Living in Everett and less than 5 minutes away from Funko field, who wouldn’t like going to baseball games being that close to the professional baseball stadium? To me, Mariners baseball is all about the farm and when the stadium lights of Funko Field are on (baseball or not) my son gets excited and not going to lie, I do too. Because I’m a “Frogling”. One who is obsessed with AquaSox baseball.
Growing up I always dreamed of being a season ticket holder for the Mariners, so this time around I want to take full advantage of the experience for my kids. You felt more a part of the team when you are there! I want them to grow and learn through baseball. I’m a believer that minor league baseball is what professional baseball envisioned itself over a century ago. Close and personal with the players. Its spring training every day over here!
I’ve been taking my family and coming to games since the 2017 season and have consistently been going to games since the 2018 season. We even plan our lives around the away games too, by carefully planning trips around the PNW. But we started going to AquaSox games due to not being able to commute to Seattle for Mariners games due to traffic. Plus, the prices are hard to deal with as a growing family. I mean, I still do go to Mariners games when the Frogs aren’t in town! But I can’t go all in.
So, with my family up here in Everett it’s just makes sense to go in on the Frogs. Now sometimes on Funko Fridays and Sundays my wife Kelsey and 9-month-old son Baker tag along. Having the whole family there and makes it a little extra special. Usually during those games, we sit with Freddy Funko on the HR porch. My father also attends games at Funko field and he is a Silver Slugger member. We sit with him during those Wednesday Silver Slugger home games. Its special since all 3 generations get to sit together and watch the game. Have to admit those Silver Sluggers are pretty good hecklers too!
Since 2018, while watching and listening in to all games (when I can). I’m veraciously recording and tweeting updates of Frogs scores/plays in the field from my phone or tablet. You can find me on social media tweeting about the frogs with memes, GIFS and video all season long! Don’t plan to stop anytime soon. I know others enjoy it, any Frog fan would! Such as syncing up AquaSox radio when the video is being broadcasted on milb.tv and sharing those video highlights with the excellent play-by-play calls from Pat Dillon and Steve Willits on the KRKO broadcast.
I mentioned my 5-year-old son Jack gets excited when he sees Funko Field (game day or not). We have definitely created a routine when we show-up. First things first, get the promo (if there is a promo) then play catch on grass, then get autographs. It can be anything from programs to baseball cards, balls, he even once suggested that his brothers head should be signed with a sharpie by Victor Labrada. Just recently Jack got over his fears and asked for an autograph from Alberto Rodriguez and Trent Tingelstad. His first two all on his own.
At the time he wanted to hold a sharpie pen, and I said he could only hold one if he asks for autographs. So, 2 minutes later he asks for the ball and pen, so HE could do it. But prior to that he was happy just giving the players (even the other team) high-fives when they come out of the club house and onto Funko Field. He will stand there and call out the players’ names as they come down the stairs. Well before anyone else would realize who they are. Sometimes jumping in excitement as he quickly yells out their name. Consistently on rides home after the games, I will hear from the back seat, “I gave Dariel Gomez a high five!”
It seriously took about 2 seasons for him to warm-up to Webbly. He loved mascots but was scared of them. He refused to be the play-ball kid when asked. Yet he could say “Play ball” but was too shy to say it into a mic. Let alone doing it 3 feet away Webbly. Kid was on edge, but his cousins Aubree and Gracie came to a game earlier this year and the 3 of them were the play ball kids. So, on that day we had the courage with the help of them at his side to say “Play Ball”. Something that he couldn’t muster up prior.
Eventually Jack and Webbly became really good friends. Now he can’t go to the game without at least 3-4x high fives and/or fist bumps while walking through the concourse. Recently he’s been getting excited to see Rick Flair come out in the 9th inning. WOOOOOOO!
It was not only Webbly and the other mascots who Jack was looking at Funko Field, but Steve Willits and the players too. When Jack just started to put words together, he would describe Steve as “Not a baseball player, but he rolls dice and tosses pizza boxes on the field”. Now isn’t that the most accurate kid statement.
When it’s quiet during the game, Jack is one who is breaking silence out there. He also knows all the players names and their walk-up songs. He usually beats Tall Tom on the PA. Even yelling “Go Justin LADY”, yes, we are still working on pronouncing LAVEY correctly.
Funko Field is special because of the friendships my family have made at the stadium. Minor league baseball is all about community. People here do care for one another. I see it, with how my son interacts with fellow fans, staff and players. Here’s to more years ahead of growing and bonding as a community.