When I heard the news about octogenarian Seattle company Safeco being bought by Boston’s Liberty Mutual Group, I immediately thought of baseball.
I’ve already spent some serious time in Safeco Field biting my nails over pitching changes and yelling my heart out when the M’s are doing well. I also dropped a lot of peanut shells in the Kingdome, so it took me a while to get used to the new space and its new name.
The Times reported today that Safeco Field will keep its name for the foreseeable future.
Even if Liberty keeps the name Safeco here, I wonder what it will mean to have our relatively new stadium named after a bygone local company. Will it not even matter? Could it sting?
Stadium names take on a life of their own, and though those names are increasingly corporate, they start to channel the city’s character.
Wrigley Field does not make me think of bubble gum, it brings me to the edge of Lake Michigan and the smell of hot dogs. (Read about Wrigley’s own woes here.)
When I hear the words Safeco Field, I hear a long train whistle. I see Ichiro’s signature stance, the bike taxis lined up outside the stadium and the great view of our great city you can only get walking along Occidental at 10:45 p.m. after a Mariners game.
I feel the odd surge of pride I get when out-of-towners muse aloud about whose mascot that silly moose could be.
I hope those feelings stay the same.