The San Francisco Giants honored the late Robin Williams last night before their game against the Chicago White Sox. Williams was a Bay Area resident and long-time Giants fan. His death struck a note throughout the world, and especially hit home in the Bay Area, so we wanted to acknowledge the impact of his death and legacy.
Giants fans likely remember Williams coming out to Game 1 of the NLDS in 2010 to pump of the crowd. It also happened to be Tim Lincecum‘s first postseason win (and game, for that matter), where he struck out 14 Atlanta Braves in a two-hit shutout.
John Shea of the SF Chronicle did a nice article with some quotes from Tim Lincecum, Mike Krukow, Larry Baer, and Bruce Bochy about Williams and how they were feeling about the loss of one of their greatest fans. What became clear was this: They’re all human, just like us.
“Shell-shocked,” said Lincecum, recalling how he felt about the superstar entertainer’s presence. “We’re human just like anyone else in those situations. He moves you.”
And just as much as they are human, Williams apparently was too, based on these “fan moments” he shared with Krukow and Bochy.
“Absolutely hysterical. He had the ability to become a child at the drop of a hat. He wanted to feel pine tar on a bat, the seams of a baseball. He walked in like we were old friends and lit up the room.” (Krukow)
Manager Bruce Bochy remembered a conversation with Williams, who hung with the team before a Giants-Yankees game: “He said, ‘Hey, you gotta take care of these Yankees. I got a lot on this game.’ “
As a kind of tribute from our crew here, I asked some staff members to share some of their favorite Robin Williams moments. Feel free to share your own in the comments.
Erin: I was at my very first Giants’ game in 2001 – it was one of the games that was postponed after 9/11 so it was in October of that year. Robin Williams sang God Bless America at that game. It was rather hilarious because he in no way could carry a tune. But I look back on that day and it makes me smile….. The world has lost a great and amazing person. I hope he finds peace on the other side. And if there IS a Heaven, I believe there is baseball up there.
Nick: My first and most memorable Robin Williams moment was when I watched “Mrs. Doubtfire” for the first time. It was one of the first times I ever doubled over in laughter. From that moment on, I was a Robin Williams fan, no matter whether it was a comedy or a drama, I watched it. A great actor, a comedy visionary, and a man whose legend will live on in the hearts and minds of many.
Audrey: We threw a surprise party for a friend a few years ago with a bunch of friends and out of no where, every guy in the room started reciting every line in unison from Robin’s “Golf” sketch. I actually wasn’t familiar with that sketch at the time and I was just floored by these guys who probably can’t remember their friends’ birthdays but could all recite every line of this sketch together in unison.
Robin Williams was a truly amazing and versatile talent. More importantly, he stayed true to his Bay Area roots and did so many wonderful things within the community there. Orange and Black forever.
Melissa: At age 9, “Good Morning Vietnam” made me laugh more than any movie I had ever seen. At age 11, “Dead Poet’s Society” inspired me to read, write, and be okay with being intelligent during my angsty pre-teen years. At age 19 and barely starting college, “Good Will Hunting” broke my heart like nothing I had ever seen on television, during the worst times of my life, and gave me hope that just maybe it wasn’t my fault.
He was a brilliant man, brilliant comedian, brilliant actor and possibly impacted more generations of movie goers than any other person ever has.
Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the “why” in this tragedy. We all have been told that Williams suffered from depression most of his life, in addition to his addiction struggles. We’ll never understand why he choose to take his own life, and it’s not really our place to do that. However, please know that there are people and places to get help no matter where you are in your depression. Whether it’s a Suicide Hotline, a friend, mentor, therapist, or a complete stranger, don’t be afraid to ask, and look for signs in your loved ones. Ask the hard questions. Say the hard things. You honestly never know what someone’s struggle is and how it impacts them.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline