Seattle Mariners Photo Day
July 20, 1997
Imagine if you will 42,000 loyal fans with their cameras and 60 brief minutes during which they all hope to photograph the members of the Seattle Mariners. Imagine that the fans are herded into a snaking line through the Kingdome, so that they are about 10 rows deep behind a waist-high barrier. Finally, imagine each of about a dozen players making one trip past the snaking mob, smiling, shaking hands and posing briefly for photos.
Notice how the teeming masses are clearly visible, and yet the sparse players are not. There were long periods of time where the teeming masses were waiting to see someone, anyone, from the team while one or fewer actual Mariners were making the rounds.
Apparently, in years past, this event was actually a lot of fun, at least for the fans, maybe even for the players. And in fact, the people who were there early enough to be at the front of the mob, and mean enough to stay there, probably had a great time.
Ken Griffey Jr. made a nice slow pass through the line, and was the last player still out, long after the blaring announcer had told everyone to leave. I have a hard time believing this was a lot of fun for the players, each escorted by security and press, and always just one misstep from a stampede that the security escort would have no chance of stopping.
After the photo shoot was over, and everyone had been herded back to their proper places, and the address system managed to re-run the ad telling us how great Photo Day was going to be after we had already endured its reality, the game started. And then we got to take some nice photos.
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