Tuesday July 22
What a game last night. An inverted “great pitchers” battle. Vogelsong faced Lee, who was returning to action. an action there was indeed. 82 pitches for Vogie with no one out in the 4th. 90 pitches for Lee when he was relieved in the 6th. The Giants lead 6-4 after 6 which held up for the 7-4 final score, but it took more than 2 hours to play the 1st 5 innings and a near record night with a total of 29 hits, equally divided 15-14. As were 14 K’s. All those hits, but only a single homer, by the just recalled Duvall in his 1st game back.
A good long one to watch, which was never boring. It only seemed like one of our usual quiet run of scoreless innings, only after the relievers came in. With hardly half of the game played, before the bullpen took over. 12 pitchers were used- 7 for the Giants, 5 for the home team.
It really seemed more like a minor league try out.
And now for the ladies view- We began the trip to the park at Penn’s View hotel and walked to the train. It was less than 2 blocks to the 2nd street station and because of his age they allowed Bert in for free. We had a jovial discussion with a platform superintendent who had the sheriff close at hand in case Bert misbehaved. He told Bert he would have the kleenex waiting when we returned because the Giants were going to lose because Cliff Lee was pitching. We took the blue line to the orange line and then had about a 3 block walk to the stadium. We were able to enter 1.5 hours before game time and went to the Majestic store to get the passport stamped.
I then met up on the rail hoping to get an autograph, but the Giants were once again stingy, and I struck out. I met a Phillies family there with their daughter Taylor who was a big Giants fan. She was especially fond of the Panda, and despite her age she too struck out when it came to an autograph. There was a man on the other side in for a wedding. He had scored 4 autographs in Pittsburgh, but had no luck here. I then met Bert back at the seats and he was busy chatting with several Giants fans.
We then met our usher who shared info on Phillies food and her cheat sheets of happenings around the park. We got to try the Turkey Hill ice cream she suggested, but they didn’t have the Grand Slam flavor. We will try more of her suggestions the next couple of games.der tips.[/caption]
It was Italian heritage night at the park, and they carried the theme from the That’s Amore for the kiss cam song, to the band, and dancers.
Naturally being short we both hope nobody tall or wide sits in front of us, but last night Bert had a big man in front of him. He reminded me of my Uncle Bud who was 6’7 and 350 pounds on a good day.
Next to us was a couple who had moved from California to Philadelphia and her name was Leann. I won’t say much about the game other than it was a lot of hits and a lot of sloppy play, but we managed a win.
On the way home we met some Gideon’s and they prayed for our safe travel. They naturally had a bible for us, and discussion including how the constitution and the traditional Jewish wedding are similar. I also met a Giants fan who had followed them since they were in NY.
Monday July 21
So we can’t take advantage of the opposition, even when they want us to- or so it seems. Miami was on a losing streak, but our Timmy must have felt sorry for them. He’s been there once or twice. He handed them a win, they seemed not to want.
In the 7th-after holding the Marlins to 4 hits, Timmy gave up a lead off double to Hecchavaria who scored the leading run from 3rd, when Timmy completed the gift with a WP, letting him score.
A great pitched game- 7K’s, gone for nought. With 5 months to go until Christmas, what better gift could the Marlins receive.
Tonight we will take on the struggling Phillys and a tie of the 4 games wouldn’t be satisfying!
And now for the ladies take-I expected a sweep and was annoyed that Bochy didn’t take Timmy out when I thought he should. Maybe Timmy was afraid to let the bullpen take over? Or maybe I believe the Giants can win every outing which might be a tad optimistic.
We were in section 219 and sat in the 1st row since nobody was in front of us and our row was full. I went and walked the entire stadium so I would have a good overview. I appreciated the line ups being posted prior to the game. The stadium was built on the site of the Orange Bowl and they had the history posted.
There were plenty of food vendors on the promonade level and it was tough to choose, but Stephen the Marlins fan said the pastrami was good and he knew his stadium. I snagged a pastrami sandwich from the Kosher deli and we had a juice smoothie and a coke to finish it off.
I once again enjoyed the high energy dance team and they moved all over the stadium, and entertained with dance moves, cheers, and flips.
After the hopes of a sweep were dashed we headed to the taxi line, where we commiserated with fellow Giants fans.
We headed to the airport on the shuttle van from the Springhill suites and had a nice conversation about love and life with the driver. She shared her love at 1st sight story with us. Her hubby of 5 years didn’t even speak english when they met, but his values let her know what words couldn’t express and she agreed to marry after a very short courtship. We hung out in the Admirals lounge at the airport and had a muffeletta sandwich and oatmeal raisin cookies for dinner, then headed off to board the plane.
Bert had asked if the plane was small since he had 16D and I had 16F. He wanted to make sure we had seats together. The hostess in the lounge said there is no 16E. When we boarded there were 3 seats on either side, so we didn’t understand how there could be no E until we arrived at our seat.
Bert asked the flight attendant why we had a table and she explained if the put the spacers in 4 seats they could use one less flight attendant on the flight. Who would have guessed that?
We arrived at out hotel, Penn’s View in the wee hours of the morning. It is a beautiful room in the old part of the city, complete with a fire-place, antiques, and a jacuzzi tub. To bad we are too tired to enjoy it today.
The Phillies have their ace pitcher returning, but a Giants win tonight would put smiles on both our faces.
Bert and Le Anne
What began as a possible bad day at the ballpark, with 3 Marlin singles opening the 1st inning for a 1 run lead, soon became another possible laugher by the 4th inning, when our guys took a 5 run lead. But it was no to be.
As usual, the middle innings remained unproductive. A threat in our 8th, did not materialize. Affeldt did his job as set up man in the bottom of the 8th, and turned over a 5 run lead to who else but Romo. Romo is not used to being asked to save a 4 run lead. 1st pitch, a lead off homer by Stanton, and the lead was cut to 5-2. Two outs followed, but of course we couldn’t relax. A double followed by a single cut it to 5-3. With the tying run at the plate, nails got shorter, until Pence ran down a right field blast to close it out, and send us home victorious.
We began the adventure at the ballpark with a stop at the New Era store to get the passport stamped. The clerk at the front of the store was helpful and personally stamped the passport for us. He directed us to a new restaurant which just opened so we could have a cold drink while waiting for the stadium to open. We met a father and son who were Angels fans in to watch a game. We shared our story over a cold drink.
I wanted to walk the stadium, but also wanted to get an autograph. What a tough choice. We passed by the bobble head display on our way to the seats. Bert compared their Giants bobble head collection to his; they won.
I opted to try for the autograph with no success. Our seats were great section 10 seats 23,34. We had a good view of the plate.
Billy was by the dugout all night and posed for lots of photos
We gave the pepperoni pizza from Sir Pizza a try, and it was average and at $11 was small. We also tried the chocolate chip cookies. They made Bert’s hands a mess, so if you make this choice grab plenty of napkins.
We took the 1st to games, but Romos 1st pitch resulted in a homer. You can see with his lack of confidence comes a lack of joy, and I hope he gets his mojo back soon. Tim Hudson had another good start
Well Timmy “the Freak” is on the mound today and I feel a sweep.
Bert and Le Anne
Sat July 19th
Even if Madison didn’t need the 4 or 5 days off to keep his form, the rest of our guys seemed to benefit from the break, to come back with the 1st laugher in a long time. I kind of feel guilty not to have to worry, or be on edge for a change, while watching a game. It will be fun to be able to continue our “away” fine record. We will see today- and it will be very good to watch, in an enclosed stadium, saving us from the 93 degree humid weather outside. Wouldn’t a sweep be great as we head tomorrow to Philadelphia on the red-eye. We will be joined there by grandson Dylan and his wife Amey at the ballpark. Le Anne will bring you up to date on the last few days.
Now for the ladies view
I am not sure where to begin. We missed a post from the last Oakland game. We missed breakfast this morning. Oh, and we missed the downpour last night at the game. I guess I should start with the Oakland game. It was a dreadful loss and I am trying to wipe it from memory, but there is one story I believe worth sharing. We were crossing the overpass from O Co and a man came running after Bert yelling Pops, carrying a Giants cap. We naturally were in no mood to look at new hats after the loss, but the man carrying it shouts “I saw you on TV and I want you to have this” An A’s vendor was kind enough to give Bert a brand new cap and just wanted to let Bert know that he admired a man of 93 who was pursuing his baseball dream. He saw Bert on TV and recognized he needed a new cap.
We took the red-eye to Ft Lauderdale, and this season every flight we are on seems to be late coming in or out of SF. This flight was no exception. I was unable to get a good internet connection, and then learned there is a virus being spread thru Windows. Last night I couldn’t get my phone to work, and if there are no pictures that is why. We were on a Jet Blue flight and the crew was pleasant, they provide us with a snooze kit, good drinks and snack, and TV. The leg room was better than most flights, and it was nice not to have the seat in front of me literally in my face. We did hit a bunch of turbulence, but I managed to get 3 hours of sleep and Bert is such a good sleeper he didn’t even know about it. We got to the airport and I had reserved a shuttle called Express Shuttle. I was told to call a cell when we landed and when we picked up our luggage. The voicemail was full and we had to resort to plan B. We took a taxi and it was almost $70.
We arrived to the hotel just before 9:30am and they were accommodating. They gave us a nice room, held our luggage and sent us for breakfast. We are staying at the Springhill suites on 10th. It isn’t fancy, but huge room, and everything was clean and modern. The staff getting us a room early and then making breakfast available was also a plus. I would stay here again. We were told to take the free trolley to the stadium. We were not told that we have to change trolleys, but the 1st driver dropped us at the stop for the stadium trolley and it was a free ride on a clean trolley with friendly people. The second trolley the driver didn’t speak english but passengers told us where to get off. It took about an hour to go the 1.3 miles from the hotel to the stadium, but we got a good view of the medical centers and Little Havana.
We arrived at the stadium. Miami Marlins Park is a new, fun stadium. It is clearly Florida with bright colors and pink flamingos, and a fun place to watch a game. We got dinner before going to seats, because the vendors on the main floor are good, but the club level concessions are lacking. We had Cuban sandwiches and plantain chips. One sandwich would have been enough for the two of us. It had pork, and I think ham, with pickles, cheese, and mustard, and was served hot. We had a water to go with it. We walked by the oyster bar. Food at the stadium seemed good and fresh, and for stadium food reasonably priced.
We sat in section 220 row 2 seat 24,25. The seats were in the club level. The first thing I noticed is how empty the stadium was. There were as many Giants fans as Marlins fans. In the row in front of us were Marlins season ticket holders. Stephen and Nick were both knowledgeable fans. Nick had an autographed Barry Bonds bat hanging in his room. Stephen had almost as many baseball stories as Bert, and was generous enough to treat two Giants fans to a drink despite the discouraging play of his Marlins. The club section had comfortable padded seats, and a good view of the field. What it was lacking is Marlins fans. The stadium was covered and as a joke they post zero rainouts since 2012. Showers are frequent in Miami. Last night was no exception. It poured and has lightning for much of the game. The large windows provided a good view of the downpour and the retractable roof kept us cool and dry. I think the ownership is trying hard to provide a great experience for the fans. The new stadium had fun features like a colorful flamingo and dolphin display which moved when a player hit a ball into it. They close the upper deck because sales are so pathetic. Attendence last night was 23,017. They have also shut down many of the vendors on the club level as a result of low numbers. They have fish tanks behind the plate with bullet proof glass, and many unique features. The fact that they are Miami Marlins Park means they are not getting enough community support to have a corporate sponsor. I asked fans why the Marlins don’t get enough support while waiting for a taxi after the game and was told management trades away all the young, quality talent. It is a problem. If fans don’t attend then management doesn’t have the money to pay for the talent. I say support your team Miami. You have a 1st class stadium, so step up, and you will get the 1st class team to match it, and you can keep the young talent. They even have a quality dance team. I wouldn’t mind having some of the hot Marlins bats on the Giants. We hope all is well with Dave Righetti. It’s almost time to head back to the ball park.
Bert and Le Anne
Back to the salt mines. We were quite puzzled last night while watching a sell-out crowd at the Coliseum roaring their baseball leading A’s to another shut out of our poor Giants. We were all together to take the series in San Diego over the holiday weekend.
Although Le Anne and I left Petco Park at 4:40 p.m. Sunday, we never got home (we were driving) until 4:40 a.m.m Monday morning. Part of the reason was the holiday traffic but more so an accident on I5 near Fresno which had an 18 wheeler knocking over a light pole and delaying traffic for a full 3 hours.
The reason we were puzzled was that we could not recall seeing our favorite baseball club also stuck in the traffic disaster. We were sure they would have flown home, or had their bus (or busses) find a way out of the mess. But at the O Co Coliseum last night it sure did look like they had the same problem we did. What else could account for their sleepy-headed, no action game we were watching. And Crawford’s 2 errors in the same inning.
Out only hope this morning is to that they got a good night’s sleep anyway last night and will recover before getting away from the DH based games and move across the Bay for two more–which we must take — in SF Wednesday and Thursday.
And now for the ladies take. I give this performance an A for awful. 2 controversial calls and 2 uncharacteristic errors by my favorite short stop Brandon Crawford left us with a 5-0 loss. I have nothing more to add. The O.Co coliseum is O for old. Watching the game in an old football stadium is just not the same as watching it in one of the modern stadiums. The game was a sellout which is unusual, and the fans reminded me of a football crowd. They boo’d and cheered on the team with enthusiasm. This crowd deserves a better place to watch a game. The scoreboard is so old they can’t put player names on the lineup. We went to our seats in 215 row 7 and had a good view of the plate.
I went down to get our passport stamped and guest services used a green stamp which I liked. They recommended the 2 foot corn dog as something unique to eat at the stadium. I opted instead for pizza. The A’s fan behind me tipped me to the specialty pizza stand which has 3 choices margherita, pepperoni, and a daily special and the sell micro brew. I opted for the Green Flash road warrior imperial rye india pale ale. I loved it. If you like something with a full-bodied flavor this is it. Bert likes something milder, even if he is a road warrior. For pizza I had to try the special and Bert had pepperoni. We both gave the pizza a thumbs up.
We received the picture of Joey Wilson from his girlfriend Chanary. It was a reminder of the great game on July 5th. We needed something to take our mind off this loss.
Well as a wise man with many years of watching baseball told me tomorrow is a new day and either team could win. Let’s hope today brings a win for Mad Bum.
Bert and Le Anne
Monday July 7
Well! We did it again. Back to the good ole days of a month ago and the , we hope, of the Giants winning ways–especially on the road. It was a great day, a great feeling, to take two straight from the Padres and Timmy continuing his mastery of the not-so-bad San Diego team. I will leave the telling of the disastrous 12 hours following the game (our return drive home) to Le Anne . She did a masterful job of staying behind the slow-moving wheel of the Prius from 4:40 p.m. Sunday to 4:30 a.m. Monday to get us home to the condo.
I know she will cover that — and, I am sure, also the 4 1/2 minute story that KPIX (Channel 5) ran on its Game Day program last night at 11:30 p.m.
I’ll try to stick to the baseball part of these reports. Yesterday’s game made it possible for me to prove to Le Anne (even if we did not agree) of the machinations of our professionals running our favorite sport.
Le Anne has never hesitated to concentrate and remark upon the various disagreements she has had with our manager, including this last one –putting a batter like her favorite Giant, Hunter Pence, into the lead off spot. I must let you in on a family secret despite Le Anne’s veto power . Last week, after Larry Baer had invited us to join him in his owner’s box at A T & T,and when this lead off change was announced, I had suggested she call Larry (now that we had met him, etc.) and offer to save Larry what must be a rather extensive salary being paid to Bochy. Obviously, she could tell him, of the terrible mistake being made in moving Pence up. Also all the others that he has made which have induced our slump.
Fortunately, our travels have prevented her from doing so as yet — Yesterday when he hit 3 for 4, including scoring from first on Panik’s double, and being responsible (with Panik’s help) for 3 of the 5 Giants runs — he showed what he could do in the opening spot. Despite Le Anne’s unmatched ability to convince anyone of her deep beliefs, he might not have listened. Any way, who knows, by the time we meet Larry at the Miami series soon, she may have some right to her position. (How’s that for family and marital harmony?)
And now for the ladies view-point. I am writing the blog in a fog…a mental fog from being worn out. We were supposed to be in section 310, but it was hot, and Bert is supposed to avoid the sun due to his past melanoma, and I tried the seat upgrade on the MLB ballpark ap. I don’t know why but couldn’t get the seat upgrade to go thru. We were sent by Padres personnel to Membership services, and although it was not their job, Stacey Hallam helped solve the problem and we moved to section 112 row 40. Kudos to the Padres for helping us. We settled in the seats and decided to go for hotdogs and a big drink pregame. We opted for the Kosher dogs which were grilled, and for hotdogs good. Bert likes a hot dog, and considers it and integral part of baseball.
The game was great and Pence did an awesome job in the lead off, so their goes my opportunity as Bochy’s replacement. I texted updates to friends and family in Seattle, and they were on the edge of their seats until the final out. I was thrilled that the Padres were able to find seats out of the sun, however I would recommend against seats in the higher rows in 112 because you have fans up and down the aisle the entire game, and can’t see the entire board. If you are their for a social experience rather than a diehard fan who scores each pitch these seats are great.
After the game we headed across the street to the garage and hit the road around 4:30pm. We figured we could make it thru LA and then decide if we should stop and find a room, or head for home. With as much time as we spend on the road, I had made up my mind I wanted to go home if I was safe. LA driving is always frustrating and to drive it at the end of a holiday weekend is no fun. I was mentally prepared to be a road warrior, and we survived that part of the trip. We needed gas and dinner, so spotted an in and out burger drive thru. My daughter has recommended them, and Bert and I decided to give it a try. We got gas and head to the in and out only to see a long line, so headed next door to Carl’s Jr. We had burgers and a salted caramel shake which was surprisingly good. Happy and ready to face traffic again we got back on the road. We were zipping along at about 75 mph and I was expecting we would still be home by 12:30 or 1 am. About 15 minutes later we hit traffic and it was stop and go for 3 hours. I think I averaged 9 mph. I was ready to pound my fists in frustration. I tried sports Radio to relive the Giants victory, but all I could get was world cup, I tried talk radio and all they were talking about was marijuana, I then tried country music and had the top 40 countdown which distracted me for a bit. Both cell phones were at critical charge levels so I couldn’t escape the traffic jam because I had no way to navigate. Bert tried playing a CD of love songs, which was sweet, but he will tell you when I am in stop and go traffic jams I am challenged to think about love. Well I finally told Bert than I would drive until 4:20 am and then I was concerned about safety, so he would need to take over. Lucky for him, we arrived at the garage at home with about 4 minutes to spare. We unloaded and flopped into bed. We knew KPIX was doing a show on us and were excited to see it, but sleep took priority. We got up and dashed to the TV to see the show. We had gotten texts with Kudos on the piece, so it was the first priority this am.
We got to know the film crew Tony and Brian and think they did a great job of telling our story.
I got an email from James today and he shared a photo from Petco. It is a joy sharing the journey with fellow fanatics.
Yesterday was an unusual day. In fact we played a double-header in one game. We saw two separate games in 10 innings. One was a 6 inning match in which both starters, Hudson and Desaigne ( the Cuban rookie who shut the Giants down in SF last week in his 1st major league game) Tim held the Padres scoreless until their 2nd and 3rd hits in the 6th. The Padres then tied the game. It was an exciting pitching battle for 6. Tim was over 100 pitches, the rookie 89, when the 6th inning required relief support.
We called on Machi. They brought in Torres and Quackenbush. The next game- also exciting every pitch of the way, went from a 1-1 draw, to a 2-1 Giants lead, then 3-2 Padres lead, and tied again by our boys in the 9th, until we took it all with a 5-3 win in the 10th. The Padres needed 5 relievers, and we used 4, with Romo getting the win, Casilla the save, and Thayer took the loss.
Most memorable of all was Pence’s lead off double in the 10th, preceding Belt’s 1st homer after his return, which I believe, was also his 1st hit since returning to the line up. Today we take the series, and drive home to our next “away games” in Oakland. We will still travel, this time using Bart.
Well now the ladies take on the game. We may be able to fulfill our promise to Larry Baer and continue to be a good luck charm on the road. I am still recovering from the whirlwind game of yesterday.
San Diego is currently the Giants home away from home, and we pack Petco. It appeared we had as many Giants fans as Padres fans, but that could have been because we were sitting behind the Giants dugout. As we left for the Giants game we ran into fans we met before. I think we met Joyce and Gary in Phoenix..
We also ran into a couple we had met in Pittsburgh. I have concluded that the Giants have a much stronger fan base than I knew about. I was in the business of selling MLB apparel prior to meeting Bert, and from that would have expected an average following. I was wrong. We ran into Giants fans at the stadium and in the stadium. We got remarks such as “I know who you are” “Aren’t you the ones from TV?” and “You are my hero”. For a simple fan this recognition is foreign. At least 12 people recognized us from Kruk and Kuip’s broadcast. I do realize how lucky I am, this has been the best year of my life. It would not be the same without Bert who has seen about everything baseball related, and can tell a great story.
We were in section 112 row 15 and seats were good. I was sitting next to a Padres season ticket holder. The only downside were people were up and down the aisle constantly.
Here was a good summary of food in the park. http://m.sandiego.eater.com/archives/2014/03/31/where-to-eat-at-petco-park-home-of-the-padres-1.php I opted for the tri tip sanswich. I thought the barbeque sauce was good but the meat was not the tender juicy barbecue I am used to. For someone who has lived in Texas I would say avoid.
In summary the game was a rollercoaster, the stadium was a good place to watch a game because the Padres fans didn’t seem to mind a Giant invasion, food choices were plentiful, and most importantly we had a win. We have another game to watch, and a long drive home, followed by a game in Oakland tomorrow. If we can get the series today, it will be a breeze.
Sat July 5th
Our apologies to Larry Baer. Last Tues night (after he saw our Chronicle 2 page write-up) he invited us to his owners box at AT&T park for the Cards game. We broke the losing streak, and won that one 5-0, and with our outstanding win record on the road, we promised him we would remain the Giants “good luck charm” as we finished the second half of the 81 travel adventure.
Last night despite all our effort, or Cain could muster, our bats remained in their silent state. Another potential winning performance by Matt was wasted. Despite the warm weather our bats should be able to find the infield holes instead of the infielders. We can still take this series if for no other reason, than to preserve our reputation, on this 81 for 93 kick. We want to keep our promise to Larry.
And now for the ladies take on the trip.
We began the trip at about 1:30 with a film crew from KPIX the San Francisco CBS affiliate watching us load the car and head off on the road to be the Giants Road Warriors that we are alleged to be. They will be showing a story on our trip Sunday on Gameday at 11:30 pm. Please watch and give us feedback since we will be on the road. Little did I know that everyone else planned on heading south at the same time so I would be driving for 12 hours. LA traffic is always a challenge, and I think I reached a max speed of 19 MPH. We were exhausted when we arrived at the Hilton Gaslamp, but were greeted by Andrew at the front desk. It was just like being seen by family. He had a room for us where we would have a good view of the fireworks.
We slept in a bit and went to breakfast where we ran into Michelle, our waitress from last time. She even remembered Bert’s tea order from the last visit. We headed for the stadium and got our Petco park stamp for the Passport and headed to our seats. We had good seats in section 214 which is Toyota Terrace. They are similar to our seats at home. We had a good view of the plate. I was a bit disappointed with club level seats not having more seating space or food options. I wandered the stadium and field level has a much better selection of food. We were not real hungry so I opted for a nutella gelato for me and milk chocolate gelato for Bert. It was a bit melted by the time I made it up the ramp from field level to the Terrace, but I managed to keep it off my white jeans. For those who want gluten-free, they have it on field level. I forgot my ball so picked one up at the stadium. It ran me $35 because they only had official MLB balls in a case and the pen was $3. I won’t forget again!
The game is hard for me not to comment on. The bats needed some spark and they didn’t have it. It was good to have Belt back on board, and I know Bochy is trying everything he can, but last time he tried Pence in the lead off it didn’t work, and it hasn’t worked this time. My suggestion try Posey. He hits into a lot of double plays, and this would decrease that. The only other part of the game I will comment on was the pregame show with the Leap Frogs. They are Navy Seals, and it was great to be reminded of America’s finest on the 4th.m wp-image-397″ /> Leap Frogs did a join up then came sailing in at 60 MPH.Wow[/caption]
We had a young couple sitting next to us, who live in San Diego area who had split allegiance. They each cheerfully rooted on their team during game.
We had dinner at the spaghetti factory. It is a good value, relatively quick service, and we were able to make it to the Hilton in time for the fireworks. Parking at the Hilton was $41 per night, and so we moved the car to a lot a block away which is $15 per day.
We turned in after a busy day, and got up the next morning to run into Vivian from Yoga class at OMPower in San Francisco. At breakfast this morning we had a couple of Giants fans sitting at the tables next to us so the discussion was hopeful about a win today. You learn something each trip and Tyler sent me this photo with the names of the people already on it. It is a big time saver, and now we will remember their names if we meet again on the road.
Maxwell saw his 1st Giants game, and was patient until it took to long for breakfast to arrive so he grabbed a bite of crayon to the dismay of his mother.
Marcyn had seen us on TV. He was apologetic that he wasn’t wearing his Giants attire, but is a big fan. For me, meeting Giants fans young and old is a delight. I am amazed how one game can be so unifying, and on the 4th reflected on what it would be like if the country could be as united. I also was amazed by the tribute to Lou Gehrig. It was the 75th anniversary of the speech when he announced he would be forced to retire due to ALS. Bert was there to hear that speech. Gehrig’s attitude was not one of self-pity at being diagnosed with one of the cruelest diseases, but of reflection on his blessings. He is Bert’s hero and I like his attitude.”Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans” I don’t know who is the luckiest; me for getting an opportunity to go to 18 ballparks, meet great people, and hope that my Giants will win the big one, or Bert for finally living his dream of living the life of a major leaguer. I do know that we are both lucky for getting to share the 81 for 93 trip together, and who is luckiest doesn’t really matter.
Bert and Le Anne
Blog– Tuesday, July 2, 2014 —
Why a blog today? We are not on the road; the Sports sections will cover yesterday’s great back-up performance by our Timmy who, hopefully, has regained his historic merits; the Giants have snapped out of their slumber; why shouldn’t everyone be happy today — and we are — . So why bother with a blog?
I guess just because things happen — and Le Anne and I had the chance to think back a little bit while catching up at home. Speaking for myself, and you all know Le Anne can very well speak her own mind, two months have flown by. April and May were just yesterday. The Giants have caused eyebrows to raise all over baseball land. Although they are drooping a little right now, it is still a great feeling.
But more than that : Who ever expected that because we had this hair-brained idea of traveling like a Giant player, that so many other things would happen as the adventure unfolded? We never anticipated the reaction as a result of it all. So early on we met Kruk and Kuip in a Pittsburgh stadium elevator; so the Giants TV , thanks to Jim Lynch, started to pick us up from time to time which made us, and our families feel great; but a 2 page write-up in the Chronicle; KPIX doing a newscast interview soon on Channel 5; Larry Baer calling and inviting us to join him in the owners’ box last night at AT&T? Being asked for autographs? People recognizing us on street corners as well as in ball parks all over the country….who ever expected to deal with all that?
We started out to try to learn how it feels to live the life of a major leaguers (a lifetime dream). But, who ever expected to have to learn what it is to be an itty-bitty “celebrity.” Ego satisfying, sure–and to the nth degree. Last night we had the realization that we are just only at about the half way mark in this journey. Where will it all end? Maybe, as someone has suggested and is starting to look into , maybe a book on this unbelievable baseball –but more so, a love — story.
But back to baseball itself and last night. Larry Baer was just the greatest of hosts as we sat in his box near home plate next to the Giants dugout. He was as excited as any fan when the Giants rallied, homered, and started to run away with the game. And his special salute to Timmy when Tim came back to the dugout after his 113th pitch in the 8th inning? A real sportsman to be sure. But Le Anne will be giving you much of those details.
Well last night was one to remember. We picked up our tickets at the VIP will call and went to the seats where we were able to peak in to a near empty dugout.
We were offered drinks and opted for the Ghiradelli hot chocolate. It was delivered piping hot. We talked baseball with the usher. Ushers are a great resource and he shared info on the game, and optimized our view.
Batting practice went on and Mr Baer and his wife and son were gracious hosts. I felt like family. They fed us and made us feel welcome.
The seats were second row and only two seats from the dugout. Bert did a good job of singing the Star-Spangled Banner. We ordered dinner and the menu in this area was extensive. I opted for the crab sandwich which is an AT&T favorite.
The lady next to me had a caprese sandwich and her husband had a Cajun turkey sandwich which looked great. He told me it had just the right amount of spiciness. Bert is practical and opted for a hot dog since he wanted something that was easy to eat and wouldn’t mess up his score book.
The 1st few innings had me wondering if Timmy would have a good game or a stinker, but he worked thru it and ended up pitching a beautiful 5-0 game coming off his no hitter. I got some candid shots of the Boys from the Bay.
Each day I get further into this trip I realize that this trip isn’t just our trip, but about the people we get to share it with. I text updates of the game to my mom and dad in Seattle. My dad has Alzheimer’s, but the game means something to him. He does a celebration dance each time the Giants score. My mom is a Cubs fan, but has embraced the Giants since my arrival in the bay area. My niece is engaged to a long time Giants fan who watches the games on his computer. We talk about the highs and low of the game as the game is going on. My sister loves the food as much as I do and is always willing to play food critic from afar. My daughter who is in France was a Giants fan before I was enjoys the whole baseball experience. Bert’s son David and his partner Kim enjoy sharing the whole experience and are gracious about following the TV coverage when we are out-of-town and sending us clips of Kruk and Kuip. Bert’s friend Jack from New York is recovering from a health issue, and wrote to say that he is getting a vicarious dose of joy from following our blog. It is a story of family, many of whom I hadn’t seen in 20 plus years getting together with us at the road games. It is the story of the people of the people we meet at home or on the road who. We had an email from Nancy a friend from the theater commenting on the TV coverage and from Hoot and Alicia who we met in Phoenix thanking us for bringing the Giants luck. Or the comments from Iowa relatives about Dodgers beating us. Friends and family from North to South and East to West are all part of the trip. Friends from Canada, Switzerland, Austria are even becoming Giants fans.
All of this is possible because Bert and I share a love of the game of baseball and one another. This trip is about learning to work as a team as we pursue this adventure. Bert is a planner and yet has adjusted to occasionally doing things totally spontaneously and trusting that things will turn out. I am enjoying when Bert takes charge and plans a trip like the one to New York. He knows the city, and I appreciate him picking seats, hotels, and arranging things with his friends and family. This is a story of how love grows as we travel the road together.
On a lighter note I am sharing some of the shots of the boys of the bay. I particularly like the one of Pablo Sandoval.
Also if Perez is reading this I chose you as the player who would step up and achieve great things for the Giants this season. You are in the lead off spot…run with it.
My last years pick was Pence and he did alright. I believe the Giants can make my dreams come true, and I can see them win a World Series. July will determine if they have the heart and get a lead on the Dodgers. The Dodgers are trying to buy a World Series, the Giants are trying to do it the old-fashioned way with hard work and heart. Don’t disappoint us….show the world together we can. Bert and I believe.
Saturday, June 28, 2014 — Blog #38+++
No, we are not en route to a Giants Away game. And no, we were not supposed to be blogging today. So why are we doing it?
The answer is not as simple as it might be. As is (or will be) apparent, our egos have us believing you just might be interested in what has set us flying high the last 24 hours or so. We may have previously mentioned that a few weeks ago the SF Chronicle spent 2 or 3 hours interviewing Le Anne and me in the condo, taking videos, and accompanying us to the AT&T Park from the ball game that day. We had heard nothing since. The other day a photographer called and met us at our seats before the game. We didn’t think too much about it even though he hung around for most of the day.
So while breakfasting Friday morning with my folded Chronicle at my plate (Le Anne and I have a deal not to talk politics at breakfast–it has made the last wonderful year possible) I hardly noticed the lead article on the front page of the second section, Bay Area. You guessed it. It was our interview — but it took the entire front page and carried over to take up (with 6 pictures) all of the last page of the section as well. I’ll keep this short by just telling you I didn’t finish my breakfast, ran out to buy as many copies of the paper as I could find (I wound up with 9), called David of course, and started to deal with what became a tumultuous day of telephoning, texting, and whatever.
To cap it off, and trying to get some rest after lunch, we were again interrupted with the phone. This time it was Larry Baer, the CEO of the Giants, on the wire to invite us to join him in his owner’s box next Tuesday night when we will be taking on the Cards. You may be sure you will be getting another blog Wednesday before we start to drive to San Diego for the 3 game series there over the July 4 weekend and back home with 2 Away games in Oakland.
Le Anne’s take
Go to http://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Couple-s-ultimate-road-trip-all-81-Giants-road-5583038.php I sure would appreciate if you would comment on the Chronicle website at the bottom of the article so Sam, the author knows you appreciate the story. Yesterday began like any other day Bert began reading the Chronicle and usually begins with the sports section. He had the paper folded as he flipped thru to find the sport section and he was at the Bay area section and said “Hey that looks like you”. I looked and it was me and Bert and a 2 page story on the ultimate 81 for 93 road trip. Our day was not the same-all day. I had planned to study, but the phone rang and emails came in so I never had the chance to do anything besides answer the phone, and watch Bert fly; he was so high from seeing the article. Bert had an appointment with his trainer at the gym, and bought every paper in the local convenience store on his way home. Going to dinner he took every quarter in the house to buy any papers in the paper boxes, so he could share his joy with friends and family. It was an exciting day. I was shocked when I picked up the phone and it was the Giants front office, asking us to join Larry Baer in his box. It is fun for plain ordinary people to live their dreams, and to have the opportunity to share it with others, and I feel blessed to be living the dream. I have never had so much fun. If I had one wish it would be for each of you to be able to live your dream.
Bert and Le Anne