San Francisco Giants Fan Fest 2014: Success This Time, and Worth the Wait, by Chuck Strom

At the O’Doul Gate

At the 2013 San Francisco Giants Fan Fest at AT&T Park, I waited the entire day on the field for an autograph, left empty-handed and resolved never to do that again. This year, I had my daughter Jillian with me and didn’t want her to endure such a frustrating and . . . → Read More: San Francisco Giants Fan Fest 2014: Success This Time, and Worth the Wait, by Chuck Strom

The Chicago Cubs are Headed for 100 Losses in Wrigley’s 100th Year, By Mark Erickson

Popular Cub Jose Cardenal and his feisty coiffure won over fan’s hearts without ever winning a championship in Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

The Chicago Cubs will celebrate the 100th anniversary of playing at Wrigley Field this year! Think of the historic events. Babe Ruth’s “called shot.” Kid K’s breakout game. Harry Caray. The collapse of . . . → Read More: The Chicago Cubs are Headed for 100 Losses in Wrigley’s 100th Year, By Mark Erickson

Sochi and the Heroes of Telemark, by Mark Erickson

I watched the Sochi Opening Ceremony. Kyrgyzstan had a cool flag, and I learned that Nepal has the world’s only nonrectangular flag. I was surprised that Iceland had only five athletes. Mexico had one out of a population of 118 million. By contrast, Sweden had 111 out of a population of less than 10 . . . → Read More: Sochi and the Heroes of Telemark, by Mark Erickson

The 2014 Golden State Warriors – Well Worth The Price Of Admission, by Chuck Strom

Despite their second-round series loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the 2013 NBA playoffs were truly a coming-out party for Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors. Since 1994—basically a generation—the Warriors had been one of the least relevant franchises in all of sports, with the exception of an upset against the Dallas Mavericks . . . → Read More: The 2014 Golden State Warriors – Well Worth The Price Of Admission, by Chuck Strom

A Better Performance, But The Same Result, By Chuck Strom

To anyone who saw the Seattle Seahawks beat down the San Francisco 49ers in the second half of the recently concluded NFC Championship Game, the surprise was not that the 49ers lost, but that they came so close to sending the 12th Man home to an off-season of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Instead, . . . → Read More: A Better Performance, But The Same Result, By Chuck Strom

A Tribute to Candlestick From An Unlikely Niner Fan, by Chuck Strom

The online magazine Grantland featured a farewell essay to Candlestick Park, where the San Francisco 49ers played their final game on Week 16 before winning three more games on the road to earn themselves their third straight trip to the NFC Championship Game. The essay, titled “Closing the Cave of the Winds,” is notable . . . → Read More: A Tribute to Candlestick From An Unlikely Niner Fan, by Chuck Strom

Thoughts on the 49er/Packer Game, by Chuck Strom

Watched the whole game yesterday. A few observations:

1. The cold didn’t impact the game as much as people thought it might. Not a lot of slipping or sliding going on, and both teams were able to throw and catch the ball. The kicking game was affected, though. Kickoffs were noticeably shorter even on . . . → Read More: Thoughts on the 49er/Packer Game, by Chuck Strom

49ers/Packers Playoff Preview, by Chuck Strom

If there never was a reason before to eliminate divisions in the NFL conferences and go to a playoff structure seeding teams strictly by their regular season record, there is now. There is something unjust about a team tied for the second-best record in the NFC being rewarded by a first-round playoff game in . . . → Read More: 49ers/Packers Playoff Preview, by Chuck Strom

Turning 50 At The Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

The author at 50

When you go to baseball games, what you see at the park can be totally at odds with what happens over the rest of the season. Last October, I watched the Cincinnati Reds beat the Giants nearly to death 9-0 in the second game of the playoffs, which everyone in . . . → Read More: Turning 50 At The Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

Timmy’s Coming Back! by Chuck Strom

Lincecum 2012 NLDS

A few months ago, San Francisco Giants announcer Mike Krukow said that baseball players generally do not sign new contracts with their old teams when they include a pay cut. Worse than a loss of income, he suggested, a cut brings a loss of status that players prefer not to endure . . . → Read More: Timmy’s Coming Back! by Chuck Strom

Feeling the Magic, by Chuck Strom

Jillian with Posey jersey

A week before the All-Star Break, I took my daughter Jillian to AT&T Park to see the Giants play the Dodgers. On the way down she asked if an outfielder had ever caught a fly ball with his bare hand.

“Yes,” I said. “Kevin Mitchell did it in ’89 . . . → Read More: Feeling the Magic, by Chuck Strom

Thoughts on the Recent Open Championship, by Chuck Strom

Last Sunday I caught the last few holes of the Open Championship, which were the only ones that really mattered. Those who don’t live in a cave know that Phil Mickelson played the best six holes of his life to break out of the pack and win the fifth major championship of his career. . . . → Read More: Thoughts on the Recent Open Championship, by Chuck Strom

Marc Blucas! Plus: Ryan & Dayle Haddon! By Tom Kipp

By the by, former BUFFY co-star (and Tim Duncan’s teammate at Wake Forest, before that!) Marc Blucas’ mondo-gorgeous wife, Ryan Haddon, used to be married to Christian Slater, and I have an issue of the ritzy TOWN AND COUNTRY magazine in which there is a “mansion porn” article spotlighting their (then seemingly) idyllic . . . → Read More: Marc Blucas! Plus: Ryan & Dayle Haddon! By Tom Kipp

Tonic for the Soul: Raising the Flag on Opening Day, By Chuck Strom

“The cast of an off-Broadway production of Jersey Boys sang the national anthem, and the bearers unfurled the flag at a run until it nearly covered the outfield.”

After the San Francisco Giants won their championship in 2010, I wish that I had attended Opening Day the next season. Until then, I had thought . . . → Read More: Tonic for the Soul: Raising the Flag on Opening Day, By Chuck Strom

Metallica Night at AT&T Park, By Chuck Strom

The members of Metallica, including vocalist James Hetfield and guitarist Kirk Hemmett, live in Marin County and attend Giants games regularly

At nine in the morning on Friday, my wife called me at my office. “It’s Metallica Night at AT&T Park,” she said. “I think you should go.”

That sounded a lot better than . . . → Read More: Metallica Night at AT&T Park, By Chuck Strom

How to Get Your Kids Started With Gokart Racing

Racing doesn’t have to happen only in a race car. If your children are minors, you might not want them racing in full-size cars. Because they’re interested in learning how to race, and you’re interested in their safety, consider getting them started in competitive Gokarting. It’s probably best to have them wait until . . . → Read More: How to Get Your Kids Started With Gokart Racing

Frank Deford Never Met Xavi’s Foot, By Claude Iosso

Xavi Hernandez

With absurd ease, Andres Iniesta steals the ball in A.C. Milan’s half of the field and sends a pass forward to Xavi, who slides a deft ball past a sliding defender to striker David Villa. In the box, at an angle, the Spaniard stops the ball, then drives it with his left . . . → Read More: Frank Deford Never Met Xavi’s Foot, By Claude Iosso

Quest for a Third Ring: 2013 San Francisco Giants Season Preview, By Chuck Strom

Baseball writers currently use a lot of sabermetrics to judge a team’s prospects for an upcoming season, carefully calibrating the odds of individual players either regressing in their performance or breaking out to their full potential. Sophisticated as they may be in their analysis, however, their predictions still center on two factors: past performance . . . → Read More: Quest for a Third Ring: 2013 San Francisco Giants Season Preview, By Chuck Strom

Two Days before September 11, By Chuck Strom

A couple of years ago, National Public Radio ran a story about people recalling what they had done on the day before September 11, 2001. Perhaps the most notable aspect of the story is that people actually recalled in detail what had happened that day, as opposed to September 11th itself. A few people, . . . → Read More: Two Days before September 11, By Chuck Strom

An Extended Glimpse of Baseball’s Past, Now Available on DVD, By Chuck Strom

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. . . → Read More: An Extended Glimpse of Baseball’s Past, Now Available on DVD, By Chuck Strom