In what has felt like both yesterday and a lifetime ago, it’s somehow been 15 months since Rainiers baseball was last played. Yep, on Sept. 2, 2019 our guys donned the R, not knowing it would be the last time for at least a year and a half.
It’s been over 450 days since we danced and cheered during the 7th inning stretch until we were blue in the face. Since we’ve leapt from our seats, hoping to will a hard-hit ball over the outfield wall and into R Yard.
It’s hard to imagine, but it’s been more than a whole flippin’ calendar year since we all came together to enjoy a cold drink, a great laugh with friends old and new, and bask under that picturesque Pacific Northwest sky. Tacoma’s pastime is America’s pastime. And we miss it a whole lot.
Yet ironically, we’ve learned more about R City by sitting in our homes for the last nine months than we ever have during a seemingly perfect South Sound summer. All that we’ve seen in this extraordinary town – your passion for Tacoma, your unquestionable willingness to jump in and help struggling businesses, the lengths you’ll go to make a child’s birthday memorable even from a distance, and your need to stand up for what is right and refusal to accept less– they gave our community and our connectivity a whole new meaning.
We’ve always been proud to welcome you into Cheney Stadium for a night at the ballpark, but now there’s a greater responsibility to dedicate each Rainiers game to you.
Maybe this year has broken your bank account, your spirit, or your heart. It hasn’t been easy on any of us, and we’re frustrated that we can’t invite you in the stadium for some hardball therapy. We’re heartbroken to look at the calendar and see a year gone by without doing what we love and putting on a show for you.
But we’re hopeful. And even though some days are easier than others to get inspired, we’re energized and ready for the comeback of a lifetime in 2021. When we flip those lights back on at R House, open the gates and welcome you in – hopefully with open arms – we’re going all in for you.
When a fellow fan we’ve never met goes 5-for-5 on This or That, we’re shouting our faces off like they just won the $500 million Powerball. When one of our guys strikes out some schlub to leave the bases loaded, we’re going to wail on the air horn and cheer like it was the final out in Game 7 of the World Series. When you walk into Cheney Stadium, if we can make you even half as proud of us as we are of you, we’ll have done our jobs.
You deserve it.
It’s tough to find good news out there right now, but take a closer look around Tacoma and you’ll find it. A global pandemic shut down all of our favorite restaurants, some of them forever, but you went out of your way to keep so many of them afloat, and helped others along the way. Doctors and nurses who spent days at a time in the hospital needed a modicum of energy, and you hung heartwarming signs for them and showed them how much you appreciate what they do for us. You saw strangers in R City who had been knocked down and you helped them up at every turn.
So you deserve nothing but our best effort. And when we turn the lights on again, that’s what you’ll get.
We miss you, and we miss Rainiers baseball. Yes, we’re bummed to look back at 2020 and see so many missed opportunities. Heartbroken even.
But we’ve never been more proud to be right here in the heart of Tacoma. And that’s because of you.
Always Together. We R Tacoma.
About the Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Tacoma has been a member of the Pacific Coast League since Cheney Stadium opened in 1960, and has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.
The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.
We R Tacoma Team Store
The We R Tacoma Team Store is open through December on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT, and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Grab your Rainiers gear, your Defiance ‘fit, and follow the team store on Instagram and Twitter.
More information on social distancing and how to prevent the spread of Covid-19 can be found at Tacoma-Pierce County Health. The most up-to-date information on how COVID-19 is affecting events at Cheney Stadium can be found here.