One of the many details of Safeco Field that visitors might never notice is the huge statue of an umpire presiding over the Wells Fargo Terrace Club lounge on the first base side.
The sculpture was commissioned by Safeco in 2001 from Seattle artist Scott Fife. The idea was to celebrate baseball and the basic values of sportsmanship and fair play.
Fife studied vintage photos of umpires from the old Pacific Coast League including a 1955 image of Emmett Ashford, the first African American umpire in the PCL.
The umpire is in the act of calling a runner “safe.” Even in a crouch, he still stands 6’5”and his wingspan is 7’6” from fingertip to fingertip. His hands are the size of dinner plate, his waste is 50” around and to support the huge frame, he’s got 21” long shoes.
Fife managed to get an amazing level of detail out of his medium – archival cardboard, drywall screws, glue and acrylic paint. As big as the sculpture is, because it’s made of cardboard, it only weighs 120 pounds.
Fife favors cardboard as his medium. He uses the common and basic material to recreate everyday objects, portraits and in the case of “safe,” a full figure. His sculptures evoke memories of earlier times (especially of the ‘50s when he came of age) and are deeply grounded in Americana and the American West where he was born and raised. Fife is a lifelong baseball fan.
Last week’s Mariners Hall of Fame induction brings to mind the wonderfully lifelike statue of Mariners Hall of Famer and Baseball Hall of Fame Ford C. Frick Award winner Dave Niehaus.
Each game, thousands of fans make their pilgrimage to right field of the Main Concourse at Safeco Field to see Dave’s statue. Chicago artist Lou Cella did a masterful job of capturing the spirit and likeness of Dave. And it’s no wonder—Cella is one of the best at the art of tribute statues. He created realistic images of Harry Caray, Ernie Harwell, Carlton Fisk, Ernie Banks, Clark Gable and more.
For Dave’s statue, Cella poured over thousands of photos, spent time talking to Dave’s wife Marilyn, his friends and coworkers, he even studied Dave’s wardrobe and scorebook. Cella’s interpretation of Dave includes his favorite necktie (with a pattern of little baseballs), and Dave’s trademark loafers (if the statue was in color instead of bronze, you know they’d be white). He also featured a classic page from Dave’s scorebook—Game 5 of the 1995 American League Division Series.
Next time you’re at Safeco Field, head out to right field and take a seat beside Dave and feel the spirit of our Hall of Famer surround you.
Safeco Field has been named the second most vegetarian-friendly ballpark in MLB. The new survey, released by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), ranked Citizens Bank Park, home of the Phillies, #1.
At Safeco Field, the survey highlighted the new offerings by local producer Field Roast including:
- The IchiBan—Field Roast frankfurter topped with teriyaki glazed onions, grated daikon, shredded nori and a “squiggle” of creamy dressing
- Seattle Chili Dog—Field Roast frankfurter topped with vegetarian chili and a “slather” of creamy cream cheese
- The Bombay—Curried garbanzo beans with mango chutney on a grilled Field Roast frankfurter garnished with deep fried curry leaves and a splash of coconut cream.
Rounding out the Top 10 in the survey were Comerica Park (Tigers), O.co Coliseum (Athletics), Dodger Stadium (Dodgers), Citi Field (Mets), Angle Stadium (Angels), Nationals Park (Nationals), PNC Park (Pirates) and Target Field (Twins).
Scott Jenkins, Vice President of Ballpark Operations for the Mariners and Safeco Field, was in Washington D.C. today to participate in a White House sponsored panel discussion on “Greening the Games.”
The half-day conference, which was streamed live, will be archived for later viewing on www.whitehouse.gov.
The program spotlighted efforts of professional sports teams and facilities to operate more sustainably. One panel featured Robert Nutting, owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Mike Richter, former New York Rangers goalie and partner in Environmental Capital Partners, and Mike Lynch, NASCAR Green Innovations.
Another panel featured representatives from Waste Management, Coca Cola Recycling and Safety-Kleen Motorsports. They discussed how innovations in the supply chain can help teams go green. Senior Administration officials also participated including Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson.
Mariners V.P. Scott Jenkins was on a panel called Hall of Fame Green Stadiums, along with representatives from the St. Louis Cardinals, Portland Trail Blazers, Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Heat. They address topic ranging from fan engagement in greening efforts to sponsor support.
One program where the Mariners have successfully married those two elements is BASF’s Sustainable Saturdays at Safeco Field where fans can answer trivia questions about various Mariners environmental partners and programs for a chance to win an Amazon Kindle Fire and autographed items.
The Mariners are seen as national leaders in sustainability for the team’s efforts to operate Safeco Field in an efficient, sustainable way. Among the achievements is a recycling/composting rate for ballpark events that is now over 80%, among the highest in sports.
This week, the eyes of the baseball world were on Kansas City and the activities of the Midsummer Classic. But fans at Safeco Field still have an opportunity to have their own authentic All-Star experience.
One of the premium seating areas at the ballpark is the All-Star Club. Created in 2008 by joining eight private suites, the All-Star Club is an all-inclusive fine dining experience with a cash bar. Each pair of tickets comes with preferred parking in the Safeco Field garage.
Like any good sports bar, the All-Star Club has HD TVs and the décor is a tribute to the Mariners All-Stars over the years and the 1979 (Kingdome) and 2001 (Safeco Field) All-Star Games.
And you never know, one of our All-Stars may just drop in to sign his photo or admire the view.
One the ends of most rows of seats at Safeco Field is an image of a Seattle baseball icon — Fred Hutchinson.
When Safeco Field was being designed, there was a conscious effort to connect the new ballpark to Seattle’s rich baseball history.
One subtle way to do that was to include a relief of the great pitcher about to deliver a fastball. The designer took a bit of artistic license by showing Hutch as he was, a right hander, on seat rows that end on the left side of the aisle, and a lefty for the rows on the other side of the aisle. The goal was to always have him throwing toward the field.
Along with Hutch is a relief of Mt. Rainier, a baseball diamond and three small baseballs in the corners.
Next time you’re at the ballpark look for the tribute to our hometown hero.
Work has started on repainting part of the structural steel of Safeco Field. You may notice scaffolding being constructed underneath the skybridge.
The project will paint the northwest section of the parking garage, the entire skybridge and all the structural steel of the ballpark west of the skybridge.
Work will be done at night while the team is at home and 24/7 when the team is on the road. With good weather, this part of the project should be finished by September.
The Washington State Department of Transportation has advised the Mariners that Southbound Highway 99 will close at 11pm Friday, June 29, and will reopen by 9am Sunday, July 1.
Northbound 99 will be open to traffic all weekend.
For fans come to/from the Mariners vs. Boston games, if you are coming from the north-end, it’s recommended you take I-5 or surface streets through downtown. Exiting the area after the games should be the same as usual.
Of all the great locations at Safeco Field (and there are a lot), one of my favorites is a spot that most fans might not even think about, and many more have probably never visited. It’s Section 321 on the Upper Concourse.
Here’s why: the view—of the field, of the entire ballpark before you, of the city in the distance. There’s nothing quite like seeing the game unfold in front of you, tracking the path of the ball, watching the fielders get in position for an amazing catch or simply to watch a homerun sail over their heads into the seats.
On a glorious Seattle summer day, or at twilight as the setting sun is reflected off the city skyline, there’s nothing quite like it.
The next time you’re at Safeco Field, take the express escalator across from Section 123 to the Upper Deck and enjoy the view.