Knives to bridal wear: Check out what ends up in Safeco Field’s lost and found
The Mariners left everything on the field Thursday night as they rolled to a dominating 11-3 win over the Angels, and a number of fans inevitably left something behind when they headed home.
It turns out there’s a woman at Safeco Field whose job it is to try and reconnect them with their lost belongings. From sunglasses to cell phones and everything in between, Ede Fitch has just about seen it all.
At the end of every game, whatever gets left behind is collected and ends up in Ede’s hands.
“A large plastic bin’s worth is probably the minimum per game. And if it’s a much larger game that’s much more well attended, we’re probably going to have two or three of those plastic bins come to us full,” she said as we surveyed the file cabinets full of stuff she keeps in a room just off the third base reception desk on First Avenue.
Most commonly, it’s something easily replaceable like a hat, sweatshirt, or an umbrella. But it can also be something far more significant like a wallet or a wedding band.
Ede neatly organizes and catalogs everything left behind, tagging each item and recording it in a spreadsheet.
Then comes the fun part — trying to reunite people with their stuff.
“The nice thing is, especially when those guests do get reunited, is to be able to say there are still honest people that walk this Earth. Because we get wallets turned in with quite a large amount of cash in them, credit cards still intact,” she said.
Whenever she can, Ede figures out how to get in touch with the people and return their valuables.
She’s only been on the job since the start of the season, but already she’s had plenty of surprises. Most notably the large collection of knives she’s amassed.
They’re forbidden at Safeco Field. If someone tries to get past the metal detector, security confiscates the knife but gives the customer a claim check to get it after the game.
“It’s surprising how many knives I get left with. At least ten per game. Sometimes it’s been more than 20. It’s like if they can’t leave home without it, how come they’re leaving the stadium without it? And very few actually come back and get them,” she said as she poured out a small garbage bag filled with dozens of knives.
We’re talking everything from Swiss Army to big switchblades.
But that’s not the only head-scratcher. There’s a much bigger one she pulled out of a bin, what should seemingly be a precious item left behind: an ornate white wedding dress. It was turned in following Opening Day.
“We have no idea the story behind it but boy we’ve had fun making stories up,” she laughed.
Did the wedding fall through? The bride have a few too many? Ede would love to find out. (Some KIRO Radio listeners tell us it was from a bachelor party)
Whatever’s still there after 30 days gets donated to a good cause, from the Lions to Children’s Hospital.
Thankfully, there are plenty of happy endings. Perhaps none more gratifying for Ede than the teen she recently reunited with his wallet — tracking the seventh grader all the way to Wenatchee.
“There was the school ID with his name on it. So I researched that school, found the address, sent a letter to him care of his school, and left it at that,” she said. “About three weeks later his father showed up and said his son was so excited and was excited to find that his wallet was intact. That young man has $26 in his wallet … and he got it all back.”
So if you forgot something at Safeco Field, give Ede a shout. There’s a good chance she’s got it.