SEATTLE (NNS) -- The Seattle Mariners hosted a Navy appreciation night at Safeco Field Aug. 6 as part of Seattle Seafair Fleet Week.
Hundreds of Sailors & Marines from the three visiting ships, USS Green Bay (LPD 20), USS Port Royal (CG 73) and USS Kidd (DDG 100), and from around the Puget Sound attended the baseball game as the Mariners played against the Kansas City Royals.
Service members received early admission to the ball park to watch the teams warm up prior to the start of the game and had countless pieces of memorabilia signed by several of the major league players.
The Naval Hospital Bremerton color guard paraded the colors, and Navy Northwest Band performed the national anthem, beginning the ceremony. The band also had a concert just prior to the game on the 3rd level of the stadium.
Seattle Mariner outfielder Lee Tinsley made a point of signing for every service member waiting in line for autographs before the game.
"It boils down to taking the time to show my appreciation for the dedication these servicemen and women display while they protect our country, especially when you consider how few games these Sailors actually get to attend," Tinsley said.
It was the least he could do to show his appreciation, Tinsley added.
Along with discounted tickets to the game, service members and their families also received a complimentary party sponsored by the United Service Organization consisting of food, drinks and entertainment.
Service members said they were enjoying their time during the game and Seafair.
"I have been having a great time so far, and I got to do almost everything in town for free," said Atlanta native Gas Turbine System Technician Mechanical 3rd Class Jeremy Hammock, who is stationed aboard USS Port Royal (CG 73).
Another Sailor from USS Green Bay (LPD 20), Boatswain's Mate 1st Class(SW) Munira Ferah said people have been very friendly.
Before the game began 50 new recruits from the Seattle Navy recruiting office took their oaths.
Seafair is a month-long event sponsored by the city of Seattle. During the last week of Seafair, the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and Canadian navy participate in the event. Visiting ships are available for tours, allowing the public get an up close look at the life of a Sailor. Service members, their families and the general public also have the opportunity to attend an air show featuring the Blue Angels performing over Lake Washington, as well as hydroplane races.