Baseball Is Back for 2003
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|April 7, 2003|
Baseball is back, and as of Monday April 7th, 2003, the Giants have their best start in San Francisco history going 7 and 0. Only as the New York Giants have they done better. No matter how old you are, there’s something about attending a baseball game at the ballpark that brings a feeling of excitement and joy. Perhaps it is the camaraderie of the fans, or maybe it is the variety of foods you wouldn’t eat on an every day basis. Possibly, it is the fact that you are watching your favorite team live and can cheer them on in person. If you’re fortunate enough to have the best box seats in the house, you can be within shouting distance cheering on your favorite players. I have been attending Giants games since the days of Candlestick as a young child. While there have been some memorable moments at the Stick, without a doubt the game is a much better experience now that the Giants are playing at PacBell Park. This particular writing isn’t a structured essay on baseball, but rather just a few random thoughts thrown out there. You may or may not agree with all my observations. But that’s okay. This is about the love of the game and the joy of being at the ballpark soaking in the environment.
One of the things I have noticed at the ballpark is the different types of fans amongst the crowd. We have true loyal fans that are there every homestand to support the team regardless of the scenario. These are the folks bleeding the team colors at the ballpark and will always cheer for their team whether they are winning or losing. There are casual fans who are there but don’t necessarily follow the season intently. That’s okay, so long as they know which team to applaud for. That would be the GIANTS. Then there are the bandwagon fans who only want to be there when the team is winning but are no where to be found during a losing streak. When the team is down, some of these bandwagon fans make a big fuss and start blaming anyone for the loss, even if it is the player who was responsible for a greater majority of wins during the season. Lets face it, the team won’t win every game. Don’t lose faith if they don’t win the day you are there. I remember during Game 5 of the Championship Series in 2002, when the Giants were trailing, the fan sitting to my left gave up hope and was whining to his girlfriend to leave as he kept saying “we lost, lets go home.” Way to support the team loser. Besides, at $65 for a ticket, it seems such a waste to leave early. Naturally, as the Giants tied the game he sat down but was still moping while the score was tied. But then the joyous occasion came when the Giants took the lead and was on the way to the World Series. My feelings toward him were he should not even talk to me or try to high five me during the celebration, “Dude, you have been dead to me since the 8th inning when you wanted to go home. I don’t see you, I don’t hear you.”
If you ever watch the televised Giants games from PacBell Park on KTVU or FoxSports, look behind the home plate fence and you will find a diehard Giants couple who must have been season ticket holders for many years at Candlestick to have such great seats. Whenever Barry Bonds was at bat in 2002, they were always seen holding their “Pitch To Barry,” signs. These two seem to be at 95% of the Giants home games. Often seen near them however are the idiots who aren’t regular fans at the ballpark. I know just about everyone else has noticed it and sports writers have written about it. These are the idiots on their cell phones waving behind home plate to whoever is on the other end of the phone watching on TV. Perhaps if they knew how dorky they looked, they wouldn’t do it. And it usually isn’t just one wave, but they’ll continue to do it for innings. Come on ya big nerds, it wasn’t cool when the ballpark first opened and it hasn’t suddenly become cool today. Go to the game to watch the friggin game. Stop waving at the cameras!
Also on the topic of bandwagon fans, how many season ticket holders lost faith in 2002 and gave up their postseason rights then cried about not having their tickets when October arrived for the postseason? And for that matter, the folks who never attended more than one game, or even no games, during the regular season should have no right to bitch at the Giants Organization for not providing them tickets to the Playoffs and World Series games. Yes, there are a limited amount of seats available. That’s because the other 39,000 or so seats went to the loyal season ticket holders who attended games throughout every homestand. Those who didn’t get lucky with the lottery process, they should be fortunate that tickets became available for the opportunity to try and obtain postseason tickets. Heck, be grateful to the bandwagon season ticket holders who vacated their rights so others had a chance at some prime seats in the house.
One thing that I learned from my friends is that baseball fans can be just as superstitious as the players. Last year, I bought a pair of shades with dark orange lens and wore it with me to the home games at PacBell Park. The Giants never lost whenever I wore those shades. The one game I didn’t wear ‘em was the game the Giants lost to the St. Louis Cardinals during the postseason. So for the next set of games in the postseason, I decided to wear my sunglasses at night. I only wish I was in Anaheim at Game 6. I was never worried on Opening Day this season; after all, I had my orange shades with me. And just for the record, those shades also worked for the Niners home games. ;-) Another known fact on superstitions, if you ate the Sheboygan Bratwurst on a day the Giants won, you need to eat the same thing again until you finally see a losing game.
Anyone who attends games regularly has probably noticed that a few beers and any drunk can suddenly become a great expert along with baseball’s greatest hall of famers. It never fails, there’s one in every section and they’re managing the game from the seats. Often times, my friend reminds me of the game against Milwaukee last year when we were treated to the poetic chants of yet another drunken fan who had such great lines as “Yorvit, get a hit,” or “Milwaukee, you suckee!”
Do you still see people doing the wave at the ballpark? My take on that is it was fun in 1985. It is now 2003. Start something new.
Don’t ever get me started on the whole dealy with Barry Bond’s 73rd Home Run ball and the fan who cried about dropping the ball?
Park, you have to love McCovey Cove and the splash hit home run balls that
land in the water. But hey,
during the summer when the Portuguese
Water Dogs of B.A.R.K. are on patrol, lets give them a chance of
retrieving their first ball. I
thought one of the boaters last year was going to take out a dog as the
canine was about to retrieve the first ball for B.A.R.K.
I don’t want to see one of the B.A.R.K. patrol getting knocked
out by a reckless boater.
For the 2003 Home Opener, Giants pitchers Robb Nen and Chad Zerbe were seen handing out the promotional giveaways at the gate in the morning. That seems to be a trend this season at other Major League ballparks with players greeting fans at the gate. It’s a nice PR move. I wonder if my female friends can still get extras from the players. Ha ha, I’m only kidding of course. My friends and I would never plot to obtain extra pins, snowglobes, magnets, bats, or hats. That would be wrong to deny the 20,000th or 30,000th person entering through the gates. I can’t imagine stooping so low as to flirt with any of the girls working the gate to get an extra giveaway. But off the record, the blondies gave out. There were five of us at the snowglobe giveaway and no one is talking. :-D However, I think we broke a new record. Okay, so maybe we have gotten away with it in the past. But that was long before the day of eBay changed the value of these promos and the higher effort to prevent extras from being given away.
Felipe Alou is well regarded as a former Giants outfielder and he has certainly earned a lot of respect as a manager with the Expos. He is off to a great start as the Giants' new skipper. But he is 67 years old, could they not find him a looser pair of pants for his new Giants uniform?
By the way, BEAT L.A.!!!
In the end, what it comes down to is the many memories you’ll have from the experience of coming out to the ballpark. More than likely, you will take away something you’ll always cherish. It’s a chance to get together with friends and share some good times. It is a great place for parental units and their children to spend some time together while watching a ballgame. Most of all, it is a place where you can eat junk food that would otherwise be unhealthy if we ate that same stuff somewhere else. Oh didn’t you know, at the ballpark, hot dogs and garlic fries are not high in calories and saturated fat. So go and get yourself a sheboygan bratwurst with grilled onions to go with those fries. It’s part of the magic from being at the ballpark.
Jeffrey T. Mcbride (Fan of curt schilling, phillies, lakers, raiders baby!) April 11, 2003:
True fans are not that fickle......casual fans, which is paradoxical cuz fans came from fanatics, so rather casual observers are the fickle ones. True fans like you and me have faith in our teams and favorite players till the end.
Greg Buechler (GIANTS) May 31, 2003:
Benito for Man of the Years Award
17 years at the bigs as a catcher, 37 years old, and hits clean-up or fifth in the order. In baseball, you NEVER want to hit below a catcher, that means you suck at the plate. Can you imagine what it feels like to be a 20-something position player hitting behind Benito?
Dodger Blue is in town for the 2000 opener.....BOO!!!!!
First Giants Playoff Game at PacBell Park, 10/4/2000