Happy Birthday at the Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

Madison Bumgarner

My daughter Jillian turned 16 just over a week ago. The day coincided with the San Francisco Giants’ first Orange Friday game of 2014, complete with a fireworks show afterward, so we naturally decided to go to AT&T Park to celebrate. The Giants had started the season reasonably well, winning six of . . . → Read More: Happy Birthday at the Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

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

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

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

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

On Memory, Technology, and Digital Obsolescence, By Chuck Strom

Recently I ordered my set of DVDs of the 2012 World Series from Major League Baseball. I had deliberately delayed my purchase, and my patience was rewarded with a price that was half what had been offered during the holidays. I was pleased with MLB’s choice of games to include in addition to the . . . → Read More: On Memory, Technology, and Digital Obsolescence, By Chuck Strom

If You Really Want an Autograph, Just Go Buy One, By Chuck Strom

Quote from ceiling mural at McCovey’s.

Last Saturday at the KNBR Giants Fan Fest I walked onto the grass of AT&T Park for the first time. If anyone had told me beforehand that it would be one of the most frustrating experiences of my life, I would have thought that to be impossible. . . . → Read More: If You Really Want an Autograph, Just Go Buy One, By Chuck Strom

Seems Like I Was Just Here: The 2012 World Series Trophy Tour, By Chuck Strom

For the San Francisco Giants and their fans, where once was poverty is now an embarrassment of riches. Enjoy the pictures.

– Chuck Strom

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Fans waiting inside the building

Fans waiting outside

One should always bring the dog to a trophy show

2012 World Series Trophy

Photo station

The Official Trophy Tour vehicle

Another AT&T Park Tour, By Chuck Strom

To the surprise of no one who is familiar with my posts, I paid another visit to AT&T last week, this time with my daughter Bethany and her current significant other. Enjoy the pictures.

– Chuck Strom

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In the visitor’s locker room

Inside the visiting manger’s office

More of Matt Cain’s Perfect Game Exhibit

Matt Cain Perfect Game Exhibit

In the Giants Dugout

AT&T Park from the scenic upper deck

Time to Say Goodbye to the Beard, By Chuck Strom

A few weeks ago the San Francisco Giants broke my wife’s heart. They chose not to offer her favorite player, Brian Wilson, a contract for at least $6.8 million, which is the minimum allowed by the Major League Baseball collective bargaining agreement based on Wilson’s previous service. The Giants, openly concerned about their closer’s . . . → Read More: Time to Say Goodbye to the Beard, By Chuck Strom

A Series for the Ages (No, Not The World Series) By Chuck Strom

Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park, 2012 NLDS Game 3

A month ago I watched the San Francisco Giants get thrashed 9-0 in Game 2 of the National League Division Series. Except for a few delusional optimists, all of us who were there that night believed that we had witnessed the final game at . . . → Read More: A Series for the Ages (No, Not The World Series) By Chuck Strom

Devoted Fan Seeks World Series Tix, By Chuck Strom

I have been asked whether I have World Series tickets, well…

Standing Room Only starts at $400. The price goes up significantly at this level, probably because now the beautiful people and the high rollers will be showing up. My bankbook isn’t quite in that league, which is why for the last two Giants . . . → Read More: Devoted Fan Seeks World Series Tix, By Chuck Strom

Another Season, Another October, By Chuck Strom

When the Giants clinched the National League West title with almost two weeks left in the season, I put in a call to my brother in San Francisco. “We need to go to a playoff game,” I said. “It could be ten years before they get back again.” That had become my standard method . . . → Read More: Another Season, Another October, By Chuck Strom

SF Giants 2012 Mid-Season Report, By Chuck Strom

The All-Star Break is almost upon us—time for a mid-season report on the San Francisco Giants.

At 46-39, the Giants are one-game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West, and if the season ended today they would be tied with the Mets for the second and final wild-card spot after . . . → Read More: SF Giants 2012 Mid-Season Report, By Chuck Strom

At the Ballpark: Some Therapy and My First Bench-Clearing Brawl, By Chuck Strom

Ryan Vogelsong on the mound

Last week, feeling overwhelmed by life, I e-mailed my brother in San Francisco. “I need a Giants fix,” I told him. “How about a game?”

A few minutes later he e-mailed back, “Funny you should ask. The company tickets are available on Sunday. Are you interested?”

God . . . → Read More: At the Ballpark: Some Therapy and My First Bench-Clearing Brawl, By Chuck Strom

An Affordable Fantasy – A Behind-The-Scenes Tour of San Francisco’s AT&T Park, By Chuck Strom

"Usually I’m too self-conscious to act out fantasies, but this was too good an opportunity to resist."

Not long ago I discovered that AT&T Park gave tours to the general public, including visits to a luxury box, the Giants’ dugout, and the visitors’ locker room. At $15 dollars per ticket, the price of . . . → Read More: An Affordable Fantasy – A Behind-The-Scenes Tour of San Francisco’s AT&T Park, By Chuck Strom

Season Preview – 2012 San Francisco Giants, By Chuck Strom

Those who read Grantland may have seen Jonah Keri’s recent preview of the San Francisco Giants, where he predicted that their stellar pitching will be betrayed again by another punchless lineup of veteran retreads, for which he excoriated general manager Brian Sabean for not improving. In general it’s hard to argue with Keri’s reasoning. . . . → Read More: Season Preview – 2012 San Francisco Giants, By Chuck Strom

Moneyball and the 2011 San Francisco Giants By Chuck Strom

When I heard that Moneyball was being made into a movie, I wondered how a book about the inside business of baseball and the arcane subject of sabermetrics could ever translate into something that could be watched on a screen for two hours. I thought it would never work.

Now that I’ve seen the . . . → Read More: Moneyball and the 2011 San Francisco Giants By Chuck Strom