A month ago, they were voting down a new ballpark and all but voting the target of their newfound affection out of town.
A month ago, they were showing up, oh, 20,000 strong to watch the target of their newfound affection fight for its life amid one of the sport’s most heated playoff races in recent memory.
Now, they fill the Kingdome to the rafters, plaster their dreary, concrete slab of a building with huge banners nd strain their vocal chords on literally every … single … pitch.
Welcome to Seattle, where everyone suddenly is a lifelong Mariners fan - even though the team is not yet two decades old - and baseball talk suddenly is as common as rain and espresso machines.
The term “bandwagon” doesn’t even begin to do it justice.
“Refuse to Lose” has become the Mariners’ battle cry during their amazing playoff run.
Fans wear it on T-shirts and hats bearing Mariners logos that only weeks ago sat unsold, gathering dust. Local TV anchors repeat it breathlessly. The Seattle Times printed placards with it while shoving virtually every shred of non-Mariners news to the back pages.
The scene is comical, considering “Refuse to View” might have been the more appropriate slogan this season, not to mention the first 19 years of the Mariners’ existence.
This is, after all, the same franchise that drew more for Funny Nose and Glasses Night in the 1980s than for Gaylord Perry’s 300th victory.
Yet there they were Tuesday night, a throng of 57,065 erupting at foul balls, dancing in the aisles at Mariner base hits and loudly booing even the most harmless throw to first by Indians pitcher Dennis Martinez in Game 1.
Sophisticated, they ain’t.
Now, it seems like the city’s entire population is watching and listening - closely. Sensing a supposed anti-Mariners bias among the national TV announcers, the crowd nearly booed ABC’s Brent Musburger out of the Kingdome when his picture was shown Tuesday night.
We wouldn’t want a little objectivity to get in the way of Mariners mania, now, would we?
The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Bart Hubbuch Akron Beacon Journal