Feel free to sing along for a few seconds. “Take me out to the ball game. Take me out with the crowd; Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack. I don’t care if I never get back. Let me root, root, root for Rainiers. If they don’t win, it’s a shame. For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out at the old ball game!”

Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates

Tacoma Rainiers 2023 Season

The Tacoma Rainiers, the Triple-A baseball team affiliated with the Seattle Mariners, based at Cheney Stadium, has a 2023 season of ball-whacking, base-stealing, firework-booming fun ahead of it that families and fans can enjoy whether they like baseball or not. The Rainiers are a member of the Pacific Coast League and have been a Seattle Mariners affiliate since 1995. The Rainiers, as an organization, strives to pull together pools of talent on and off the field to make for solid nights of baseball memories.

Tacoma Rainiers
Children often arrive early to get a baseball signed and generally fair better-than-average odds of getting a stray ball with a little effort and a smile. Photo credit: Steve Dunkelberger

“It has never been our intention to look at ourselves as a Minor League team,” Rainiers President Aaron Artman said, noting that everyone focuses on family-friendly entertainment during inning transitions, great food at the concession stands, and of course, the best athletes available. “We still want to have a baseball game.”

On that note, the Rainiers are in their second year of the pitch clock that is meant to speed up the game the Major Leagues introduced this year. The rule is pitchers must start their throwing motion within 15 seconds of receiving the ball from the pitcher, or the pitcher is charged with an automatic ball. That time is extended to 20 seconds if a runner is on base. A batter must also be in the batter’s box and ready to hit a pitch during that same time or be issued a strike. The rule speeds up the game by avoiding pitcher breaks or batters strolling away from home plate. A few seconds here and there shave off about a half hour of game time.

“I think it is fantastic for the game,” Artman said.

Tacoma Rainiers Dates to Watch and Special Games

Tacoma Rainiers
Rhubarb, the Rainiers’ mascot, is always on hand for selfies and handshakes. Photo courtesy: Tacoma Rainiers

Fans will be able to notice the game change during any of the team’s 75 home games of its 150-game season. During the season, the Rainiers will host two 12-game homestands; one from May 23 through June 4 against Las Vegas and Sacramento, and then another one from August 22 through September 3, when they will take on Las Vegas and Sugar Land. There will also be a fair share of six-game series that will run Tuesdays through Sundays. The regular season will conclude at home with six games against Round Rock from September 19 to September 24, for example.

Dates to watch also include the annual Independence Day Eve celebration at Cheney Stadium on Monday, July 3, against the Salt Lake Bees, which will, as always, feature a spectacular post-game fireworks display even better than the ballclub offers after every Friday home game.

Tacoma Rainiers
The pitch clock rules shave off about a half-hour off games. Photo courtesy: Tacoma Rainiers

Game specials to watch for include “Copa de la Diversión” or “Fun Cup.” This series of five games peppered through the season is designed to embrace the culture and values that resonate with teams’ local Hispanic/Latino communities. “Salute to Armed Forces Day” is on June 18. “Pride Night” happens on July 14 to celebrate LGBTQIA+ fans and friends. “Color Cheney Crimson” is August 12 for all Washington State University alums and families. “Paint The Park Purple” will occur on August 25 for the University of Washington folks, and “K9 Innings” on September 3 is for fans and their four-legged family members.

There will also be a “Throwback Weekend” on April 22-23. The Saturday game will have “Slammin’ Sam the South Sound Salmon” returning with the Rainiers donning their popular “faux-back” uniforms. The cream-colored jerseys display a salmon as the team mascot, as it might have looked if the franchise’s name had been what Ben Cheney wanted when the namesake stadium opened in 1960. The Sunday game “A Blast from R Past” will take fans back to the early days of the “Rainiers” moniker and the beginning of the club’s affiliation with the Seattle Mariners.

Tacoma Rainiers
Never let a saxophone-playing gorilla disturb a baseball game. Photo courtesy: Tacoma Rainiers

During its history, the team started as the Tigers for a single season, way back in 1904, before going dark for more than 50 years before then being the Tacoma Giants, The Cubs, The Twins, The Yankees, The Tugs, and then The Tigers again before tying the knot with their neighbors in the Emerald City.

The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found online with WeRTacoma, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter, Instagram and by liking the team on Facebook. Tickets and game information is available at the Tacoma Rainiers.