On August 27th, the Seattle Mariners played their 1,755th regular-season home game at T-Mobile Park, tying an organization record. This is the same amount of games that were played at the original home of the Mariners, the iconic Kingdome.
History of the Kingdome
The Kingdome, a staple structure in Seattle’s industrial district, was home to the Mariners from 1977-1999. A multipurpose stadium built-in purpose of a major league football or baseball team, it first became home to the Seattle Sounders and Seattle Seahawks. A year later, the Mariners moved in to be the primary occupant (along with the Seahawks), and to see out the tenure of the Kingdome until the end. The Mariners were granted an expansion team to begin in the 1977 season, along with the Toronto Blue Jays. With a stadium already built and eager fans to fill it, the Kingdome was in full use throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Kingdome hosted up to four professional sports teams during that time.
A Mariners home game was the place to be in the spring and summer months, welcoming in up to 59,166 for a ballgame. The three-tiered grandstand concrete monster had its’ charms, but also its flaws. No matter how much a stadium is liked or disliked, it is always home. It was the Mariners’ first home. It is hard to imagine that the record home game has come when it was bittersweet to say goodbye to a once cherished Kingdome. The roof was only 250 feet at its’ highest point, and speakers dangled way too low for a park that had Ken Griffey Jr. hitting massive home runs out of it. But the history of the Mariners lived in the Kingdome, and oh so many memories there were.
The Franchise Players
The Kingdome saw many players in the Mariners uniform throughout the years, but none more than the likes of Ken Griffey Jr. Edgar Martinez, and Randy Johnson. Mariners fans were even treated to the opportunity to watch the father and son duo of the Griffey’s take the field together under the lights of the Kingdome. Edgar Martinez won batting titles in both 1992 and 1995. Ken Griffey Jr.and his career were born here. Randy Johnson won the Cy Young award as a Mariner in 1995. All three are now in the Baseball Hall of Fame, they will be talked about forever in Mariner’s history.
1979 All-Star Game Host
As many new ballparks do, Seattle and the Kingdome were host to the game’s brightest stars in 1979. A spotlight not only put on Seattle’s new baseball team but a brand new ballpark. This was a successful major event in the Kingdome, and it would not be the last.
The End of the Kingdome and the Start of Safeco Field
They were growing concern in the 1990s that the Kingdome was no longer suited for sports activity. Very few changes took place at the Kingdome from the time it opened, and it began to become a rather run-down home for a team that was beginning to become competitive. In 1997, the ground was broken for a new baseball stadium. Mid-season, the Mariners played their last home game at the Kingdome on July 27th, 1999. 1,755 regular-season home games to that date. Almost 24 years exactly to the date the Kingdome opened, it was demolished in 2000. So much history was erased in a single day. But, the 1,755 regular season home games filled with many memories are left, whether the building is there or not.
1,755 Games Played in Seattle
Nearly 22 years later, the Mariners have equalled out the games played at the Kingdome. There has been a difference in the organization in the last 1,755 compared to the first 1,755. The Mariners are now well established in the league and have continued to build on that pride and history since the stadium move. A playoff drought, unfortunately, plagues the organization that did not exist when they left the Kingdome. Safeco Field/T-Mobile Park has only seen two playoff appearances, and both occurring within the first two full seasons played there.
However, the last 1,755 games have seen amazing baseball. Notably, a 116 win season in 2001. As well, the 23rd perfect game was pitched by Mariner’s fan favorite, Felix Hernandez. Ichiro Suzuki gave the fans their fair share of thrilling moments. It also saw the end of the career of Ken Griffey Jr.that started in the Kingdome but was ultimately finished in Safeco Field. Although a gorgeous park with stunning views, it has not seen a lot of success amongst these momentous moments. Hopefully, in the next 1,755 Mariners home games, the luck will change.
There are seemingly no plans to build a new stadium for the next 1,755 games in the Mariner’s history. It is safe to say the Mariners will play more games in T-Mobile Park than the Kingdome. It is worth it to look back on the history of the homes the Mariners have inhabited in honor of the cool history statistic achieved. Here’s to 1,755 more, wherever they may be.
Embed from Getty Images