A few months ago, I bought tickets to today’s Giants-A’s Battle of the Bay (ugh, I still don’t like interleague) primarily because of the giveaway: a Brian Wilson gnome. If the only Brian Wilson you know is the lead singer of the Beach Boys, watch this and then you might begin to understand. But I don’t think anyone fully understands the madness of the beard.
What I really misunderstood was the demand a Brian Wilson gnome would bring. Now, I should have been tipped off when, pre-season, the only tickets I could get for the game were way up in the third deck behind left field — not exactly prime seats. But this morning, knowing that the gates opened at 11 AM, I figured that leaving my apartment at 10:45 would be no problem.
Here’s the thing: my apartment is only a few blocks from AT&T Park. To get to the end of the line that had formed, I had to go the opposite direction of the park from my apartment to just under the Bay Bridge. Google maps tells me that it was a line of about 2/3 of a mile. Some of the people I talked to had been there since 7 am. Eek! I was pretty sure I wasn’t getting a gnome.
But I was wrong! After getting to the end of the line, it shortly started moving forward. I kept waiting for a message to get passed back that they were out of gnomes… but none ever came, and when I got to the ticket gate, the agent handed me my very own box of gnome. Would you like one? They’re going for $60-$75 on Ebay.
Oh, and then there was a game. It was a pretty exciting game and I decided (again) that I am an American League gal at heart and rooted for the A’s. Which was good, because the A’s won and I was wearing a Kurt Suzuki jersey.
And so it begins…
Okay, not actually the regular season yet, but the pre-season Bay Bridge Exhibition series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics got me out to the ballpark for the first time this year. I wasn’t sure if I was rooting for the A’s or the Giants, but I wore an A’s jersey that was a free giveaway from last season, and I’m kind of an American League gal, so if forced, I guess I was leaning A’s. On other hand, I actually live in San Francisco so…
Keeping score at a spring training game in a National League (i.e. no DH) park is quite a challenge. I utilized my new-ish smart phone more than once to keep track of all the crazy substitutions. I also used it to tweet in the middle of the game… yeah, I’m kind of ashamed of myself.
The game itself was pretty exciting. Madison Bumgarner was much more solid than the last time I saw him pitch for the Giants when he gave up 8 straight hits to the Twins to start the game. However, in the third he gave up a single to Jemile Weeks, followed immediately by a homerun to Eric Sogard to put the A’s up 2-0. Sogard was an early substitute for Cliff “ought to play cricket” Pennington. Quick show, Pennington! (That’s for you, you-know-who-you-are.)
It looked for awhile like the underdog A’s might pull it off against the much more beloved Giants, but then Jordan Norberto gave up a solo homerun to Melky Cabrera in the 6th to bring the Giants within one. A disastrous outing by Fautino DeLosSantos in the seventh led to three Giants runs on one hit: a walk to Ryan Theriot, a hit-by-pitch to Nate Schierholtz, an error by Josh Donaldson at third that allowed Theriot to score, a fielders choice by Angel Pagan that scored Schierholtz, and finally a solid single by Melky Cabrera to score Emmanuel Burriss.
Brian “Fear the Beard” Wilson came out in the 9th with three quick strikeouts to get the save and end the game. Within about five minutes, seagulls descended out of nowhere onto the stands, eating all the leftover food and beer. I have no idea where they came from or why they didn’t show up earlier. I took a bunch of pictures, including one of the seagulls… they’re all below. Baseball — it’s back!
Last fall before I went to Alaska, I bought myself a fancy new camera — not a DSLR, but a fancier model than my old point and shoot that fit in my pocket. (It’s a Panasonic DMC-FZ35 if that means anything to you.) It has an 18x zoom and a burst mode. These two features combined mean that it’s excellent for taking pictures at baseball games. Thus, I have literally thousands of pictures from all the games I’ve gone to this year — and this doesn’t even count all the pictures I took with my old camera after the new one was accidentally left back in Minnesota. Most of the pictures are pretty dull and redundant — batters taking pitches or swinging and missing. However, there is the occasional treasure.
And so, as an excuse to blog even though the baseball season is over, here are my 10 favorite pictures from various baseball games I went to this season. (Also, I figured out I can embed slideshows, so this seemed like a good first slideshow.)