First Aces Game

As partial season ticket holder — Thanks Eric and Alison.

Here we are waiting to park while a tow truck does his business.

We’ll go to the end of this building then ramp up to the third — of six — floors to park. Five bucks, and you can use your ticket stub for a free slice at the pizza place (right beside that Ford). Hey, this is Reno. In SF they charge $20 to $40 within 5 blocks of the ballpark. This is just across the street.

Opening Day — with all new staff — is not a good time to get quick service before the game.

We’re in one of the *Freight House District* restaurants that border the ballpark. Carol is looking out the window to the field as they bring the National Anthem singer in in a limo.

Here’s the Aces starting lineup. No digitized jim-crack-scoreboard in this ballpark.

They do have a nice, big scoreboard, but it’s the kind that shows slides and short pre-made videos (such as advertising).

Our view of the ballpark. Pretty good, sez I.

As Brian promised, when the sun went down it got pretty cold, but we’re used to that from San Francisco — Not to mention Fenway Park in April. What we’re not used to is the Aces trailing 16-3 in the top of the Fifth Inning, and it’s about 9:20. We took the opportunity to leave.

And this is what was happening the next day… April snowblobs bring May flowers, we hope.

Back In The Day

Last Sunday, Bill Morris in the New York Times added to the recent meme that college athletics are “out of control” and need to be reigned in. To illustrate his point he profiles the new-ish tradition at Duke University where students camp out, now months in advance, to insure entrance to the Big Game of the year: Duke vs. UNC men’s basketball. While I agree in some part that college administrations sometimes direct athletics un-due attention and resources that are probably contrary to their founding missions as academic institutions, I also cherish the act of cheering for one’s college team as a form of pure and benign community building. And I think that Morris has latched onto the wrong symbol of collegiate athletic access when he speaks of “Krzyzyewskiville.” Then again, I may be biased because I was there, in line, at the beginning.

I arrive at Duke in the fall of 1982, and I distinctly remember our freshman orientation guide, a junior with spiky blond hair, asking our group if we followed college basketball. All ten of us looked around and then shook our heads. He smiled and said, “a year from now you will be big fans.” Frankly I was most looking forward to the ACC football season as our family were big Ohio State football fans, so I had watched many Big Ten football games growing up and finally wanted to see a college game in person. I didn’t even know if Ohio State had a basketball team, though Dad had mentioned once or twice that John Havlicek of our beloved Boston Celtics had played for Ohio State.
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The Giants Win the Pennant,The Giants Win the Pennant!

In December 2010 I chronicled the SF Giants season, culminating in their first World Series Championship in over 50 years. It was celebrated with a parade on November 2nd, and having nothing I would rather do, I was there.

Now, a scant 2 years later, the Giants went and did it again, defeating the team boasting the first triple-crown winner since Yaz, and Justin Verlander, proclaimed the best pitcher in the world. Well, the Giants swept the vaunted Dee-Troit Tigers in four games. Boom. It was over Sunday night. So the city of San Francisco threw another, bigger parade on Halloween. The world turned black and orange.

I was sorely tempted to make the drive from Reno to SF, but then regained my senses. In 2010 I rode my scooter to the parade route, and as soon as the last float passed, I rode home to watch the ceremonies on TV. No way I could get anywhere near the stage. If I drove down… well, you can imagine the scenario.

And yet… I have pictures. How can this be? It’s magic, as you shall see.

Our last 2012 Giants game at ATT Park; Giants 5 Reds 0, June 28.
Paula, Sarah and Carol. Could it have been any colder in Detroit?


The Monday Chronicle front page.

Continue reading “The Giants Win the Pennant,The Giants Win the Pennant!”

Jocks and Rain

Edgewood Tahoe American Century Celebrity Championship

Carol and I went off to South Lake Tahoe for the Celebrity-Amateur part of this golf event. As we crossed over the mountaintop to the west side of the mountain, leading down to Tahoe, it started to rain. Bummer. First rain we’ve seen since moving here. (Geography NOTE: Reno is at 4.500 feet elevation on the east side of the Sierras, Lake Tahoe is at 6,200 feet on the west side.)

C is not into walking a lot, so we selected a spot in the bleachers at the first tee. We arrived just in time to see Rodney Harrison tee off. Each Celebrity was teamed with 3 or 4 amateurs (who allegedly paid $5K each to participate). (Never mind, there is a waiting list.)

Carol then watched Charles Barkley tee-off while I slipped over to the adjacent 10th tee to check out Alex Smith. (guys all look taller and thinner up close than on the TV)
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College Football, WooHoo

Stanford Cardinal v. Washington Huskies
October 22, 2011

Stanford Football is not your big-time SEC or BIG 10 affair, but damn, it’s fun.
I’ve managed to go to a Stanford football game each year for the last 3. Love it.

2009 versus Oregon with Sarah, a normal and sunny afternoon game. I got tickets from the Stanford website and knowing nothing about the stadium, settled for upper deck, Row XX, above the student section. I discovered that in this 50,000 seat, newly remodeled stadium, there are no bad seats. Stanford won in a wild game 51-42, but it was not without thrills, as the Ducks mounted a 21 point comeback in the 4th quarter and were driving as the clock expired.

the view from our high seats... note the sprinkles of yellow ducks in the far corner

2010 versus Wake Forest with Carol, Paul and Kathleen, an 8pm start on general admission tickets, upper deck end zone, procured by Kathleen, who works at Stanford. Stanford kilt Wake 64-24.

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So I’m reading the Chronicle at lunch and it announces a Giants World Series Trophy Tour. Season ticket holders have been able to make appointments to have their picture taken with the Trophy since the season ended, but not a whiff for “just fans” like me.

“For more than 52 years, our dedicated fans have supported us through thick and thin,” said Giants Managing General Partner and CEO Bill Neukom. “The trophy belongs to them as much as it belongs to us and we want to extend the World Champions celebration throughout Giants country and to thank our fans.”

It says a press conference with Mayor Newsom, Bill Neukom and Giants President Larry Baer would be held at city hall at 11:30, and the trophy would be on view to the public in the South Sun Court from 1pm to 3pm. I looked at the clock; 12:45. What am I waiting for? I got on my scooter, bound for City Hall.

The Trophy Tour truck in front of City Hall

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Giants 2010

OK, it’s December, but it’s still 2010, still time to chronicle my Giants year. So here are some games and events I attended in person, and one I didn’t… you can probably guess which that is. Other miscellaneous factoids and ephemera are thrown in for good measure starting with the April line-up compared with that of the final game of the World Series.

Braves at Giants, April 11
First Sunday Home game

Aaron Rowand CF
Eugenio Velez 2B
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Aubry Huff 1B
Mark DeRosa LF
Benji Molina C
John Bowker RF
Juan Uribe SS
Tim Lincecum P

Giants at Rangers, World Series game 5, November 1

Andres Torres RF
Freddie Sanchez 2B
Buster Posey C
Cody Ross LF
Juan Uribe 3B
Aubry Huff 1B
Pat Burrell DH
Edgar Renteria SS
Aaron Rowand CF
Tim Lincecum P

Giants Manager Bruce Bochy didn’t have the luxury to trot out the same 8 guys every day like the Phillies, Yankees and others. The Giants had no superstars except for the pitchers. I think he used over 130 different batting orders over the course of the year.

Sunday, April 11, 2010
Our first game of the year, excitement reigned.
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Germany 0 – Spain 1

2010 World Cup Semifinal.

Scootering to the Market on Tuesday on Pacific Ave, I spotted a place on the corner of Mason with a Spanish flag hanging in the doorway, on the hill, just above North Beach. A sign with a World Cup logo said, “WATCH IT HERE.”

La Lola, A Tapas Bar on Mason at Pacific

On the way home, I stopped and checked it out: La Lola, Tapas Bar. I’d been wanting to watch the Spain, Germany semifinal at just the right bar, but was clueless about where. This looked like the place. At a bar in Vancouver where we watched the Europe Cup final in 2008 I scored an Espana scarf. I got it out of the closet and was good to go.
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Giants v Braves

April 11, 2010

“The money lies with the RBIs.”
Jeff Kent

We left Russian Hill at 11am; light rain was falling, but there was no wind. We wanted to get to the game early for the ceremonies marking the 10th Anniversary of the opening of PacBell Park. Kirk “Woodie” Reuter will throw out the first pitch, he was the Opening Day starter ten years ago. Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent, J.T. Snow and most of the other members of that team will be in attendance. The Giants give good ceremony.

When we got off the 45 bus, it was very windy and the rain was getting serious. We met Sarah in the Dugout Store for the other important reason to be early: to get our Tim Lincecum wigs.

On into the park and up to the view level, to claim our excellent View Box seats. I got my routine Giants Dog and Harp, but there was no place to go and the wind-blown rain was pelting harder and harder. The only place covered is the concourse and there’s no place to sit. It’s 12:15, game time is 1:05 but there’s no way. The radio says they’re shooting for a 4:00 start. We took a vote: unanimous, we’re outta here.

View from the Promenade Level.

I taped the Masters, so we went home and watched that. Excellent choice. After the Masters, we tuned in the Giants game; it started at 5:15, with no ceremonies. The Giants trailed two-zip into the fourth inning, then 2-1, then 3-2. Lincecum retired after the 7th with 10 Ks and 107 pitches. In the eighth, Panda smacked a 2-run bomb into the Arcade and the Giants ultimately won 6-3. With the final out, it started pouring rain.

Marc eyeing the escalator… its in up-only mode.
Carol deciding if she likes being here.
Nice day, our seats are this way…
Sarah and Carol headed home.

“In all the years we’ve been doing this, this is one of the angriest bays we’ve seen.”
Duane Kuiper, Giants TV play by play guy.