Saturday, October 30, 2010

My World Series Experience

My Travels
Getting to the City by the Bay for the game became something of a production. I was originally scheduled to fly Delta home on Tuesday night before flying back to Ann Arbor on Friday morning. However, my father mistakenly made reservations for me on flights for Tuesday and Friday of next week, which I only realized when printing out my tickets on Tuesday afternoon. I was switched to a flight on Wednesday morning, but both my alarm clock and my phone decided that would be a great day to not wake me up. I rushed to the airport to attempt to find another flight, but Delta’s flights were booked. I freaked out for a few minutes, trying every possible angle, before the nice woman behind the counter found a US Airways flight for me. I literally jumped over the counter and gave the (quite startled) woman a huge hug before running off to catch my flight to Phoenix. My arrival gate in Phoenix was switched, so while I expected to walk two gates down to reach my departure gate to San Francisco, my Phoenix experience turned out to be a two-terminal sprint to make my connection. I cut by old women in wheelchairs and burst through holes between families of six. Barry Sanders would have been proud. I made my flight and met my father at the airport in SF. We headed directly to the stadium, ready for game 1. Giants baseball is synonymous with torture, so my travel plans needed to involve just a little bit. 

The Festivities
The Giants’ organization really went all out for this series. For both games, the National Anthem was accompanied by dozens of Giants fans unfurling a huge flag covering most of the outfield, fireworks from the centerfield scoreboard, and a flyover by four jets. Each singer for the Anthem or God Bless America was better than the last, with John Legend performing the Anthem for game 1 and the legendary Tony Bennett (“I Left My Heart In San Francisco”) performing his San Franciscan anthem as well as God Bless America. Various Bay Area celebrities were shown onscreen, with Joe Montana and Lars Ulrich (Metallica’s drummer) receiving impassioned standing ovations from the crowd. Steve Perry (lead singer of Journey) got some roaring applause as well as the stadium speakers pumped Journey’s “Lights.” Perry sang and danced along, as did many of my fellow fans in the leftfield bleachers. 

The Atmosphere
The only way to describe it is that there’s Orange Fever in San Francisco’s water. Never have I seen my city so galvanized, so excited, so absolutely insane, as I did when going home for these three days. Everywhere you go, people are decked out in Orange and Black. A Giants cap is a temporary part of the uniform at many restaurants and other establishments throughout the city, and the amount of businessmen in black suits and orange ties was simply amazing. There was a guy in a chicken suit, a Santa, a man in a huge orange-and-black ghillie suit, and predictably a large panda in my section alone. San Francisco is going nuts, and it’s a lot of fun to watch. 

The Celebration
In game 1, the crowd got a little quiet after Tim Lincecum looked shaky early. However, as the team staged a comeback, the buzz began to grow, and when the Giants tied the game and took the lead the crowd went wild. However, that didn’t even come close to comparing to what happened next. Juan Uribe’s three-run jack left the yard, and nearly every fan in the stadium simultaneously screamed and jumped for joy. The rest of game 1 was filled with revelry and basically just a lot of yelling. 

Game 1, however, couldn’t hold a candle to game 2. Edgar Renteria’s home run seemed to set fire to the crowd, and the entire stadium erupted as Renteria rounded the bags. As the Giants tacked on run after run, calls from the bleachers came to stick the knife in and twist it, putting this game out of reach. When Guillermo Mota recorded the final out of the game, the park went into a frenzy. Many, including myself, stood on the bleachers to sing the Giants’ traditional victory songs, Blur’s Song 2 followed by Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Walking out into Willie Mays Plaza, fans crowded around CSN Bay Area’s desk, chanting and screaming. When I got home, I told my dad my hand hurt from high-fiving random people outside the park. I was only half kidding.

So there you go. My first playoff experience, games 1 and 2 of the 2010 World Series, was simply amazing. Not much more I can say, except that it certainly helped that the Giants won both games. The remaining five games of this series should be great, and I can’t wait to see what happens tonight.

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