SEATTLE — To add to an already electric atmosphere at T-Mobile Park on Thursday, five Seattle sports legends were there to throw the first pitch.
Kasey Keller, Jewel Lloyd, Gary Payton, Marshawn Lynch and Ken Griffey Jr. all took to the mound during Opening Day.
Kasey Keller is an Olympia-born, retired soccer player who played as a goalkeeper for several top English clubs and the USA national team.
Jewel Lloyd is a guard on the Seattle Storm. Lloyd was drafted to the Seattle WNBA team in 2015.
Gary "The Glove" Payton is a former NBA player who played for the Seattle Supersonics for 13 seasons, where he holds franchise records in assists and steals.
Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch is a running back for the Seattle Seahawks. He was on the team from 2010 to 2015 and came back to Seattle in 2019.
Ken Griffey Jr. is an outfielder who spent the majority of his 22-year MLB career with the Seattle Mariners. He is honored in the Mariners Hall of Fame and his jersey number, 24, was retired.
The Mariners hosted the Cleveland Guardians to open up the 2023 MLB season at T-Mobile Park.
The Mariners extinguished a 20-year playoff drought a season ago and even won a postseason series against the rival Toronto Blue Jays before falling to the eventual World Series Champions.
However, following up a historic and successful season always comes with increased confidence, both within the organization and among a Mariners fanbase that is itching to finally capture its first American League (AL) title.