It's about more than a baseball game on Friday night at Safeco Field, when the Seattle Mariners return home from a season-opening road trip to a sold-out crowd for the 2011 home opener. The Mariners host the Cleveland Indians in the first of a three-game series, but the game is almost secondary. Friday night is about Dave Niehaus, and will be the first home opener the legendary broadcaster has missed in the history of the franchise.
Friday is a night filled with tributes in honor of a man who was synonymous with the franchise from its beginnings. Fans are asked to wear white shoes as a tribute to Niehaus' casual nature, a concert is planned and his family will be in attendance. Macklemore will perform his hit tribute, "My Oh My," before the game and Niehaus' wife, Marilyn, will throw out the first pitch.
The gates open at 4:40 p.m. and the festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. at Safeco Field. If you're unable to attend, ROOT Sports, the channel formerly known as FSN, will broadcast the pregame ceremonies and the Mariners' website will have a live-stream.
Jason Vargas takes the hill for the Mariners as the team tries to stop a four-game skid after winning its first two games in Oakland. Carlos Carrasco gets the start for Cleveland as the Indians try to ride the momentum that comes with sweeping the Boston Red Sox.
For more on the game, head over to SB Nation's Lookout Landing.