AT&T Park was looking better than ever.
The World Series has come and gone, and for the second time in three years, my beloved San Francisco Giants have won the World Series. Like 2010, many analysts and “experts” rarely gave the Giants a chance to win the World Series. I can remember in 2010, when one analyst on ESPN stated, “Well, the Giants are facing Cliff Lee twice, so that’s two automatic losses no matter how you look at it. Easily this World Series is going to the Rangers”. I couldn’t help be reminded when I heard the analysts and experts again saying the Giants had no chance with Justin Verlander of the Tigers set to pitch Game 1, 5 and a possible 7th. Regardless, as any true fan would, I ignored the media and looked forward to a once in a lifetime chance of actually going to the World Series. After 2010, in which I was in the middle of my Senior year of college, I told myself I’d go to the next World Series the Giants made. Well, I made sure I kept that promise.
As soon as the Giants clinched their ticket to the World Series on my birthday, I began scouring websites for tickets. Cheapest ticket I could find that very night was $995.00 for a standing room only ticket. Thankfully, I didn’t let emotions get the best of me, and I learned that the longer you wait to buy tickets on the popular secondary market website Stubhub, tickets tend to get cheaper and cheaper. Hat tip to my friend Daniel Ajeigbe for this tip, which came in handy during my amazing trip this summer. Moreover, I was willing to go to this game on my own, but knowing that I have many friends in the bay area thanks to my 2 year stint at San Jose State and becoming a brother of Sigma Nu Fraternity, one of my fraternity brothers decided to join me for the game. Low and behold, I waited until the morning of Game one, and got a lower box level ticket for a price I was more than happy with.
The long drive up to San Francisco commenced at roughly 5 AM on Wednesday, October 24th. I wanted to make sure I arrived a few hours early just to take in all of the pandemonium around the ballpark, to get the full World Series experience, and to grab some World Series goodies at the team store that I knew I would want to keep for a lifetime. The Drive took approximately 8 hours due to little bouts of traffic in between. I decided against driving into the city, and instead stopped in San Carlos to hop on Caltrain to the stadium. As soon as I got ready to board Caltrain, the excitement of the World Series was already brewing through my veins. Tons of other fans hopped aboard at each stop, and before I knew it, various Giants chants were being heard throughout the train. After 40 minutes or so, I had arrived in San Francisco, and the excitement was even more obvious just blocks away from the stadium.
I made the short walk to the stadium and I couldn’t believe how crazy it was. I had been to plenty of opening day games at AT&T Park, and I thought nothing would ever match the excitement of opening day. However, I was extremely wrong as a sea of black and orange were going crazy outside of AT&T Park. The statues of Willie Mays, Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey, and Orlando Cepeda were decked out in Giants gear just as they would be on the field. People were excited. I was excited. This is what I lived for! I went into the team store to try to buy a few items, but honestly it was extremely packed and I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I ended up not getting anything in the team store and switched my strategy to retrieving some gear inside the park. After my standard walk around the ballpark, I headed inside AT&T Park for what seemed like the millionth time. I was at my home away from home.
My strategy of buying gear inside the stadium worked, as it wasn’t as crowded. It was about 2 hours from gametime, and my friend Kyle wouldn’t arrive until then. I headed straight to a smaller team store, and bought a World Series game ball, World Series hat, World Series program, some various pins, and a World Series hoodie since it was a little bit chilly. I had been wearing my trusty Buster Posey jersey and gold Giants hat before then, so I put on my hoodie and looked for somewhere to eat. Quickly got a bratwurst and watched as the droves of fans came in. I then headed down to my seat in lower box 129, row 29, and just started to enjoy the moment. I took some pictures of the stadium that had now been decked out in World Series advertising, and started conversations with the people around me. About an hour before game time, the PA announcer, Renel Brooks-Moon, requested that fans start waving their orange rally towels for FOX. This would happen a few times before the game started.
My view before first pitch. Well worth every penny.
Game-time was iminent and the pregame had started. The announcer announced the lineups of both teams, which is a great experience watching, and obviously each Giant was popped extremely loud. I would say Barry Zito got the loudest pop, which was great to hear, especially since his career in San Francisco has been less than stellar. The National Anthem was sang, and a flyby went over the stadium which was just awesome. My friend and fraternity brother Kyle finally got to the park and the game finally was underway. I couldn’t believe that I was actually at a World Series game. Another thing checked off the bucket list!
The game, as many of you saw, went perfectly for a Giants fan. To make a long story short, I saw World Series history as Pablo Sandoval hit not one, not two, but THREE Home-runs. It was amazing. When he hit the first one, I was excited that we started the game ahead. When he hit the second one, I was glad the Giants were gaining momentum. When he hit the third, I just couldn’t help but feel the electricity in the stadium and realize that I had witnessed history. It was a great game, Barry Zito pitched a gem, Tim Lincecum came in with an exceptional relief performance, and the Giants won in dominating fashion, 8-3. The stadium was still going crazy after the game, and I couldn’t help but hang around for a while afterward to just take in the experience. It was perfect.
I headed to my train and arrived to my car a bit past midnight. I still hadn’t fathomed that I witnessed World Series history, saw my favorite team in the World Series, or that I actually had one amazing year. I may sound like a broken record, but 2012 has definitely been a year of blessings with the trip I took. I mean how perfect did it have to be? How often does your favorite team go to the World Series, let alone win the game you go to? I must also mention that I went to 4 Giants home games this year; their record in those games? 4-0.
Overall, I have to say I witnessed one heck of a baseball season. Over 45 games filled with opening day, the All-Star game (in which the Giants dominated), and the World Series. How much luckier can I be?
Step aside Lou Gehrig. I believe I am the luckiest man on the face of this earth.