“It’s a long season” Marty Lurie
I can’t believe that almost a quarter of this season is gone, and that it’s time to start looking forward to the next 120 games. It’s also unbelievable that I haven’t written any blogs until now. But I have an excuse. This year I can go to as many games as I want to due to a well-timed retirement, but that doesn’t leave time for much else. I didn’t expect to have an attendance average hovering at .800, but I couldn’t help myself. Can you blame me?
Anticipation is the aphrodisiac that excites fans preparing for a new season. As Marty Lurie reminds us before the first game: There’s a lot of baseball to play . . . When the season starts, everyone’s in first place . . . It’s an open book . . . With those phrases running through my mind, I dove into the 2015 season.
The first official event was the Play Ball Luncheon on April 3, coordinated by the Giants Community Fund to honor the Junior Giants. (More about this great program later)
The reception with players is a highlight of the luncheon. I love the opportunity to look squarely in their eyes and just say “Thank you.” And you know what I usually get back? A heartfelt “Oh no, thank YOU!” accompanied by a genuine smile and a handshake. I pride myself in making Andes Torres shed a tear after the 2010 World Series victory, and although I haven’t quite achieved that again, I have come close.
Less-known players can be overlooked when they’re at a table with the likes of Hunter Pence. Most fans go right to the big name, and miss talking to players like George Kontos or Yusmeiro Petit. But that leaves time for the rest of us to find out what makes these other guys tick. And it’s a great chance to thank them for the role they played in getting that third trophy.
See the gallery for more pictures from the Play Ball luncheon.
The luncheon got me warmed up for baseball, and 2 days later I attended Marty Gras, a dinner hosted by Marty Lurie. I took a picture with the trophy, and saw many familiar faces: McCovey Cove Dave, Mary from the Public House Patio, my friend Julia, and Mario Alioto, Executive VP of the Giants. When I told him I’d had season tickets since 1985, we reminisced about the ’85 season when the Giants lost 100 games, a record that will hopefully never be broken. The following year, Bob Brenly made 4 errors in one inning in a game that he miraculoysly saved later with 4 RBI, the last coming in the bottom of the 9th with 2 out. I was there for both of those games, and remember the Candlestick cold. I recounted a game I’d attended with friends, and
none of us brought much money. We had to share 2 hot chocolates between the 5 of us. I think of that night often when I go for my 6th inning hot chocolate at AT&T. Some traditions don’t die easily.
Since the Giants started the season this year on the road, I had time to prepare for the first home stand: finding just the right shirt for each game, confirming which friends were going to which games, and anticipating meeting up with the other fans, ushers, and staff who are my extended baseball family.
The first game always brings excitement, joy, hugs, and a sense of relief that baseball is finally back in everyone’s life. My personal pre-game ceremonies include meeting friends for breakfast; acknowledging those who taught me about the Good Book of Baseball – my father, uncles and mother who are immortalized in commemorative bricks around the park; and the high noon reading of the Field of Dreams quote.
And finally, the raising of yet another World Series flag means the season has officially started. The first chapters in the blank book of the 2015 season can now begin.