Thursday, April 23, 2015

Say Hey!

I took the train.  Thought I was leaving early, but the Caltran car I stepped into was packed with Giants fans in full regalia on their way to the game.  A dad with his 2 young sons (both with those black anti-glare strips high on their cheeks - cum SF logo) found a seat and revealed an elderly couple, stone-faced with concentration, wrapped in fleece team blankets.  There were 4 middle-aged guys a few rows back arguing over the best seats per dollar at AT&T Park.  Must have been half the riders going to the game on the 9:53 northbound for a 12:45 first pitch!  Including the 2 young dudes at the far end, each in $95 Posey jerseys, about to finish off their PBR Tallboys (based on how far they were tipping 'em back).

Apparently everybody meets beneath the Say Hey Kid...
My favorite inscription, attributed to a SF sportswriter:  "The only person who could have caught that ball, hit it." Not exactly a koan...but certainly worth meditating on for a moment or two.

All of these post-Camden Yards parks are the same structurally, give or take some deliberate idiosyncrasy (Tal's Hill, say).  So it's mostly about setting.  In which case AT&T Park may take the Blue Ribbon.
Other than that, you've got a bunch incidentals.  The pre-game stadium audio included several cuts from Abbey Road.  I first layed eyes on the field listening to Polythene Pam.  Early clouds had parted, but it wasn't Here Comes the Sun, it was Sun King.  Nice.  The Stadium announcer is a woman.  The bullpens are in foul territory down the lines; you can easily see who's warming up.  While the between inning entertainment is silly, with the 2-minute clock now in effect, at least it's brief.  And I don't remember being asked to GET LOUD or otherwise clap rhythmically.  How civilized!  In a California kind of way...

Pass me the sushi.

When the game slowed down, this guy reached for the lastest X-Men comic:


I got up at The Stretch and circled the park on the Promenade Level, part of a surging sun-dazed conga line of fans increasingly indifferent to what I was sure would be an LA victory. 

And I stumbled on this (don't judge):


She was sitting in the first seat inside the foul pole and keeping what looked to be a well-crafted (and very detailed) scorecard.  But dig the pin collection!


Her manicure was perfect, and recent.  Orange nails with wide black tips.

"Pitch to Barry!" indeed.  It's enough to make you want to change your Hall of Fame ballot.


By the time I got to right field it was the middle of the 8th.  To my left, McCovey Cove had few kayaking ballhawks (wind conditions were not favorable for most of the game); up my nose, the heavy smell of expensive pot; in my ear, Steve Perry yammering something about South Detroit...


And behind me on the scoreboard:


The Giants scored a run in the bottom of the 9th and one in the 10th to win 3 - 2 and sweep the Dodgers.  The Kid seemed to suggest Onward and Upward as I headed back to my station.





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