HomeTeamsMarinersTridents Up in Europe. Q&A with European Mariner Fans  

Tridents Up in Europe. Q&A with European Mariner Fans  

Being a Mets fan from the Netherlands, I know how it feels to be a Baseball fan in Europe. There are some struggles to say the least. Baseball gets bigger and bigger in Europe with the success of some countries in the WBC and the addition of the London Series. Time to give some attention to the fans who struggle with numerous difficulties in being a Fan. I asked questions to five Mariners fans who live across the continent of Europe. Sebastian (Denmark), Thomas (Switzerland), Rogier (the Netherlands) and Arthur and Kait who are located in the UK. As the answers were so terrific, I wanted to share it all and make it a two-piece article! 

Q: Where are you located?  

Sebastian: I live in Haderslev, Denmark, which is a smaller city with around 20,000 people. It’s about 40 minutes north of the German border and has a long and complicated history with Germany and we still have lots of German speakers in this part of the county.  

Thomas: Bern, Switzerland 

Rogier: The Netherlands 

Arthur: Gravesend, Kent, UK 

Kait: Penarth, Wales, UK 

Q: How did your love for the Mariners start? 

Sebastian: I went on a field trip with my 5th grade class on Lopez Island to see a Mariners game during their wild and magical 2001 season. I didn’t really know a lot about the Mariners or baseball, but the whole atmosphere was really exciting and there were so many cool players on that team, and I was lucky to catch one of their ALCS games that season. I remember Ichiro wasn’t playing that day, but everyone was chanting his name and eventually he did come out to pinch hit. People were yelling EEEEEEEEEE-dgar for Edgar Martinez and I remember thinking Jay Buhner was really cool too. Unfortunately, they lost both games that season that I went to but have been a Mariners fan ever since.  

Thomas: I was on a 3-month road trip through the USA with two friends. When we were in Seattle, we went to a Mariners baseball game. I did a little research on the team beforehand and found out that they hadn’t been to the playoffs in a while. This makes the Mariners very likeable for me, because my favorite football in Switzerland has not been successful for over 30 years. That’s why I immediately had a connection to the Mariners. (They lost the game against the Athletics) 

Rogier: While playing college baseball at Edmonds CC in the Seattle area. 

Arthur: The first season I was a fan was in 1990. Before 1990, we had never had a season where we won as many or more games than we lost. In 1990, we were around the .500 mark as the season ended. We ended up winning 1 or 2 more games than we lost, and it felt like winning the world series to this 10-year-old! 

Kait: I had grown up in Philadelphia but never followed baseball or the Philadelphia Phillies when I lived there. Later, in 2009, I was living in North Carolina and dating my (now) husband, who had also previously lived in Philly and was a big Phillies and baseball fan. There was a great triple-A ballpark in Durham, where we lived, and we started going to Durham Bulls games. My husband taught me all about baseball, and I fell in love with the game. I then started playing Fantasy Baseball, and Felix Hernandez was one of the players on my fantasy team. I started watching games with my fantasy players and was in total awe of Felix’s pitching style. I watched more and more Mariners games and got really into the team (as frustrating of a team as they can be) and have been a fan ever since. 

Q: How do you follow your passion watching the games?  

Sebastian: I follow a lot of online groups and forums on Facebook, Instagram, and reddit for Mariners fans and just general MLB news. There’s a 9-hour time difference, so either I have to get up really early to catch a night game in Seattle, or if I’m lucky I can see matinee games on the east coast. If I can’t see the game, I usually catch the score and highlights from the game as soon as I wake up in the morning. Sometimes if the game goes a little later, I can catch the last couple of innings live bright and early in the morning!  

Thomas: It is very difficult to watch a live game as most of our games start at 3am. Ideally, I can watch the morning game, which starts at around 7 p.m. for us. But to do this I have to find some kind of stream on the internet every time. Otherwise, I always watch the recaps of the games on YouTube. 

Rogier: I watch every game on demand or condensed om MLB.TV.  

Arthur: I watch the highlights every morning as I get ready for work. I try to catch all of the “early” games via the internet. 

Kait: I moved to the UK in 2014 but remained a huge fan. I follow the team and other fans on social media, read articles, and watch as many games as I can. I am 8 hours ahead of West Coast time, so it’s usually only the day games that are on at a reasonable time for me. I have stayed up super late to watch games or woken up insanely early. Sometimes I watch the games from the previous night on the next day, but it’s always weird to watch a game when you already know the outcome. (I have so many social media notifications on my phone that I always know the score from a game I missed as soon as I wake up.) 

Q: Who was your first favorite player?  

Sebastian: Edgar Martinez, Bret Boone (got highlights in my hair when I was 12 to look like him), Ichiro, Felix Hernandez, Ken Griffey Jr.  

Thomas: King Felix 

Rogier: Rickey Henderson (I even ‘changed’ my name from Rogier to Rickey while playing at Edmonds. 

Arthur: My first favorite player was Omar Vizquel – a short and nimble shortstop who always gave 100% and was a fantastic fielder. I was so sad when we traded him to Cleveland! 

Kait: Felix Hernandez 

Q: Are you in contact with other Mariners or baseball fans from Europe? If so, have youever met other Mariners fans from Europe in person?  

Sebastian: Not really, apart from the online discourse and social media groups. I sometimes invite friends over to see important games, but they’re not necessarily baseball fans, they are more into the chill and casual viewing of baseball and learning a new sport and its rules. I had friends over from Denmark and Portugal to watch the Mariners crazy win over the Blue Jays during the wild card round in 2022.  

Thomas: I know a person in my company who is also a baseball fan, and fortunately also a Mariners fan. It’s always great to have a quick chat with him, because baseball isn’t a topic at all in Switzerland. 

Rogier: No. I sparingly see someone with a M’s cap. 

Arthur: Unfortunately, I don’t know any baseball fans living in the UK. I would love to meet some fans to talk about baseball with! 

Kait: I have not met other Mariners fans from Europe in person, but I am in groups on Twitter and Facebook of UK Mariners fans, and I am also in a 20-team fantasy baseball league exclusively for Mariners fans in the UK. 

Q: What is your biggest struggle with being a fan based in Europe?  

Sebastian: The time differences! And also feeling like I’m missing out on special experiences like the playoffs. I also miss being able to play casual baseball games or catch with people.  

Thomas: I can’t talk to almost anyone about baseball and no one is interested in my passion. But I think that’s kind of cool too. Plus, also the time difference to watch games. 

Rogier: Not getting to go to T- Mobile Park! 

Kait: The time difference and having few people in my social circles share my interest. 

Q: What are the ways you represent your Fandom? (wearing gear, buying Memorabilia etc). When people notice, how do they react?  

Sebastian: Wearing t-shirts and Mariners hats. If I see someone with Mariners merch in the bigger cities, I usually try to give them a little ‘Go M’s’ or something like that, but sometimes people seem confused and taken off guard – maybe they just got the merch as a souvenir and don’t quite know which team it’s from.  

Thomas: I have a Mariners shirt and a cap that I wear often. I am very rarely approached about this. 

Rogier: I have a number of caps and shirts. I bought them online and one time at the stadium. Most people don’t know what sport or team it is! 

Arthur: Well, I’m currently wearing a Mariners hooded sweatshirt and a Mariners cap. I guess I try to advertise my team wherever I go! 

Kait: I often wear Mariners shirts, hoodies, and pajamas, and I recently started collecting memorabilia. I have a couple hundred baseball cards now (mostly Mariners past and present) as well as a few figurines. I have even had my nails done to represent the Mariners near the end of last season. The nail technician said she wanted to take pictures of my nails to show other clients who might want the same – I don’t think she realized that hardly anyone else in the area would even know who the Mariners are! Otherwise, people usually react with some interest and have a couple of questions about what baseball is like. In the UK, most people do not even know the basic rules of baseball, but I really enjoy teaching newcomers how the game works. I have watched games with numerous UK friends, and they usually find even the basic rules quite confusing at first but come to really enjoy the experience. 

Q: How often are you able to visit a Mariners ball game?  

Sebastian: I am usually in the Northwest in the summer and usually catch one game. It’s a good excuse to get family together and recently they’ve won most of the games I’ve been too.  

Thomas: I’ve been to a Mariners game twice so far in 2013 with my friends and last year when I was on vacation with my girlfriend in Seattle. When planning, the No. 1 criterion was of course that I could see a game. My girlfriend was very surprised at how emotional I was at the game (she thought it would be more of a tourist game and completely underestimated my passion). It was one of the last games of the season against the Astros, where playoff qualification was at stake, so of course I was excited. 

Rogier: Back in 91/92 I went to some games at the Kingdome. About 5 years ago I went on a trip to Seattle with my brother. We saw 5 games in a week! 

Arthur: Sadly, the last game I saw in person was in 1997 or 1998, I believe. I still have the ticket stub! 

Kait: Not often, unfortunately. I have only been to one game (in 2013), and I got to see Felix pitch, which was amazing. He pitched a great game, and they lost 0-1, so it was a pretty representative game! My husband and I are going to both games of the Phillies/Mets London series though. 

Q: Can you tell your best story about you as a Mariners Fan?  

Sebastian: For my 18th birthday in 2009 I went to a Mariners game with my good friend. It was the White Sox vs. Mariners with two Hall of Famers, Mark Buerhle and Felix Hernandez pitching. It was also the season Ken Griffey Jr. came back to the Mariners, so he and Ichiro were both in the lineup with King Felix on the mound. It was of course a pitcher’s duel, and the game went scoreless into the 14th, and by that point some of the seats behind Homeplatewere empty so we went down there and took a couple seats to be closer to the action. The scoreless game continued to the 14th inning when Adrian Beltre got on base and Ken Griffey Jr. came to the plate to pinch hit and knocked in the winning run! The whole place went nuts and it was by far the best game I’ve ever been to. I also used to go to spring training with my grandparents and being able to be so close to the players as a young kid was special, and also being able to spend time like that with family is something I won’t forget. 

Thomas: Of course, when the Mariners were able to break the playoff curse. I was incredibly happy for the team and the city. The best thing about it was that this was even a topic in German-language media and articles were written about it 

Rogier: Back in the day when there were no broadcasts on tv in Europe I listened on the armed forces radio network from Germany to Rick Rizz calling the games. Since I lived in Tilburg further away from the German border than my parents (Doetinchem) they used to hold the telephone close to their radio so i could listen. At 3 am! Ultimate joy! 

Arthur: I think a lot of Mariners fans will agree – the 1995 season will never be forgotten! With a month left in the season, we were 13 games worse than the division leader, the California Angels. We won many games in September, and the Angles kept losing. We eventually tied them for the division lead on the last day of the season, and then beat them in a 1 game playoff to make the postseason! In the first round, we had to play the New York Yankees, and we lost the first two games of the best of 5 series. We then proceeded to come from behind and win the series 5-3, with dramatics and new hero’s every game. Unfortunately, we lost in the next round to Cleveland, but ask any Mariners fan about 1995, and you’ll immediatelynotice the twinkle in their eye, and the involuntary smile that forms on their face as they remember exactly what they were doing when Ken Griffey Jr scored the winning run, in game 5 vs the Yankees! 

Kait: My favorite moment being a Mariners fan in Europe is probably the time in 2022 I was watching Cal clinch the playoffs for the first time in 21 years in true storybook style. I was on the edge of my seat in the wee hours of the morning and started screaming and crying when Cal had his moment – a pinch-hit, full-count, walk-off homerun in the bottom of the ninth. My husband was rudely awoken, but thankfully he understood my excitement! 

I want to thank every one of you for these great answers to my questions. To see the excitement of a team that’s not close is great to see. Yes, it has its struggles, but we take those with the excitement we also experience! 

I hope you all enjoyed sharing your story! 

Corne Hogeveen
Corne Hogeveenhttps://mlbreport.com/
Mets fan from the Netherlands since 2006. As a European fan, trying to get to as many games as possible. Mets writer for MLBreport and Co-host of the Queens Connection Podcast. Author of Diary of a Dutch Mets fan


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