By HOWARD BERGER
SAN FRANCISCO (Dec. 25) — After two of the most spectacular weather days here in the Bay Area, my son Shane and I toured AT&T Park on an afternoon in which baseball would likely have been postponed.
Our timing on Wednesday was particularly lousy in that rain soaked the home of the World Series–champion San Francisco Giants just as our tour stepped outside onto the warning track next to the visitors’ dugout. It had been cloudy and dry beforehand. The sun began poking through clouds almost immediately after we left the field. C’est la vie, right?
WATCHING FROM THE VISITORS’ DUGOUT ON WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AS RAIN PELTED THE FIELD AND STANDS AT AT&T PARK HERE IN SAN FRANCISCO.
Otherwise, prancing about the ballpark in South Beach offered more than vague familiarity. Shane and I had been to a game here in the summer of 2003 when the stadium was still called Pacific Bell Park.
But, that was much too long ago.
Instead, acquaintance resulted from all of the games we’ve seen on TV from San Francisco during the Giants’ World Series dynasty (three championships since 2010) — most recently, of course, the seven–game battle with Kansas City that ended on the road at Kauffman Stadium, Oct. 29. From the view of San Francisco Bay and McCovey Cove to the enormous Coca Cola bottle and four–fingered baseball glove in left–center field, AT&T Park seemed a bit like home to those visiting for the first time. Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, Pablo Sandoval and Co. have become quasi–relatives to baseball fans over the past five years.
Here is a good portion of Wednesday’s tour from my trusty NIKON:
THE STATUE OF LEGENDARY WILLIE MAYS ?? ON THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF AT&T PARK, ACCOMPANIED BY 24 PALM TREES TO COMMEMORATE THE JERSEY NUMBER MAYS WORE.
FROM THE UPPER DECK OF AT&T PARK.
THE 80–FOOT–LONG COCA COLA BOTTLE AND REPLICA OF AN OLD, FOUR–FINGERED BASEBALL GLOVE (MADE OF FIBERGLASS) ABOVE THE LEFT–CENTER FIELD BLEACHERS. THE BUILDINGS OF DOWNTOWN OAKLAND CAN BE SEEN AT TOP ACROSS SAN FRANCISCO BAY.
FIRST AND SECOND–LEVEL SEATS ON THE FIRST BASE SIDE.
DESIGN ON THE SIDE OF AN UPPER–DECK CHAIR AT AT&T PARK.
THIRD–BASE DUGOUT OF THE 2014 WORLD SERIES CHAMPION.
TONY BENNETT LEFT MORE THAN HIS HEART HERE IN SAN FRANCISCO. THE OLD CROONER HAS A PRIVATE LUXURY SUITE DOWN THE RIGHT–FIELD LINE THAT HE USES AT HIS LEISURE. IT COMES WITH 25 SEATS FOR ACQUAINTANCES AND CAN BE RENTED FOR A MERE $18,000 PER GAME WHEN BENNETT IS ENGAGED ELSEWHERE.
VIEWS ?? FROM THE TONY BENNETT SUITE.
ALSO FROM THE BENNETT SUITE, A VIEW OF THE SAN FRANCISCO–OAKLAND BAY BRIDGE BEYOND THE COCA COLA BOTTLE AND LEFT–FIELD BLEACHERS.
VIRGIN AMERICA HAS A 10–YEAR LEASE ON A SUITE CLOSER TO HOME PLATE.
JERSEY TIM LINCECUM WORE WHILE THROWING HIS FIRST OF TWO CAREER NO–HITTERS: AT PETCO PARK IN SAN DIEGO — JULY 13, 2013.
FIRST–BASE BAG FROM THE GIANTS’ 2014 HOME OPENER, APR. 8, vs. ARIZONA.
RAIN SLIGHTLY DAMPENED ENTHUSIASM AS WE WALKED ONTO THE FIELD AT AT&T PARK.
FROM THE VISITORS’ DUGOUT…
SHANE BERGER SITTING WHERE THE KANSAS CITY ROYALS RESIDED TWO MONTHS AGO.
BATTING CAGES BEHIND THE VISITORS’ DUGOUT.
IN THE VISITING TEAM CLUBHOUSE ?? AT AT&T PARK.
THE VISITING MANAGER’S OFFICE.
THE BATTING PRACTICE, NATIONAL ANTHEM AND GAME–TIME REMINDERS IN THE KANSAS CITY ROYALS CLUBHOUSE (TOP–LEFT) REMAIN FROM GAME 5 OF THE WORLD SERIES, OCT. 26.
BRICK–WORK ON THE SIDEWALK THAT SURROUNDS AT&T PARK.
AS EVIDENCED BY THIS LOVELY VIEW FROM OUR HOTEL BALCONY, WEDNESDAY’S WEATHER IMPROVED IN THE HOURS AFTER THE BALLPARK TOUR.
EVEN SAN FRANCISCO WAS CLOSED ON CHRISTMAS EVE — ALL, THANK GOODNESS, EXCEPT FOR DELIVERY BY A LOCAL DOMINO’S OUTLET. WHEW!
FROM HOWARD AND SHANE HERE IN SAN FRANCISCO: A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL… AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.
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