Many Major League Baseball teams have dedicated fan sections, but the Seattle Mariners have a unique tradition that is specific for one player in particular. The King’s Court is a devoted set of sections that cheer for the team, but pitcher Felix Hernandez is the main star.
When Hernandez is on the mound at Safeco Field, you will see a plethora of yellow “King” t-shirts holding up “K” cards throughout the game. This is in reference to King Felix striking out as many opposing batters as possible. The tickets for the section are also reduced to encourage fans to take up the special cheering opportunity.
The King’s Court started back in 2011 due to the popularity of Hernandez, and has expanded from the single section that went crazy for King Felix. There are now hundreds of fans that fill-in near the left foul pole. They love to see Hernandez throw his blazing fastball by hitters, but cheer no matter what pitch is thrown for a strikeout.
There was a contest held by the Mariners this off-season for fans to design the 2015 version of the King’s Court shirt passed out at games. The winning design features a crown with the Seattle logo and a printed version of Felix Hernandez’s autograph.
Obviously, this promotion is only in place for games in which Hernandez is the starting pitcher. It would be odd for a different starting pitcher to have a cheering section for Hernandez.
While there are not many player specific cheering sections promoted by teams, the King’s Court has stuck. This will be the fifth season of the marketing campaign, and Hernandez is under contract through the 2019 season. With that many years left, we will be seeing plenty of yellow shirts and strikeout cards being displayed in Seattle for years to come.