bunt sign

Sunday, August 20, 2000

The best thing about today was that Eric and I went to a baseball tame at Pacific Bell Park. The second best thing was that I got completely away from work, packing, computers, boxes, invoices, files, forms, phones, deadlines and demands. For one day, I was just me, and it felt good.

When the Giants played at Candlestick Park, the scoreboard would invite fans to "guess the attendance." On a Sunday afternoon in August, it might be anywhere between 20,000 and 50,000.

You don't have to guess at the new ballpark, because it's always 40,930. This was the sixtieth consecutive sellout, which is why those of us who can't afford season tickets will scramble to come up with any way to get to a game.

Thus, the special bus.

Pac Bell Park, before the big crowd arrived

The travel company that we booked the trip through caters to seniors. When I've ridden with them before, I've been the youngest person on the bus by about fifteen years. We thought that the nature of the event might skew the average age somewhat younger this time, but it didn't turn out that way. Eric is 24, and with the exception of one dazed teenager, he was the youngest by the number of years he is younger than me.

So it was the usual crowd, but they are a lively and cheerful bunch. I've always got along with older people, even when I wasn't so close to being one myself. And these are folks who get out and do things. They like to have fun, in their relatively low key way.

Our seats were in the shade; the bus company insisted on that accommodation. It was a warm day, and we were protected from the wind, so conditions were perfect for enjoying the game. It was the first time I've been to the new park for a day game, and the first time I've sat on the first base side.

beyond the bleachers, into the bay

Sitting five rows from the upper rim gives you a great view of the bay and the cove and the bridges. Sailboats, motorboats, rafts and rowboats of all sizes cut through the bay waters at their different speeds.

It made quite a spectacle, and it was complemented by nearly as much activity in the air as in the water. The blue sky above this corner of San Francisco was punctuated with blimps, planes and helicopters.

That's right — blimps; there were two of them flying over the stadium.

At one time, we counted no fewer than six aircraft in sight at one time (and that doesn't even include Chipper Jones' two home run balls).

It's great to watch a game with someone who knows as much about baseball as Eric. Between the two of us, we know enough to carry on the kind of running commentary that either annoys or amuses those around us. Most of the time we're careful not to bother anyone, unless they deserve it.

He's played the game since he was small, and I've been watching it for over forty years, so we bring somewhat different perspectives to the conversation. It's a neat combination.

The fresh air wore me out, but in a good way. I'm the first to admit I don't ordinarily get enough of it. I'm in a pleasantly mellow mood tonight, and sitting here writing about it brings a smile to my face.

I'll try to use this feeling to help me get through my Monday. That way it can be the best thing about tomorrow, as well as today.

what is that?

The bridge behind the ballpark has an interesting structure.

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