The Great Northwest
I made my first trip to Seattle, Washington in October of 1995 when the Indians played the Mariners in the American League Championship Series. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by just how beautiful this city was then and still is now. The perception of Seattle is a gloomy town with months of never-ending rain. Truth is the rainy season ends in the spring and the summers here are spectacular. Snow-capped Mount Rainier is always a breathtaking sight to behold and is located just south of the city.
In 1995 the Mariners played in the old Kingdome. It was such a bad place for baseball that many people often referred to it as the "King-Tomb" because it resembled a large concrete mausoleum. In the ALCS of ’95 however Seattle fans packed the place to capacity every night and it was so loud you couldn’t hear the person sitting next to you.
Safeco Field opened in 1999 and is easily one of the best parks in baseball. It has a rolling roof that covers the field in the event of rain but, still allows air to flow in from the outside so you never feel completely enclosed. The dimensions are bigger than many of the new parks but, its fair. No cheap homers here however power hitters can still reach the upper deck in left field and left handed hitters can pull the ball deep to the lower deck seats in right field.
Downtown Seattle is home to great shopping and one of the best restaurants in the country. The Metropolitan Grill, located on 2nd avenue, is a steakhouse with great atmosphere and mouthwatering steaks and seafood. Reservations are a must but, the good news is they are open for lunch and dinner. I remember one year Rick Manning and I ate lunch at the Met on consecutive days. The first day we ran into former Cavs Head Coach Lenny Wilkens and the following day we saw NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell dining at the Met.
Another spot to see if you visit Seattle is the famous Pike Place Market on the waterfront. If you’ve ever seen a national TV broadcast of any game played in Seattle then chances are you’ve seen the guys at the market tossing whole fish around like kids playing catch with a ball. Its a lively atmosphere much like the West Side Market in Cleveland. City Fish Company has been around since 1917 and they always have enormous quantities of fresh King Salmon, Halibut, Cod and Snapper. Plus they also have King Crab Legs at great prices and they ship anywhere in the USA. I sent 15 pounds of Crab and Salmon home and now I can’t wait to get back and eat!