The wait was almost over.
Literally, lines of fans in line waited on the corner of Edgar Martinez Drive at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, waiting to be let into T-Mobile Park an hour later. They came with Edgar Martinez T-shirts, jerseys and hats. They came with signs and sons and daughters and friends, with butterflies fluttering in their stomachs.
They came to the ballpark to watch Edgar — in 2019. They came to watch him (finally) be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Matt Henry came with a pair of crutches and a walking boot protecting his broken right tibia and fibia. The 25-year-old Bothell native suffered the injury during a soccer game, when he and an opponent attempted to kick the ball at the same time and “his shin was a little stronger than mine.”
At 10:33 a.m., Henry hopped down the steps at T-Mobile Park, with his crutches in his hands and a white Martinez jersey draped over his shoulders. He settled in the first row down the right-field line, slipping his left hand into a baseball glove more than two hours before the Mariners’ series finale against the Los Angeles Angels.
“I missed the Griffey Hall of Fame stuff because I’m in the Navy and I was in San Diego at the time,” Henry explained. “So this means a lot to me, getting to see Edgar go into the Hall of Fame.”
Despite the injury, and despite being currently stationed in Bremerton, Henry was not about to miss this.
“I remember my first baseball game my dad took me to in 1999. We sat over there in section 136 I believe, two rows up,” he said, motioning to the right-field seats. “Watching him and all the Mariner greats play, there’s a lot of nostalgia.”
The same cannot be said for young Ethan Rochon, who was not alive to watch a single swing of Martinez’s 18-year career. Still, he wore a blue Edgar T-shirt jersey Sunday and leaned over the railing, watching the proceedings on the video board.
“He’s seen the highlights,” Ethan’s father, Brad Rochon, assured. “He’s seen the highlights.”
They’ve all seen the highlights: Brad’s son, daughter, wife, in-laws. They were all there Sunday, wearing a wide variety of Mariners jerseys, sitting in the same little cluster down the right-field line.
“Hearing the Edgar chants, you just knew when he came up something fun was going to happen,” Brad Rochon said. “He’s the best DH ever to play. It’s about time he got what he deserved.”
Hundreds turned up to T-Mobile Park two and a half hours early Sunday for a watch party to see him get it. Leslie Seelye was one of them, decked out in a blue Edgar jersey, an Edgar Hall of Fame undershirt and a worn gray hat with the number 11 across the front.
“The hat’s probably 20 years old,” said Seelye, who grew up in Blaine but currently lives in Sammamish. “It’s seen a lot of games, a lot of days.”
In other words, it’s done a lot of waiting. That wait ended Sunday — for Edgar, and for his fans.
“I couldn’t go there,” Seelye said, motioning to the induction ceremony on the video board, “so I had to be here to watch this. Edgar’s the man in Seattle.”
Mariners deal for Magill
The trade deadline is 10 days away, but Jerry Dipoto already has started dealing.
No, Mike Leake isn’t headed out of town just yet. The same goes for Dee Gordon, Roenis Elias and all the rest.
Sunday, the Mariners acquired right-handed reliever Matt Magill from the Minnesota Twins for cash considerations.
Magill, 29, was designated for assignment by Minnesota on July 18. He was 2-0 with a 4.45 ERA, with 36 strikeouts and 15 walks, in 28 relief appearances for the Twins this season. It’s worth noting Magill posted a 1.35 ERA, allowing two earned runs with 18 strikeouts and five walks, in his first 14 appearances from April 26 to June 1.
Magill has appeared in parts of four major-league seasons with the Dodgers (2013), Reds (2016) and Twins (2018-19), posting a 5-5 record with a 4.69 ERA (61 earned runs in 117 innings).
With Magill’s acquisition, the Mariners’ 40-man roster is now at 40 players.