Thousands of San Francisco Giants fans decked out in orange and black showed up for the 2013 Fan Fest this year at AT&T Park. I’m posting my own photo’s along with a smathering of those from the San Jose Mercury News. Maybe you’ll spot yourself in one. A special thank you for those who so kindly allowed me to get a quick snapshot – usually because of something that really struck my fancy, like the “Kings Wear Rings” guy with the big smile or the guy with the great “Giants Know October” shirt. Giants fans are great and so much fun to be around, especially when it’s beautiful weather, not a cloud in the sky, and smiles everywhere! I can’t honestly think of a better place to be on a beautiful sunny day than at AT&T Park. And the Giants players gave so much of themselves with the interviews, autographs and just taking the time to stop and chat with their fans. Whatta great bunch of guys we have here! And that’s exactly what you’d expect from the reigning World Champions and the best fans in all of baseball.
GFBB Update: The Giants have estimated nearly 40,000 in attendance at this year’s Fan Fest. See more Photo’s on the MLB Blog Website.
Dodge Ram gave us an academy award-winning performance with their Super Bowl ad this year. I was wondering how I could tie this into a baseball story when I remembered an incident at AT&T Park a few years ago. I was sitting in the stands, anxiously awaiting the start of a SF Giants game,when I heard some fans behind me chatting about the new pitcher, Madison Bumgarner. It went something like this, “Yah, he doesn’t belong here. He belongs back on the farm. I heard he gave his wife a cow (actually it was a prize bull calf) for their wedding present”. This was following by hysterical laughter and hoots and hollers from the enthusiastic, but misguided, fans. The little incident would have probably ruined the game for me, but Bumgarner pitched a masterpiece and he spoke for himself, saving me from having to turn around and give them my two cents worth.
So I’m wondering how many other pro baseball players lives began down on the farm. I can tell you emphatically there were a lot of them, these young kids from the midwest farms and others who grew up with that sense of hard work, physical discipline with a sense of community. It wasn’t all about them, it was about getting a job done. And it still is. I remember listening to an interview with Bumgarner before he pitched his first World Series Game. When asked if he was nervous and whether this was the most exciting thing he’d ever been through, Bum answered with that slow southern drawl, something like “Well, I dunno. I pitched in the high school world series and I did okay there. I was pretty nervous then and I don’t see how it can be any worse pitching here today.” In other words, in his mind, he didn’t see any difference in pitching in high school or the World Series. In his mind he had a job to do. That was it. Don’t you just love it?
I started researching on-line to see how many farmers I could come up with and immediately found Sergio Romo, the SF Giants reliever who aced this year’s World Series. The title of the article was “In Sergio Romo’s Small Hometown, No. 1 Crop is Pro Baseball Players“, and it was written by Valerie Hamilton, California Report. Here’s an excerpt:
“Brawley would be probably like a slightly bigger version of Mayberry, although not quite as nice,” says Rudy Seanez, who pitched in the major leagues for 17 years, ending in 2008. Like Romo, he grew up in Brawley. So did Alan Fowlkes, who pitched for the 1982 Giants. And so did Sid Monge, who pitched in the 1970s and 80s. It turns out Brawley’s sugar beets and melons have some competition for the town’s top-produced crop. The town, and the Imperial Valley around it, have sent more than 20 players to the major and minor leagues.
I didn’t spend any more time looking for baseball farmers. I was satisfied that my instincts were justified, but it’s definitely a subject for another blog. Don’t you just wonder what the percentage of those old-time ball players born down on the farm might be? I imagine the numbers are staggering, huge!
Clydesdales down on the farm
Thank you Dodge Ram for giving us the best Super Bowl advertisement we’ve seen in a long time. It goes really well with the Budweiser “Clydesdales”, because, after all, what could be more down on the farm than that?
“Congratulations to the AL Champion Detroit Tigers and the NL Champion San Francisco Giants!”
The Ship means “Championship” at least that’s what Sergio Romo told us back in 2010. This is going to be fun!
The Tigers posted a regular season record of 88 Wins and 74 Losses and ended up beating the socks off the New York Yankees, a team with 95 Wins and 67 Losses, for the American League Pennant. Not only did they beat the Yankees, they beat them really, really bad. Try 4-0 in a best out of 7 series. Weapons ~ Justin Verlander, last year’s Cy Young award winner AND MVP; Miguel Cabrera, first batter to win the AL Triple Crown since 1966 and Prince Fielder, who finished the 2012 Season with .313 Batting Average and 30 Home Runs.
Excuse me while I pinch myself. I still can’t figure out how the Giants ended up in the World Series this year. Spring training showed a recuperating Buster Posey, an out-for-the-year Brian Wilson and a pretty good, but not as-good-as-they-used-to-be pitching staff. There were no individual stand-outs, with maybe the exception of Posey, until these past few months and things just started to happen. That’s how they do it in San Francisco. They got together in the clubhouse, put their heads together, posted a 94-68 record and “believed”.
After one of the wildest Championship Division Series ever my prediction is the Detroit Tigers will win the first three games and the Giants will win the rest. I don’t know why, that’s just the way they do it in San Francisco.
First Game: Wednesday, October 24, 2012, Time TBA, at AT&T Park.
The other day I was in the Safeway parking lot and had to do a double take on the guy pulling in next to me. My gosh! For sure it was Sergio Romo, in the car right next to me. What to do? Should I just ignore him, maybe introduce myself, thank him for a great season, or just act my age and ignore him? After taking a few deep breaths I got out of the car and immediately realized it wasn’t Sergio after all, just someone who really reminded me of him! This has been happening a lot lately. We returned late last night from Las Vegas. We flew down just to see “The Jersey Boys” playing at the Palazzo and it was probably the best show I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of shows! As we were being seated I nudged my husband and said” Oh my gosh! Look! It’s Buster Posey! ” He was just being seated 4 rows in front of us! Whattathrill! Only to realize as he turned around it was a Posey lookalike. I wondered if this guy had to deal with fans often as surely others would have made the same mistake I just did. But the reason I’m even mentioning this subject is that during the play, about a third into it, the “Bob Gaudio” character was introduced and I immediately thought what a striking resemblance he had to Matt Cain. Really! Throughout the entire performance all I could think about when this guy was on
The "real" Bob Gaudio
stage was Matt Cain, his looks, height, curly hair, mannerisms, voice, everything! So I mention this to my husband
at intermission and he looked at me a little concerned, like maybe I was starting to get a little obsessed about the Giants ……..really? You think? When we got back to our hotel room, I thought I was really onto something and looked frantically through the Playbill to find this identical twin to Matt Cain, the Bob Gaudio character, only to find they didn’t look anything like each other, at least not in the pictures. I began to think my hubby was right and I was becoming obsessed. After all, this was happening more and more lately. Everywhere I turned I saw someone from the Giants team. I haven’t seen Lincecum yet, but I’m sure he’s out there. It’ll happen. I have to get this under control! It’ll be my New Year’s resolution, to stop obsessing about the SF Giants! Hmmm…..I wonder if Matt Cain can sing?
"I was the worst hitter ever. I never even broke a bat until last year when I was backing out of the garage." Lefty Gomez, Yankees pitcher.
Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. ~George F. Will.
"Does Pete Rose hustle? Before the All Star game he came into the clubhouse and took off his shoes and they ran another mile without him." Hank Aaron.
More Baseball Quotes!
“You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.” - Jim Bouton
"I was such a dangerous hitter I even got intentional walks during batting practice." - Casey Stengel
"This isn't a job. This is a privilege, that's what this is!" - Mike Krukow, TV Commentator, on being at the ballpark each day.
"I've found that the knowledge of the game is usually in inverse proportion to the price of the seats." -Bill Veeck, Chicago White Sox owner.
"Derek Jeter's accomplishment puts Pete Rose's hits record in perspective. 3,000 hits is phenomenal. 4,000? Freakish!" - Anthony Castrovince via Twitter
"The best possible thing in baseball is winning the World Series. The second best thing is losing the World Series." - Tommy Lasorda
"You teach me baseball and I’ll teach you relativity.... You will learn about relativity faster than I learn baseball." - Albert Einstein
"Baseball is a game of race, creed, and color. The race is to first base. The creed is the rules of the game. The color? Well, the home team wears white uniforms, and the visiting team wears gray."
GARLICFRIESANDBASEBALL is written by a long-time fan who simply loves the game. I write my own articles (hence the grammar and occasional misspellings). If I include an article from another source, credit is given to that source and will include links when appropriate. The opinions are my own.