Tacoma Defiance, Tacoma Rainiers

Finding Zen in the Arts

“If I just had time I would…”

It’s a line for dreamers, really. One many of us have said out loud hundreds of times over the last couple years. Our Cheney Stadium team is one fueled by dreamers and, through their willpower, some of us are setting aside the many worries of the world and trying their hands at the Arts.

Some are reacquainting themselves with music; others are inspired to write the next great Tacoma novel. Will the Cheney Stadium staff produce the next great Tacoma garage band? The Sonics Part Two? Probably not, but we may be able to put on our own mid-inning or halftime concert.

You’ve already seen AJ Garcia, Director of Media Relations and Content Development, beat his coworkers at hoops in This is R City, but that wasn’t enough for the young man from Crivitz, Wisconsin. Back when the basketball courts were still open he was refining that skill. Lately? He’s turning to music.

“I’ve been getting out to the basketball courts to work on my jump shot. To brag, I used to be automatic from deep, but that was many moons ago and it feels like I’m starting from scratch. I’ve also picked up a couple lonely instruments around the house and gotten into the groove of playing again. Even if this quarantine lasted a decade, I think I’d still be a mediocre guitarist at best.”

Renewing the passion of an old instrument is something that Partner Services Manager Rachel Hansen is also doing. If she could play them all at once, she’d have a jazz ensemble.

“I’m learning to play various instruments – including guitar, bass, and piano. I grew up playing the piano, guitar, violin, and flute, and want to get back to that. I’ve completely lost touch. I have always had a passion for music and love the way it can have such an impact on our lives.”

Unlike the jack-of-all instruments above, our Director of Finance and Operations Jack Kelly is dedicating himself to the piano. His first recital? Last week’s all-staff Zoom call.

“I started taking piano lessons a little over a year ago at Ted Brown Music. My goal was to attempt to learn something completely new for the first time, and I’ve found it much more challenging than I thought. Right now I’m almost finished with Book 1 of the Bastien Piano for Adults and I’ve started to learn John Legend’s “All of Me” (because that is a must learn for any piano player). My goal is to learn Claire de Lune by Debussy (or at least the intro), but we might have to wait a few years for that.”

For Illustrator Delaney Saul and Content Creator Dave Clark, the lack of a commute and being inside on the weekends means more times for non-work versions of what they do. Don’t expect the great American novel; do expect more award-winning art.

Maybe Technical Director Anthony Phinney has the best idea about how to use his extra time. He’s taking a few deep breaths and pausing.

“I try to meditate at least once a day. It’s very easy to find a calming meditation video on YouTube. It can help you stay focused and relaxed, which is hard to do with everything that is happening in the world right now.”

Those deep breaths and pauses are offering the same thing others are finding in music, art, and writing. It’s helping each of us put aside the worries of the day and focus inward.


Always Together, We R Tacoma

About the Tacoma Rainiers

The Tacoma Rainiers, Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Tacoma has been a member of the Pacific Coast League since Cheney Stadium opened in 1960, and has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.

The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.

About Tacoma Defiance

Tacoma Defiance is the USL Championship affiliate of reigning MLS Cup Champion Seattle Sounders FC. You can follow The Future of Champions on Twitter (@TACDefiance)Facebook, and Instagram (@tacdefiance). We are #DefiantlyTacoma.

Tacoma Team Store

The Tacoma Team Store is open, online. Grab your Rainiers gear, your Defiance ‘fit, and follow the team store on Instagram and Twitter.

COVID-19 Information

More information on social distancing and how to prevent the spread of Covid-19 can be found at Tacoma-Pierce County Health. The most up-to-date information on how COVID-19 is affecting events at Cheney Stadium can be found here.

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