A Tale from the Mound

written by Mikaela Cowles on April 5, 2015 in Insider Looks with no comments

Mikaela Cowles throwing the first pitch

“This is high.”

That was my first thought when I stepped onto the Big League mound at the Peoria Sports Complex. I’d been on a Big League field before, stood at the warning track – touched my toes to the grass. But I’d never seen the field from the mound.

Even when you’re 6-feet-tall, 10 inches adds a lot to a gal’s stature!

Prior to my big debut, I’d practiced a bit. I chucked some balls against the backstop from the top of a Little League mound by my apartment. I played catch with my fiancé. I listened to my mom’s counsel. (On no uncertain terms was I to embarrass the family by bouncing the ball.) 

I was prepared. I was ready. And, I didn’t let my mom down.

My throw was high and to the right. The poor San Diego Padre who was crouched in front of the plate had to stand up quite suddenly to make sure I didn’t fling this one against the backstop too. But, he caught it and we shook hands.

(I know. I know. It wasn’t a Mariner making the catch. Don’t worry. I still wore my Mariners fedora with pride.)

It was a bucket lister to be sure. For a moment I thought about pumping my hands in the air. But only for a moment. In the over 90-degree weather, I was giving off a not-so-lady-like glow, so I just smiled and said, “Thank you.”

Mikaela and GarrettGarrett, my fiancé, was with me at Spring Training for the first time. It was a treat that he was able to take a few days off work. Since the beginning of our relationship we have bonded over a common love of baseball and the Mariners. Sharing the moment with him was special. He snapped a few photos, smiled encouragingly, and added lovely commentary, such as, “You did great,” and “You’d have probably hit the batter in the head.”

What can I say? He’s pretty amazing.

Thank you to everyone who made this experience possible, especially Ellen Durenburger, Bob Simeone and the Mariners.