Monday, October 4, 2010

The Giants are in the Playoffs! And you can all thank me

(image from Gear up for Sports)

For the first time since 2003, the San Francisco Giants have made it to the playoffs. This is also the first year I attended a baseball game. Actually, I've been to a few games in my life, mostly high school and amateur softball teams. My dad was on a team when I was a kid called "The Fat Vikings." They were really called something else, but the winery's logo that sponsored the team was "FV," so that became their name (I wonder how the winery felt about that?)

I saw the Giants vs. the Brewers on Sept 19th at AT&T park with my two good friends, Jody and Patrick. We sat in the Club section where the seats have backs and it's a short walk to get a beer. And speaking of beer, they now serve Gluten Free beer at the ball park. Say what you want about "yuppie" ball parks, it made my day to drink a real beer at a real baseball game. Wearing the SF Giants cap and shirt my friends had brought me, I felt fully "Giantified." 

The ball park is gorgeous, with towering rows of seats to the West and South, and shorter bleacher seats to the East.  From our seats we could see the enormous Bay Bridge and boats gliding slowly across the the cool gray water of the San Francisco bay. The sky was gray, but the grass of the field was brilliant green.

image from
At first, I felt pretty odd sitting in the ball park with my beer and Giant's gear. I never watch games on TV and didn't know who any of the players were. Buster Posey looked like a 16 year old kid who should have been in Sunday school, not a baseball game. And when people started booing for Juan Uribe I thought he played for the other team and somehow I'd missed the change in the inning. Bottom of the 2nd? Second what? Why was it called bottom and top? I know this is San Francisco, but that's ridiculous.

Patrick and Jody were patient answering my questions (or at least they hid their laughter), and eventually, the game started to make sense. When the Brewer left-fielder made an incredible catch in the first inning I clapped with the rest of the fans, understanding that sometimes you have to cheer for the opposing team when they play that well. But when Sunday school boy Buster Posey hit a home run early in the game, I cheered even louder. This was my team, baby, and we were winning!

Patrick, Me and Jody, and the Giant Orange hand of beer goodness
The Giants did win that game, going on to battle Chicago and then San Diego and making it to the playoffs. Jody sent me a message after the Giants won yesterday. "You're good luck, Terena!"

Yep, all baseball virgins are good luck.

Now I understand why people go to ball games. It's like a giant party with a game to tie us all together. You forget your own problems and the problems of the world and just focus on the simple game of baseball. When the game is on in a grocery store or my car radio I pay attention, wanting to hear the score and find out who's hitting, who's pitching, who struck out. I doubt I'll ever spend time glued to the TV watching the game like my grandmother, but now that I've seen the Giants, they feel like my team, and I want to know how they're doing.

And now a word from my favorite ball player, Ebby Calvin LaLoosh. A good friend of mine used to say, "This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains." Think about that for a while.

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