Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Visit to the World Series

Wednesday night, I attended Game 1 of the World Series in San Francisco. I didn’t have a ticket, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t still a part of the action. In fact, I think I had the best experience outside the stadium, just watching the game on televisions inside bars, restaurants, donut shops—even at a Starbucks, while standing on the sidewalk.

There were people from all around, like Gabe that I met on my train ride, who came up from Merced. Like me, he didn’t have a ticket, but he too wanted to take part in the experience. Listening to conversations on the streets, I heard people say numerous times that the energy they felt was nothing like the last time the Giants played in the World Series in 2002.

The energy could be felt everywhere around the stadium, even for people not watching the game on TV. In McCovey Cove, you could find people on boats, yachts, canoes, and devices I'd never even seen before, just floating about and taking in the experience from the water.

Just beyond the cove, on a grassy area overlooking the third base side upper deck, I found fathers playing catch with their children, people gathered around radios while barbequing, and local news outlets preparing for their nightly broadcasts. It was here that I ran into NBC 11 Sports Director Raj Mathai, prepping his upcoming story.

The excitement that the Giants playing in the World Series has brought to San Francisco is truly palpable. Not surprisingly, orange and black permeated the area around AT&T Park last night. Still, some in the area admitted that they weren’t truly die-hard Giants fans, but found themselves swept up in the excitement. Yet despite this, their passion behind every Giants run was just as real and enthusiastic as the lifelong fans, who’ve for years endured missed opportunities and uneventful seasons. During this World Series, everyone is a die-hard Giants fan.

Now, I make no secret of being a San Francisco Giants fan, which might be a contradiction given
that I work for Baseball San Jose and spend my days trying to build support for an A’s move to San Jose. However, at the end of the day, I consider myself a San Josean and baseball fan first. I know that a Major League Baseball team in San Jose would help further our national identity, boost our local economy, and make Downtown San Jose a destination for baseball fans across Northern California. Now for those naysayers, who might say that I only make these comments because of my affiliation with Baseball San Jose, I say I came to this opinion long before I knew of the role that this organization was playing in the effort to bring the A’s to Silicon Valley. The A’s in San Jose just makes sense. And it has for years.

I have no doubt that, in San Jose we have the greatest sports fans, and that they would embrace a baseball team in the same manner that they did the Sharks, the Earthquakes, and even the Sabercats (yes, they’re coming back starting in January). And wouldn’t it be great to bring the mania currently overtaking San Francisco to Silicon Valley? I, for one, look forward to the day when San Jose might have the opportunity to host its own World Series, so that I can again experience, closer to home this time, what I did in San Francisco on Wednesday.

-Paul Higgins

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