Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Rummagin' around in the old treasure box . . .
Starting pitcher M.C. O'Connor
Nothing to report in GiantsLand. I'm going crazy thinking of something to write about. So, you're stuck with nostalgia. Like all fans, I've got piles of souvenirs. Check these out. They are from Opening Day 1987. I like the Candlestick Parking Plaza receipt. For some reason, we saved a bunch of those. Spent a lot of hours in that lot, excuse me, plaza, especially that year. I'm not sure why we have Lower Reserve ($9.00!) stubs, we usually sat in General Admission (left field bleachers, Section 30), which were then two-and-a-half bucks apiece, an outrageous increase from the glory days of dollar seats. We probably anticipated the big crowd, and bought seats in advance to make sure we got in. Tailgating was a huge part of the adventure. My lovely bride and I would arrive early, enter on the bleacher side of the lot (plaza!) that had the freaky control tower. This involved coming from Berkeley over the Bay Bridge and down the Bayshore to the Third Street exit, doubling back over the freeway and hitting Jamestown Avenue, turning right and heading for the park. We had an even more convoluted exit strategy, which depended on a mad sprint down the dirt path next to the Gate E staircase and out across the damn plaza. Ah, Candlestick, such a lovable dump! Our coveted parking spot was next to the cyclone cage "protecting" the big gray gas fittings. We never knew exactly what that thing was, but we knew it had something to do with PG& E and we always eyed it warily while barbecuing next to it. We'd cordon off a half-dozen spaces with lawn chairs and whatnot, and wait for the gang to arrive. Those days died quickly as the team became more successful. The increased crowds meant more "crowd control" and the wide-open nuttiness that was Giants home baseball in the really bad years (1972-1986) started to fade. I certainly don't miss the lousy teams, but I remember the adventures fondly.