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Ballpark

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Safeco Field History

March 30, 1994 - King County Executive Gary Locke appoints a 28-member task force to assess the need for, cost, potential location and advisability of public investment in a new Major League Baseball stadium.

January 11, 1995 - Stadium Alternatives Task Force recommends public involvement in financing a new MLB stadium.

September 9, 1995 - A proposal to increase the sales tax by .01% in King County to pay for construction of the ballpark is narrowly defeated by voters.

October 14, 1995 - A special session of the state legislature authorizes a different funding package for a new stadium that includes a food and beverage tax in King County restaurants and bars, car rental surcharge in King County, a ballpark admissions tax, a credit against the state sales tax, and sale of a special stadium license plate.

October 23, 1995 - King County Council approves the funding package and establishes the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District to own the ballpark and oversee design and construction.

January 29, 1996 - Seattle-based NBBJ is chosen by the PFD Board as the project architect. April 1996 - Hunt-Kiewit is chosen by the PFD Board as general contract for construction of the ballpark.

September 9, 1996 - The ballpark site is selected south of the Kingdome.

March 8, 1997 - 30,000 people turn out as Ken Griffey Jr. helps officially break ground for the new ballpark.

June 4, 1998 - Naming rights for the ballpark are sold for $40 million to Seattle-based Safeco Corporation. The ballpark is christened Safeco Field.

July 15, 1999 - A capacity crowd of 47,000 attends the Inaugural Game against the San Diego Padres.

July 17, 1999 - During the third game at Safeco Field, third baseman Russ Davis hit the first home run at the new ballpark, a solo shot to left field. Later in the same game, outfielder Raul Ibaņez came up big with the first grand slam at Safeco Field.

April 7, 2000 - Mike Cameron, who replaced the Seattle icon Ken Griffey Jr. in centerfield, endeared himself to Mariners fans when he reached over the centerfield wall and robbed the Yankees Derek Jeter of an 8th inning home run. The Mariners beat the Yankees 7-5.

May 7, 2000 - Mariners broadcasting legend Dave Niehaus becomes the second member of the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame during a pre-game ceremony.

July 25, 2000 - Jay Buhner made a bid for American League Comeback Player of the Year with his finest season since 1997. Buher's 300th career home run came in a two-homer game against the Oakland A's. It was Buher's 23rd career two-homer game.

October 6, 2000 - The Mariners sweep the Chicago White Sox in the American League Division Series. Carols Guillen laid down a perfect squeeze bunt as the Mariners walked off to a 2-1 win and a three-game sweep of the White Sox.

July 10, 2001 - The 72nd Major League Baseball All-Star Game is held at Safeco Field. The American League defeats the National League by a score of 4-1. The Mariners are represented by eight players and manager Lou Piniella.

May 31, 2001 - You could call it Take Me Out to the Bald Game as Jay Buhner presided over the final Buhner Buzz Night. Jay himself took a hand with the clippers to shave fans' heads for free admission to the game. Over seven years, both at the Kingdome and Safeco Field, 22,302 fans, including 298 women, participated in the follicle fun.

September 19, 2001 - Just eight days after 9/11, the Mariners clinched the American League West Division title with a 4-0 win over Anaheim. The emotional night was highlighted with a spontaneous post-game parade around the infield by Mariners players carrying the American flag.

October 6, 2001 -- Seattle Mariners set an American League record for most wins in a season with the 116th victory over the Texas Rangers.

August 14, 2004 - The 50 Millionth fan in Mariners franchise history -Harvey Fleming of Spokane - passes through the gates of Safeco Field.

August 24, 2004 - Outfielder Jay Buhner is inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame after retiring at the end of 2001, his 14th season as a Mariner.

October 1, 2004 - Ichiro Suzuki breaks George Sisler's 84-year old record for most hits in a season. He finishes 2004 with 262 hits.

October 3, 2004 - Mariners fans said goodbye to the beloved Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez on the final game of the season. "Gar" spent 18 seasons with the Mariners and retired as the greatest designated hitter in MLB history.

April 8, 2006 - Fans bid farewell to Dan Wilson, the popular catcher who retired at the end of the 2005 season after 12 years in a Mariners uniform.

June 2, 2007 - Edgar Martinez is inducted into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame during a pre-game ceremony, joining current members Alvin Davis, Jay Buhner and Dave Niehaus.

June 22, 2007 - Ken Griffey Jr. returns to Seattle with the visiting Cincinnati Reds, his first game in Seattle since September 26, 1999. Griffey is warmly received by fans during the sold-out three-game series.

September 5, 2008 - Pitcher Brandon Morrow makes his Major League debut as a starter against the New York Yankees. Morrow held the Yankees hitless into the 8th inning and finished the game allowing just one hit and one run while striking out nine.

October 22, 2008 - Jack Zduriencik is named the 8th General Manager in Mariners history.

November 19, 2008 - Don Wakamatsu is named Mariners manager. He becomes the first Asian American to manage a Major League club.

April 14, 2009 - Ken Griffey Jr. returns to the Seattle Mariners lineup on Opening Day. The next day, he hit his 400th home run as a Mariner, his 613th career homer.

July 14, 2009 - Manager Don Wakamatsu, Ichiro and pitcher Felix Hernandez represent the Mariners at the Major League All-Star game at Busch Stadium. The American League wins 4-3. Ichiro's All-Star appearance was his 9th consecutive, the longest active streak in the Majors.

October 4, 2009 - The Mariners close out the season with 85 wins, a 24-game improvement over 2008. This marked just the 13th time in MLB history that a team had posted a winning record following a 100-loss season.