Sunday, April 21, 2013

Baseball on a Sunday Afternoon

Today was my first baseball game. The San Francisco Giants were playing the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park, and tons of fans came out to watch the game. My housemate and I took the train, and every stop, a bunch of Giants fans were waiting to join us in their orange and white/gray/black fan paraphernalia.

At&T Park is about a block away from the Caltrain station. I grabbed a big deli sandwich and some waters from Safeway and just followed the crowd to get there.

We found our seats... and settled in for a great game.

We had a great view from section B140, row 25, seats 17 and 18. We were seated right in front of a little wall between us and the section above us, so we could lean back if we wanted and stretch a little. We also had the foresight to bring a big soft blanket to sit on, to avoid the hard bleacher seats.

About half way through the game, I wanted to walk around a little bit so I got up and got a hot fudge sundae from the Ghiradelli stand. It was very refreshing on such a hot day.

Even though things looked kind of small from where we were sitting, it was really easy to keep up with the game because they had this huge screen right behind us where they'd show each player's picture/stats as they were up at bat, and the score at the bottom of the screen. They would also replay the especially good hits or catches made by the Giants.

In between the teams switching off after each inning, there would be fun features like sing-alongs, or recaps of some of the best plays the Giants had experienced that week. At the end, the kids in the stands got to go down to the field and run the bases, which must have been so fun for them, a great memory to cherish all their lives.

The Giants ended up winning the game, 5-0, and I'm glad we stayed till the end, even though we knew they would win, because it was just so nice seeing everyone so happy and hugging each other in the stands at the end of the game, as Frank Sinatra played over the speakers.

In that moment, I couldn't help reflecting: this is what it feels like to be part of the Bay Area community-- to go to the ball game and root for your team, to sing along with the songs, to feel like a part of something so much larger than yourself, something with so much history and grandeur, and to just feel so united with those around you through this team of talented men, playing for their fans.

Sports: finally starting to get it. What's next? Hockey, maybe! After all, San Jose is home to the famous Sharks....


  1. Hey, Jen!

    Can read this post over and over again, conjures up some great memories of another electrifying ballpark down in the Bronx. Your words capture the true essence of baseball. Sounds like you guys enjoyed a wonderful experience, and the hometown favorites won too. Way to go, Giants!

    Smart move to bring that soft blanket along, and--judging from your pic--you guys got some great seats to view the action below. As the game progressed, it seemed the ballpark came alive, taking on a life of its own. What an amazing experience to feel the rousing excitement/energy when individual fans come together seemingly as one, rallying around their team. H/T to the Giants for playing their hearts out that day.

    Interesting that the large screen emblazoned with player stats, scores and highlights that you spoke of came up earlier today in a conversation w/my friend. She was relating a story about an episode of "Modern Family" or "How I Met Your Mother" (didn't get which but respectfully turned down the Celtics playoff game to listen to her, got to work on her timing). Apparently, in an episode she watched a couple of the characters were at a ball game, and something called a "kissing cam" routinely scanning the crowd in between innings/time-outs, etc. landed upon them, etc, etc...

    Don't know about you, Jen, but if that ever happened to me I'd be blushing red tomatoes...what about you? Would you rather be anywhere else in the world rather than up on that large screen in front of all those people? Yikes!

    Mmm, mmm good at your epic treat like choice of choosing a hot fudge sundae. Delicious and cooling at the same time--great choice! Did you guys have a chili dog or nachos too? Am glad you had a wonderful experience. One of the positives about sports in general is it can bring communities together.

    Hope you'll take in a Sharks game someday(one of my favorite players is Joe Thornton, the captain, and a former Boston Bruins, really hated to see him part ways) Joe never fails--whenever he's interviews--to thank his parents for their support and sacrifices during his early development as a player)

    Transitioning now, Do you think you are ready for your final exams? Hope so. Enjoy your week ahead.

    1. Hi Al, I've been hard at work with finals and finishing up with stuff for my internship, but wanted to respond to your comment--

      I would indeed be embarrassed if they showed me on the big screen, but I would have been just sitting there and probably not looking quite as enthused as others in the crowd. I had a nice time but I just don't visibly show my excitement as much as others. I'm kind of like just a quiet observer. So if people saw me on the screen they'd probably think, "hmm, she's not having a very good time." But, I was having a good time.

      We did not get nachos or other food, I got really thirsty after I finished my big bottle of water I got from Safeway but the only things they were selling were like expensive soda. I was hoping there would be a Starbucks inside the food court but there was not-- oh well. A sundae cooled me off somewhat. :)

      About as ready as I can be for finals.. started on a long paper yesterday, my other paper is due in about 2 weeks and is significantly shorter and easier. So, about as ready as I'm going to be. I'm just glad I don't have to take any tests.

      Enjoy your week too!

  2. Hey, Jen!

    Small request, please add some cosmetic editing touch up to> Joe never fails--whenever he's interviews to read "whenever he's interviewed" Thank You! :)

  3. Hey, Jen!

    How thoughtful of you to set aside a few minutes to respond given how busy you are--Thank You :)

    Guess we both share that be wary of the "kissing cam" syndrome. At least with you the camera zooming in wouldn't break, it runs a hugh risk panning in on me though. Moving on to how we take in the game, you seem, well, not disinterested or detached, but maybe a bit less enthralled is all, perfectly understandable; me, in contrast, would need my date to tug my shirt-tail downward back into my seat if I became too animated in response to the action out on the field. I'm not embarrassing or anything (wait!!! come back, Jen!)just pretty passionate about having a clean game which allows for the best team to win instead of missed/blown calls by the Umpire affecting the outcome is all.

    Smart move on your part to bring in your own water. We, well, Erin's out now, use to bring in our own treats, especially after a movie experience where she about lost her composure over some pricey Junior Mints...uh, oh talk about a wanna get away moment, just money I thought but she stood on principle and wasn't going to budge...low-whistle

    Given your response dated about 5 days ago I trust you have successfully completed the more challenging paper of the two, so hopefully you are on cruise control from this point on--way to go! Any significant Summer plans starting to shape up? Any weddings on tap? Hope you and those you care about are all safe/out of harms way from those burning fires being reported in the news. Am off to fetch a chili dog. Hope all is well. Have a terrific week :)

    Saw some freshly bloomed Cherry Blossoms along my travel route recently and thought of you...mostly whites w/an occasional pink display too, very pretty.

    1. Hi Al, I know what you mean about getting excited about the game. Every time something exciting was happening, the people in front of us stood up right away, so we couldn't really see what was going on, and I didn't feel like trying to see over them, and by then it was too late, so we just watched it on the instant replay, haha.

      I haven't finished my bigger paper yet but it's pretty close to being done. It's due on the 11th. My other paper will be pretty easy, it's due on the 13th. Until the 10th or so, I am just going to try to finish up stuff for my internship... then put the finishing touches on my paper.. then do my other paper.. unless I start to finish my first paper sooner.. either way, it'll all get done this week, then I'll have my evenings and weekends more fully available to my leisure. :)

      Don't worry, in no danger of fires in this part of Northern California.. I know up in Sonoma they're having some problems but San Jose's kind of more inland, if that's the right term for it. We're more in a valley.

      Glad you got to enjoy some cherry blossoms :). Enjoy the rest of your week.

  4. Hey, Jen!

    You inspire confidence w/your everything is under control demeanor as it relates to your studies/papers. So, without a doubt, I'm certain you'll produce something worthy of a high grade/nice!!! Glad you & those you love are out of harms way @fires. Just seems whether it's wild fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. some area of the country weighs in the balance/mercy of nature.

    Speaking of nature, saw a couple more Cherry Blossoms today, white & in full bloom, amid clear blue skies and bright sunshine here (guess we have to take the good and bad w/Mother Nature). Speaking of Moms, Are you planning on spending time w/your family this weekend in honor of Mother's Day? Safe travels if so, otherwise appreciate the banter this week. May sunshine and happiness be constant companions as you finish out your week.

    1. Thanks Al, I feel pretty good about getting everything done, especially because I just submitted a completed draft of my longer paper to my professor to see if she has any suggestions, so that paper is basically done.

      My parents came and visited this past weekend, so we had our little mothers day outing then.. we went to farmers market in Campbell and had lunch, and I bought my mom an orchid plant. So that was a nice day. :)

      Weather over here's getting a little cloudy and chilly again, but it was so hot last week so a bit of a cool down in temperature is welcome. Have a great week too!