Monday, April 18, 2011

Mark Twain Was Right

Something along the lines of the coldest winter he every spent was a summer in San Francisco. I can attest; some co-workers and myself almost froze our you-know-what off at AT&T Park last Tuesday. I had not been back to SF since 1997 and was lucky enough to have the evening free after our customer meeting and the unanimous choice was to see the Giants vs. the Dodgers. Classic West Coast rivalry, made all the more bitter by the senseless beating of a Giants fan by some Dodger thugs just a few days previous. Better yet, Tim Lincecum was on the mound for SF. I was hoping to find a "Let Timmy Smoke" keepsake but even in liberal northern CA, that was not for sale in the ballpark.

We got there about an hour before game time and after a few unsuccessful negotiations with scalpers, opted for the authentic tickets from the box office. The area around AT&T park was a mob scene - the 2010 World Series champs were at home after all... and did I mention they hate the Dodgers? Throughout the game the chant "Beat L.A" was non-stop. Timmy did not have his best stuff but the Giants did enough to edge out a 4-3 win. The highlight was Brian Wilson coming on in the 9th to close it out and get his first save of 2011. He looks more and more like a young Fidel Castro every day (ironically, in his youth, Castro was a pitcher). Wilson struck out the side and looked to have his 2010 form back.

We wandered around the stadium during the seventh inning. There were only a handful of kayaks in McCovey Cove; a far cry the flotilla from when Bonds was launching his steroid infused bombs into the water. It is a neat ballpark - maybe not my favorite but in the top five. Our seats were right behind home plate but when the wind blew in from behind, it felt like an Arctic blast. It was 48F but it felt like 35F. My thoughts are if Twain reckoned San Francisco was cold, what did he make of Hartford, CT? The only thing missing was the fog.

I told my friends about the time we went to the Giants 4th of July game at Candlestick (vs the Rockies) in 1997 and the fog rolled in at some stage. There was a big postgame fireworks display... or so we were told. You could hear them but you sure as heck not see any fireworks, thanks to the blanket of cold fog.

So on Tuesday night, as we drove south on 101 to our hotel in San Jose, we passed through San Bruno and Burlingame, our old stomping grounds and memories of a great 12 months in the Bay Area came flooding back. Good times, good times...

AT&T Ballpark as seen through lousy cellphone camera.

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