Thursday, October 28, 2010

They Might Be Giants

GiantsBlOr.png (2893 bytes)By the middle of the first inning of the first game of the 2010 World Series, I was already feeling antsy and wanting to get up and start pacing.

I have a long history with the San Francisco Giants, and most of it depressing.

I remember when the Giants moved to San Francisco in 1958. Their home stadium was Seal Stadium in the middle of the Mission District. It had been the home of the Pacific Coast League San Francisco Seals, a minor league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

The arrival of a major league team was such a huge deal that I remember going to a game with my father...I believe the only baseball game I ever attended with him. I remember the stadium as being almost like a sandlot stadium. Nothing fancy about it at all.

In 1960, the team moved to Candlestick park (sometimes called "Candlestink park" for the odors wafting in on those chilly winds which blew in from the Bay. I was in college then, and went to a few games with friends. The thing I remember most about Candlestick park is that no matter how warm the day started out, you could be certain that by the end of the game, you would be freezing.

Candlestick_Park.jpg (55094 bytes)
(the stadium is now, of course, a football stadium,
for the SF 49ers.)

In the beginning it was a little strange going to Candlestick because it was at the end of the Hunters Point section, where the population was mostly African American and I always had the idea that it had a high crime rate.

I was working for the Physics Department at UC Berkeley when the SF Giants were in their first World Series. On the last game, I swear the entire clerical staff was crammed into the office manager's tiny office watching the game on a teeny black and white screen. And when McCovy's line drive didn't go 2 feet higher and they lost the series, Charlie Brown I knew what it was to be mortally disappointed.

McCovey.gif  (15696 bytes)

Though I remained a fan, the Giants played in only three World Series since coming to San Francisco (1962, 1989, and 2002). It seemed that every time I watched a game, the Giants lost, so I stopped following the Giants religiously.

In 1989, I wasn't watching when the Loma Prieta earthquake struck, though Tom and David were at the game with Walt's brother. I was glad they were there because I knew that everybody in the stadium was OK.

When the Giants moved to their new stadium (whatever it is being called this week!) we started going to games. Our Lamplighter friend Sabella gets tickets for about 3 games a year and a group of us goes together. Even if the game was bad, who wouldn't want to be in that beautiful (fairly warm) stadium which had a view out to the Bay.

SFStadium.jpg (38399 bytes)

We usually sit in the very top row of the top balcony, right behind home plate. That would be my choice even if we could afford more expense seats. We didn't make it to any games this year because something conflicted every time.

But it's a new series. The Giants haven't won since 1954, when they were the New York Giants. Will this be the year? Probably not. I love my team, but have little faith in their bringing it all home, in spite of how the first game ended.

If there is any good thing, it's at least that we aren't Cubs fans.


l'empress said...

In 1954, the Giants beat the Cleveland Indians four straight. Believe me, I know disappointment!

I was watching when the Loma Prieta earthquake struck (quook?). I'm fairly sure I wrote something about it.

Name of the stadium: shortly after I wrote that they would probably start naming the stadiums after banks, the Mets did indeed start playing at Citifield.

Indigo said...

Ohmygosh, that view of the bay is beautiful! I was watching the game during the '89 earthquake, that was something.