Editor's note: Gregg Greene is Senior Director of Marketing for the Seattle Mariners and the dad of two young boys, so we figured he would know a thing or two about fun things to do with kids in the Seattle area. We interviewed him as part of our "Play Date" series, which features some of our community’s most interesting parents and how they play and live in our region.
Tell us a bit about your family.
I am the proud and somewhat overly-doting father of two boys – Max (4 in February) and Sam (2-months old). My wife and I live in Seattle’s Mt. Baker neighborhood with our 6-year-old purebred Bolalie (Boxer, Lab & Collie mix), Winnie.
My love of parenting is showcased in our family blog, which I’ve kept for my boys since I found out my wife was pregnant with Max. It’s a great way to keep relatives and friends informed and a nice digital scrapbook for us.
What was the path that led you to the Mariners?
This photo of me playing T-ball showcases how I got my start working in baseball instead of playing it. I’ve always loved the game and got an opportunity early in my career to work as a back-up DJ. In that position, I played music in the Kingdome for about 25 games during the Mariners miraculous ’95 season. From that point on, I was hooked and was lucky enough to begin working with the Mariners full-time in 1998.
Does your family attend the games so that they can spend time with you?
My family, including my parents, who live in Woodinville, love going to games and try to attend one or two games per homestand. Max loves our Run the Bases games on Sundays during the summer.
Have your kids inspired any of the promotions at the Mariners games?
There are a few ideas in the works, including a Preschool Prom, which was inspired by the Kindiependent shows we go to at the Mt. Baker Clubhouse.
We’ve also worked on improving the Mariners Kids’ Club the last couple years. Little Mariners fans can now get 24 vouchers for $1 tickets, a lunch box, cap, lanyard, official credential and exclusive autograph and batting practice opportunities for $15. I think it’s a great deal for families.
What are your family's favorite concessions at the ballpark?
My entire family loves the Blazing Bagels stand. Ballpark classics like garlic fries, Kidd Valley’s milkshakes, Ethan Stowell’s burgers and Ivar’s fish and chips are always popular, too. Max’s favorite thing right now is the hand-dipped corn dog stand in centerfield.
Was I supposed to choose just one?!
Favorite non-Mariners-related activities?
In our neighborhood, Bradner Park is a hidden gem. We also love the newly-updated Jefferson Park on Beacon Hill. On rainy days we’ll alternate between the Boeing Flight Museum and Seattle Aquarium, and when it’s nice out, we love to hit Woodland Park Zoo.
We love taking long walks in our neighborhood around the lake and chasing Max on his bike.
What other sports teams does your family follow?
Seattle is an amazing sports community and we’re lucky enough to have some of the best venues in the world, including Safeco Field. I really enjoy taking my gang back to my alma mater to Husky Stadium and Hec Ed and catching the Seahawks and Sounders at Century Link.
What's an upcoming Mariners-related family events that parents should know about?
Mariners FanFest, on Saturday, January 26 and Sunday, January 27, is a great event for families to participate in. We totally hand over Safeco Field to our awesome fans, who can get autographs from Mariners stars and legends, tour the home clubhouse, play catch in the outfield, run the bases, pitch in the bullpens and more. Plus, tickets are only $10 and kids 14 and under are free.
If you haven’t done so already, I’d also recommend taking your kids to Opening Night someday. It’s an amazing baseball event, with the pageantry and special starting lineup introductions, which I think should be a national holiday. We open the season at Safeco Field on April 8 vs. the Houston Astros.
A piece of parenting wisdom or philosophy that you try to live by?
We just want our boys to be happy and healthy… and to learn to dance, so they don’t embarrass themselves at weddings.