spot was produced to promote “Jacket Night” in a humorous way.
Tom’s line “What am I going to do with 30,000 pairs of funny nose glasses?” generated many calls and letters to the Mariners from fans wanting to know when Funny Nose Glasses Night would be. In fact, some fans came to the “Jacket Night” game in August and were disappointed – they wanted a pair of funny nose glasses.
During the next off-season, with still a lot of talk about funny nose glasses, the Mariners decided to give the fans what they wanted. The club announced that Saturday, May 8, 1982, would be “Funny Nose Glasses Night” at the Kingdome. Amazingly, 36,716 fans showed up for the game against the Yankees, the fourth largest crowd of the year. Prior to the 1982 season, Tom signed with the Chicago White Sox, so he wasn’t here for the event, which took place one year to the day of the first of his two consecutive ninth-inning, game-winning home runs at the Kingdome against the Yankees.
Mariners Manager Rene Lachemann even took the lineup card to home plate before the game wearing a pair, and when the team photo was taken, one shot was taken with the entire squad wearing the glasses.
It was all in fun, and it was an event that many fans still remember. And to the best of our knowledge, it was a sports promotion that has never been repeated….which is probably a good thing.