Wednesday, April 14, 2010

AT&T Park -- 10 years old already?!

Weisenheimer finally took in a baseball game at AT&T Park in San Francisco Monday, the day after they'd celebrated the 10th anniversary of the first game played there. Time flies! The place has probably had two or three corporate names in that time.

AT&T Park, San Francisco. Photo by Weisenheimer.
It's a nice ballpark, and I'm not sure why it took me so long to visit. Two things factor in: We clearly don't visit San Francisco often enough, and the last time we were here I think the Giants were out of town. Plus, this is the town that got us used to NOT seeing baseball so much. It was 1994, my Sweetie, the official scorer, and I were here as part of our first anniversary celebration, we had tickets to home games for both the Giants and Athletics, and major league baseball went on strike. Oddly enough, we found it was easy to have fun in San Francisco even without major league baseball. It's possible I would not have seen a game since, save for the miracle run by the Mariners in '95. I didn't attend a game in the Kingdome until late August, when it appeared Sweet Lou had them on a run for playoff contention.

Say Hey, say Willie, that
Giants kid is great! Photo
by Weisenheimer.
Anyway, I knew I was going to have a good time at the Giants game when all the ticket takers and ushers seemed impressed with the ticket I'd bought. Club level, front row, just a little to the third base side of home plate. I could have called a better game that the umpire if he'd moved outta the way! The red-hot Giants beat Pittsburgh 9-3, Bengie Molina went 4-for-4 with a homer and a double, and Barry Zito worked into the seventh.

AT&T Park is better than Safeco Field in at least one respect: no roof. On the other hand, they could have used one Sunday when a monsoon delayed the start of the 10th anniversary celebration game by four hours. Such a monstrosity would ruin the great views. While the usher in my section, 217, was predicting more rain, it turned out to be a comfortable and pleasant evening.

Orlando Cepeda, a good enough
Giant to make it into Danny
Kaye's D-O-D-G-E-R-S song.
With a wham, bam, he hit a
grand slam! Weisenheimer photo.
Other features of the park include the well-known giant Coke bottle and giant baseball mitt that loom behind the stands in left field, and McCovey Cove outside the yard in right. Outside on the walkways are statues of Orlando Cepeda and Willie Mays, with the Say Hey Kid's being the more popular.

All in all, the game was a great time. AT&T Park is way better than Candlestick for baseball. Not quite as way better than the Seattle park is over the Kingdome, but pretty close. I think I'll go again, and not wait 10 years this time.

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