More MS news articles for Oct 2001

Faithful M's fans rewarded: Across the city, cheers sound loud

Tuesday, October 16, 2001
By Susan Gilmore
Seattle Times staff reporter

She pounded her fist into the worn leather mitt, shouting "Ichiro, Ichiro" as the Mariners' phenom outfielder beat out another infield single.

In a wheelchair, Roberta Evans watches every Mariners game, sitting in front of her big-screen television and wearing her glove, the same mitt she had slung over her bicycle handlebars as a kid on the way to Sicks' Stadium for free baseball on Saturday nights.

The strap is worn, the lacing loose, but she will never, ever give it up.

"This mitt brings back such fond memories," said Evans, 64, as she caressed her glove during yesterday's Mariners victory.

For the Ballard resident, now afflicted with multiple sclerosis, watching the Mariners brings back the days when she played a mean first base with the lucky mitt, which she bought with money saved from her paper route.

"There's nothing better than hearing the thud of the ball in your mitt," Evans said. She used to bicycle with her brother to Sicks' Stadium, with a nickel in her pocket to call home if they had a problem.

Though 48,000 fans packed Safeco Field yesterday, they were just a fraction of those who held their breaths and put their lives on hold for three hours to cheer the Mariners on to victory.

At Seattle Pacific University, two dozen students gathered around a television in Weter Hall. Chris Peppler, who's been going to Mariners games since he was 3, was confident the team would win yesterday. And, he said, he was lucky to have no afternoon classes so he wouldn't be tempted to skip school.

So why wasn't he at Safeco Field? "I'm a faithful student," he said. "A poor faithful student."

Fellow student Josh VanWinkle was watching the game for one reason: "I'm an Edgar fan."

In West Seattle, three dozen fans crowded into a TV room at Providence Mount St. Vincent Nursing Home were treated to cotton candy, bags of popcorn and glasses of beer.

Alice Wood, a Mariners cap perched on her head, stared intently at the television, groaning when Jamie Moyer gave up a hit to Cleveland.

"Baseball was our whole life," said Wood, 92, a widow whose husband of 70 years had once played semipro ball.

Alicia Kuhl remembered growing up on Beacon Hill in a Belgian community that had its own baseball team. "We were the SOBs," she said, "The sons and daughters of Belgians."

But Kuhl, unlike many Mariners fans, didn't really care if her team won or lost yesterday.

"They're our team. You gotta stand behind them whether they win or lose," she said. "I don't care. I love every one of them."

Susan Gilmore can be reached at 206-464-2054 or

Copyright © 2001 The Seattle Times Company