In 1963 the year I was married, my husband and I moved to Seattle Washington. Ever since visiting the Seattle’s World’s Fair (where he proposed) we knew that we wanted to make Seattle our home.
My spouse had just been hired as a deputy sheriff for the King County Police and he was still in training when we moved into The Stadium Vista Apartments, a grouping of four building right off (what used to be Empire Way South) in Seattle.
It was called The Stadium Vista Apartments and one of ‘the perks’ was that the living room window faced the The Sick’s Stadium.
Baseball is my favorite sport (hubby likes it next to football) and I was excited that we had a bird’s eye view from our living room window.
Sick’s Stadium first opened on June 15, 1938 and was the home field of the Pacific Coast League’s Seattle Rainiers, (The renamed Seattle Indians).
Beer and baseball
The stadium was named after Emil Sick who owned the team and the Rainier Brewing Company.
In l964 (a year after we moved in) they were renamed the Seattle Angels and they continued to play at Sicks’ through 1968.
But when Emil Sick died in l964 the name of the park was changed to reflect the fact that various members of the family shared ownership.
It was changed from the singular possessive to the plural possessive form and called “Sicks’ Stadium”.
There’s a home game tonight!
The nights of the home games, we’d invite a few friends over, make hamburgers and hotdogs, take out some cold Rainier Beer (The beer of choice for toasting the Seattle Angels) and watching the game from our lanai.
In the days before all the security that surrounds sporting events, people were so much freer to enjoy outdoor sports. The grassy knoll just over the left-field fence was known as “tightwad Hill’ and in the time between plays we entertained ourselves by just watching people watching baseball.
Brabender finest effort
In our last baseball summer, June 21, 1969 we watched Brabender hurl a three-hit shutout against the Kansas City Royals. He struck out five batters.
Brabender led Seattle with 13 wins in their only season in the Northwest.
Charlie Finley had this to say about the Sicks’ Stadium.
Eights years after Brabender’s three-hit shutout, Charlie Finley considered moving the Kansas City Athletics to Seattle, but after visiting the stadium he quipped that it was aptly named. (Ouch!) He told stadium officials that if Seattle wanted a major league team it’d have to get a new stadium.
That year was memorable for another significant event. One month following Brabender’s victory, on July 20th Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.
After dark, my husband and I sat on the balcony drinking cold bottles of Rainier (drinking anything else would be unthinkable) with eyes trained on the night sky.
“To think we are alive at the time that man walked on the moon!” I said as I took another sip.
Even now, years later, I get goosebumps thinking back on that wonderful June night when Brabender hurled a three-hit shutout and the magical July when an American walked on the moon.
Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin perform
We moved into a house above the University village in September of 1969.
From our house I followed the Sicks’ history in the newspaper.
Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin performed rock concerts at Sicks’. And in l976 future Governor Jesse Ventura held a wrestling match in the stadium.
But the stadium began to go steadily downhill and was often referred to as a ‘white elephant.’
When the Kingdome was completed in 1977, our beloved Sicks’ stadium gave up the ghost. Weeds, broken slats and general debris surrounded the grandstand, and then in l979 the wrecking ball brought Sicks’ Stadium to an end.
We occasionally drive by our old apartment on our way to somewhere else.
The lanai of our old apartment is a shadow of its former self, and the windows that we once watched baseball now overlook a Lowe’s home improvement store.
Just outside the front door of Lowe’s where once was a home plate, there is now a plaque, plate, batting box, and a silhouette of a baseball player lining up for a shot.
I missed seeing the old Sicks’ stadium, but I’m grateful for all the happy memories I have watching baseball from the balcony of our old apartment.
The lanai ‘seat’ is gone but there is now Safeco Field and The Seattle Mariners to fill in some of the empty spaces—who could ask for anything more?