Ah, baseball, you’re back and I’ve missed you.
The annual Bay Bridge pre-season series is happening now and last night, after getting some cheap tickets on StubHub and “stealing” a friend from one of my curling buddies, I went down the street to AT&T Park to catch my first baseball game of the year. Now that interleague is an everyday occurrence, the Bay Bridge series lacks some of its original novelty, as these teams will face each other again in the regular season. But it’s still fun to hear the bleachers break out into competing chants of “Let’s Go Giants!” and “Let’s Go Oakland!”
One tradition with these games, at least the ones in San Francisco, is the free grab bag giveaway. They take all the giveaways that they have leftover from previous seasons and you get one random thing. It could be a Barry Bonds commemorative pin, a Brian Wilson gnome, or a Giants sombrero. This year I got a Jeffrey Leonard bobblehead doll. Only, I’ve never heard of Jeffrey Leonard. It turns out, he was the MVP of the 1987 NLCS, despite the fact that the Giants lost that series to the Cardinals (which I obviously knew because the Cardinals went on to lose the World Series to the Twins that year). He’s the last guy to win a post-season MVP award, despite being on the losing team. So at least I’ve learned a fun bit of trivia.
During the game, we sat in the arcade section, which was a first for me. Those are the handful of rows high above right field, just in front of the drop off into McCovey Cove. It’s prime homerun ball territory, and Josh Reddick got us close. In the sixth inning, he launched a shot that seemed all but destined to splash down behind us, but instead, it hit a flag pole and bounced back towards us, making a resounding thunk on the tin roof just in front of us before bouncing back onto the field. That put the A’s up 4-0 and they never looked back.
In about the 8th inning, the seagulls, also aware that baseball is back with it’s post-game fine dining options for our avian friends, started hovering and swarming the field. The game ended, and as if they had been counting the outs, they took over the stadium and we went home.
Jeffrey Leonard… one flap down