It was the 7th inning stretch and we stood to sing "God Bless America" when I realized that we were singing along with Kate Smith, of all people.
Kate Smith was a part of my childhood and she died in 1986. But she was best known for her rendition of "God Bless America." A quick Google search will yield several videos of her singing that song. And apparently she will live in perpetuity for her connection with that song, at least in the 7th inning of Giants games in San Francisco!
We left Davis around 10 a.m. this morning to drive to Walnut Creek, where we would drop the car off at the BART lot and take Bay Area Rapid Transit to the stadium. So much easier than trying to deal with the car in the city on game day!
We got to the stadium and entered by the Willie Mays gate, always my favorite.
This was "Giants bath towel give-away" day and we were disappointed that they didn't have any left by the time we entered. Later, our friend John, who, with his wife, had gotten two bath towels, gave us one of theirs. At the end of the game, the guy behind us asked if we would sell him our towel, because it was his birthday, he was there for just one day and he had missed getting a towel. I'm sure he was handing us a line, but I gave him our towel anyway and wished him a happy birthday.
I suppose all ball parks bring out the devoted in amazing costumes to support their team. I remember seeing lots of odd things the last time we were in Fenway Park for a Red Sox game.
I was particularly taken with this pair of harlequin pants in Giants colors, though. Now there is a dedicated fan!
We got to our section of the park. I love where we sit, which is near the top of the stadium, under an overhang (in case of rain), with a great view not only of the game, but also of the activity going on outside the park on the bay, with ships coming in and out, the ferry which drops game-goers off at the stadium, and the small boat which come into McCovy cove to listen to the game on the radio and hope for fly balls which might come out of the park and into the bay (rarely, but it happens!)
Of course to have those great seats, you have to climb to them. 15 steps, which isn't much to people in great shape, but which is a big challenge to me and was reminiscent of the stairs that I had to deal with in Italy back in 2009. (Of course that was 300 steps, not a mere 15). I was huffing and puffing when we got to our seats, meeting with a group of Lamplighter techies, who attend these games together.
Sabella was eating a big bowl of strawberries with whipped cream and Walt asked me if I'd like a bowl. Naturally I said yes, surprised that he would make the offer. The sweet man went off in search of berries and missed all the pre-game stuff, including the first fly ball that the first batter for the Marlins hit out into the bleachers.
But the strawberries were delicious.
...and, being the klutz that I am, I was soon wearing them.
I figured that we would get some of those delicious (and ridiculously expensive) ball park franks and the garlic fries, which are the thing that I go to AT&T Park for, later.
In the meantime, Walt settled in to watch the game. As games go, it wasn't bad, until the 8th inning when the Marlins got the last two runs that would give them the win (they lead throughout, but the Giants did have their moments).
Walt had bought a bag of peanuts in Davis in order to break a $20 bill so he would have change when it came time to get lunch, so we started munching on peanuts and eating the pretzels that our friend John was passing around.
I marveled at how food at ball parks has changed since I first started attending games. Today (a chilly day) there was a guy selling tall cups of hot chocolate and waving around a big can of whipping cream to squirt on top of your chocolate.
I also noted that vendors don't have to yell anymore. No longer do voices compete for your attention by shouting "Lemonade here!" or "Get yer Ice Cream." Now they just show you a sign.
I do love how they get kids involved, though. They find all sorts of ways to make them a part of the game, like this little girl who was the announcer for one inning, letting us know which batters were coming to the plate.
As we were settling in after that 7th inning stretch, I was starting to feel that there were no garlic fries in my future. By this time I was full of peanuts and strawberries anyway,but still disappointed to miss out on that classic ball park experience.
In the end I think it was Marlins 5 and Giants 2. I was too depressed and didn't take stock of the final score.
As we left the park, the little kids under 12 were taking the opportunity to run around the bases and the harlequin pants had disappeared into the crowd. We got on the streetcar, waved goodbye to our friend Gil Engleman..
...and headed to Walnut Creek to get the car, and head back to reheated potatoes instead of garlic fries and hungry dogs instead of hot dogs. Owell. There's always next time!