Results tagged ‘ Felix Hernandez ’
A Felix Hernandez/Cy Young bobblehead, tributes to the former Sonics franchise as well as the Mariners’ 116-win season in 2001 and, yes, a Franklin Gutierrez fly swatter highlight the giveaways and promotional events upcoming this season, as announced by the club Wednesday.
A celebration of the 10th anniversary of the franchise’s record-setting ’01 season will take place Saturday, July 16 when the Mariners face the Rangers. Jay Buhner, Dan Wilson, John Olerud, Mark McLemore, Jeff Nelson, Bret Boone, Jamie Moyer and other members of the 116-win team will be on hand for a pregame ceremony. GM Pat Gillick, who will go into the Hall of Fame the following weekend, will also be on hand.
Additionally, the first 20,000 fans will receive a T-shirt with the 10th Anniversary logo of the 116-win campaign.
Then on July 29, the Mariners will salute the Sonics’ history with former players from the NBA franchise gathering pregame before the opening game of a series against Tampa Bay.
As for the always-popular giveaways, the first 20,000 fans at the season’s second home game (Saturday, April 9 against Cleveland) will receive a Felix bobblehead with the pitcher holding his Cy Young trophy.
There will also be an Ichiro bobblehead night on Friday, May 6, when the first 25,000 fans receive a replica of the All-Star right fielder atop a mini-tote board that fans can reset each day to keep track of his hits as he pursues a record 11th straight 200-hit season.
The Mariners are also promoting their return to the Northwest Green alternate jerseys, which will be worn on Monday and Friday home games this season. In that vein, the first 20,000 fans on Friday, June 3, will receive a “Go Green” train car.
On Friday, June 17, the first 20,000 fans will take home a green Ichiro T-shirt and on Friday, Aug. 26, the first 15,000 fans ages 21 and older will receive a green Mariners fleece blanket. The club is also encouraging fans to go green by wearing that color to Monday and Friday games.
As for the Gutierrez fly swatter? That one comes as a tribute to Dave Niehaus’ nickname of “Death to Flying Things” for the Gold Glove center fielder. Thus on Thursday, May 19, the first 20,000 fans will get a Gutierrez-shaped flyswatter.
Other highlights of the season’s promotional giveaways:
— Saturday, April 23: Salute to Armed Forces Night.
— Friday, May 27: Viva Las Vargas Night in tribute to pitcher Jason Vargas, with the first 10,000 fans receiving Elvis-style shades. Also includes prize giveaways that include a trip to Vegas.
— Saturday, June 18: King Felix Knit Cap Night for first 20,000 fans.
— Friday, July 1: Turn Back the Clock/’80s Night with Mariners and Padres wearing 1983 uniforms.
— Friday, Aug. 12: First 20,000 fans receive a T-shirt designed by Ichiro.
— Saturday, Sept. 17: Fan Appreciation Night with lots of prize giveaways including Holland America Lines cruises.
The full schedule of events for the upcoming season can be seen at www.mariners.com/promotions.
Single-game tickets for these and all games go on sale Saturday, March 12 at 10 a.m.
Felix Hernandez chats with Mariners broadcaster Dave Sims during FanFest, then works with a young fan in the bullpen (below). Photos by Ben VanHouten/Mariners.
Two interesting observations from the weekend’s FanFest at Safeco Field, when 12,298 fans enjoyed the chance to meet some Mariners and take their own shots at running the bases, throwing in the bullpen and catching fly balls in the outfield.
One, the Mariners were smart to play up their promising future by inviting four of their top prospects to the event. Dustin Ackley and Michael Pineda figure to be part of the very near-future at Safeco and fans enjoyed getting a chance to meet and learn more about them.
But the club also invited two young infielders — Kyle Seager and Nick Franklin — who are a little further down the pipeline as high draft choices who played Class A ball last year. That was an unusual move for a FanFest, but both showed up as bright and confident youngsters who relished the opportunity.
I’ll have more on those players later in the week, as well as the promising Pineda, so stay tuned to Mariners.com for those stories.
But something else worth noting was the continuing emergence of Felix Hernandez as the face of the franchise. Hernandez always has been a presence because of his ability, obviously. But at 24 and fresh off his Cy Young Award, Hernandez really seems to be gaining comfort and letting his personality emerge.
With four years remaining on his five-year, $78 million deal, Hernandez isn’t taking his money and position for granted. Instead, he’s embracing an increased leadership role and public-relations responsiblity.
This was his first FanFest appearance since ’06 and he literally lit up for the fans. If you have time, check out his Q&A fan session video. It’s really a great glimpse into his personality.
Hernandez said he understands representing the Mariners is part of his job. Clearly, he gets that there’s more to being “The King” than just pitching every fifth day.
“It’s important to me and the team, too,” he said of his offseason appearances. “We’re a family together.”
Hernandez spent part of his offseason back home in Valencia, Venezuela, but he has a full-time residence in Seattle now. That is the house where the Cy Young Trophy will sit on his mantle. That is the house where he and his wife Sandra are raising their young son and daughter.
“I love this city,” Hernandez said. “This is my home.”
For Mariners’ fans who’ve always loved players who truly adopt their town — players like Edgar Martinez, Jay Buhner, Dan Wilson, Jamie Moyer — those have to be welcome words indeed.
The Mariners have released the schedule for autograph availability at this weekend’s FanFest at Safeco Field. Players will be set up at tables on the concourse, but you have to get a voucher when entering the Home Plate Gate that allows you in the various autograph lines.
Each autograph table is limited to 500 fans to make things workable.
FanFest runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday with lots of activities throughout. Here are the autograph schedules:
11:30 a.m.: Chone Figgins and Michael Saunders (station 1); Eric Wedge (station 2); Felix Hernandez (station 3); Kyle Seager and Dustin Ackley (station 4).
1:30 p.m.: Miguel Olivo and Brendan Ryan (station 1); Dave Valle, Dave Henderson and Julio Cruz (station 2); Brandon League and Jason Vargas (station 3); Michael Pineda and Nick Franklin (station 4).
11:30 a.m.: Brendan Ryan and Michael Saunders (station 1); Bret Boone and Jay Buhner (station 2); Felix Hernandez (station 3); Dustin Ackley and Nick Franklin (station 4).
1:30 p.m.: Jason Vargas (station 1); Dan Wilson (station 2); Brandon League and Miguel Olivo (station 3); Michael Pineda and Kyle Seager (station 4).
For more information on FanFest and ticket availability, click here.
Good news for Mariners faithful looking forward to FanFest later this month. Felix Hernandez, fresh off his American League Cy Young Award season, will be making an appearance both days at the Safeco Field event.
The Mariners’ ace promises to be part of the fun both Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 29-30. Exact times of his appearances haven’t been set, but look for information on that as well as who else will be taking part to come out in the coming days.
If you’ve never been to FanFest, it’s a pretty cool deal with great opportunities to get autographs, run the bases, throw in the bullpen, tour the clubhouse and take part in question and answer sessions with players and coaches.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids 6-14. You can purchase tickets or get more information by clicking here.
The team is also are kicking off its 2011 Mariners Caravan this Monday with a stop at Yakima’s Roosevelt Elementary and a free public autograph session at the SunDome from 4:30-6 p.m. with pitchers Luke French and Shawn Kelly, broadcaster Rick Rizzs and the Mariner Moose.
The Caravan will also hit Moses Lake, Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, Walla Walla and Tri-Cities next week. Over a three-week period from Jan. 10-28, the Caravan will make stops in 21 communities around the Northwest.
Pitcher Doug Fister, infielder Josh Wilson and broadcaster Dave Sims will join the Moose on the second week of stops, while outfielder Michael Saunders, infielder Dustin Ackley and broadcaster Dave Valle take the reins in Week 3 with some help from reliever Brandon League and broadcaster Mike Blowers in the final stops in Bellevue and Lacey on Jan. 28.
Felix Hernandez won’t find out about his Cy Young fortunes until Thursday, but the Mariners ace already has proven his stuff on another stage with some great work along with teammate Garrett Olson on an ESPN The Magazine photo shoot.
Hernandez and Olson were converted into Pulp Fiction characters Jules and Vincent for an upcoming ESPN the Mag movie edition.
It’s great stuff and you can click here to watch a short video showing their make-up conversion and a bit of the photo shoot. Great stuff.
The shoot was arranged through Octagon Sports Agency.
No word on whether the two pitchers plan to scrap their budding baseball careers and concentrate on acting just yet, but judging from their initial efforts, they’ve certainly got a gift.
It turns out, sometimes the truth really is stranger than Pulp Fiction.