Wednesday, May 11, 2011
AT&T Park, the Giants, and my son's first pro game
Being up in Norcal last week, I took the opportunity to take my oldest to his first Giants game. It also marked his first professional game of any kind although he's been to many UCLA basketball games and even a UCLA baseball game just a few weeks ago. All in all, it was a great excuse to go see the current World Series Champion Giants and it couldn't have worked out any better.
For me, it was only my 2nd Giants game at AT&T Park, the first being in 2007 during the Barry Bonds HR record chase (he didn't hit the record-breaker that day). Interestingly, my first experience at AT&T Park (SBC Park at the time) was actually a US Soccer game in Feb 2006 vs Japan, in their lead-up to the 2006 WC. Landon and Dempsey both scored, if I remember correctly.
Anyway, since taking him to the UCLA game, we brought out his little glove, taught him "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and brainwashed him to root, root-root for the Giiiii-aaants. Hey, I'm just fulfilling my proper duties as a responsible dad.
Though he's born and raised in LA, who wants to be a Dodger fan anyway? In recent years, its become the most dangerous ballpark in America, its brand has fallen into disrepute and its ownership into MLB's control. (And with the Lakers completely embarrassing themselves in the sweep while becoming cheap shot artists - AND Kobe being denied a 2nd three-peat AND Osama bin Laden getting whacked by our SEALS - its been a great month.)
So, I found a real cheap pair of tix on ebay - lower level near 1st base - and it was on. We didn't even pay for the $30 parking - the last spot on the street a few blocks away worked out nicely. There was even a lady selling peanuts and Cracker Jack for a buck just outside.
Fortunately, 2-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum was pitching (there isn't a pitcher in all of baseball I'd rather see live than him) and he had a no-hitter through 6 innings, finishing with 8 shutout innings and 9 strikeouts.
Better still, Brian Wilson, probably the 2nd most well-known Giant, came in to close the game out. The Beard also got the win as the Giants finished in typical and symbolic torturous fashion: Bottom 9th, scoreless game, Buster Posey walks, Darren Ford effortlessly steals, Cody Ross singles down 3rd baseline for a walk-off win, 1-0.
(I should mention that Buster also threw out a 1 out base-stealer at 2nd in the 9th inning in a huge play to help preserve the scoreless draw).
My 2 year old sat through the whole game, ate his cracker jacks, sang during the 7th inning stretch and posed for pics while the players celebrated on the field behind us. It was perfect.