Dig those wigs!
It started with an idea: How can a Seattle Mariners season-ticket holder make the experience more ... tolerable ... during the not-so-good times at Safeco Field?
So M's fan Carl Harms did just that, and three of his friends joined in Wednesday night. Their group is called "Ichiro's Bleacheros." Genius! The team with the most creative marketing team in the majors — at least in terms of TV commercials — apparently has fans with great ideas, too.
Root TV's Angie Mentink (also a blonde) caught up with Harms and the other Bleacheros in the front row of right field — a prime Ichiro-watching location — during the Mariners' 5-2 loss to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday:
"We're always trying to find some entertaining way to keep ourselves occupied," [Harms said.] "I suggested that we bleach our hair blond and then be 'Ichiro's Bleacheros.' Well, my daughter had a better idea and got some blond wigs for me for my last birthday."
Way to go, daughter! It also turns out that a few of the guys are, shall we say, hair-challenged. So a dye job wouldn't cut it.
But, the $51 million question is this: Did No. 51 notice the blond bombshells in the right-field stands?
"Although he frequently tips the glove our direction, so maybe by not [doing so] he was making a point," Harms said half-jokingly.
But how could Ichiro, a 10-time All-Star with great reflexes and vision, not sense the Bleacheros' presence? Perhaps he was just having an off night.
"Ichiro's performance last night was not one for the highlight reel," Harms said. "But we're not superstitious."
Does this mean Ichrio's Bleacheros will be a regular happening at Safeco?
"More likely an occasional thing — just due to scheduling [and getting] everybody to the park," Harms said.
The whole concept might be the best idea ever. (OK, maybe no worse than the 10th-best.) It's Like Sheff's Chefs for Gary Sheffield(notes), or Sal's Pals for Sal Fasano, or The David Coneheads or McCann's Cans for Brian McCann(notes) (yes).
It shows true player devotion. Why else would someone do this?
From the left: Harms with the Peggy Sue 'do; Dan Spiegelman wearing Marilyn Monroe curls; Mark Handley looking like "Swiss Miss Inga"; and Kevin Shannon — simply "the Witch."
(You know, truthfully, they look more like Philip Seymour Hoffman (or Jackie Rogers Jr.); a Buddy Holly-Harpo Marx mix; Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top (or even Jerry Garcia); and Jesse Ventura.)
Everyone but Spiegelman owns season tickets (bless 'em) and all have been M's fans (and baseball fans in general) since childhood. Harms and Handley have been regulars at M's games since Mark Langston and Alvin Davis were rookies. Shannon even attended Seattle Pilots games in their one season of existence. Wow.
This personal blog gives a few more details, but don't need them. We get it. Front offices have to get creative to get fans into the park. Teams have to get creative to win games. Fans get creative to enhance their enjoyment of the game.
What will they think of next?