With the calendar a week away from turning over to 2014, and the hashtag #2013Faves going around on Twitter, it got me thinking about 2013. As far as baseball and the year 2013 go, it was a very good year for me.
It started out with me attending Bluejays Spring Training in Dunedin Florida, I will be attending Giants 2014 Spring Training in Scottsdale Arizona. I won’t talk too much about my Dunedin experience, except to say that it was pretty cool to have Bluejays GM Alex Anthopoulos see my 2010 replica Giants World Series ring and say “Nice ring”
My friend Jemel and I posing with Bluejays GM Alex Anthopoulos
When I think back on 2013, the highlight of this past year has got to be my first visit to San Francisco. As I wrote a few weeks ago, Giants Fan Living in the Great White North, I had never been to San Francisco prior to 2013. In June of 2013, my buddy Kris and I traveled to the Bay area. Not only did we want to see the beautiful AT&T Park in person, we also wanted to check out some of the other sites in the city. Our first day consisted of meeting up with a friend that lives in Oakland and attending an A’s vs Whitesox game at Oaklands O.co Coliseum. I didn’t take any pictures of the stadium, saving all my pictures for AT&T and Alcatraz. On the Monday we made our way to Alcatraz, almost missed our boat after we stopped to look around the outside of AT&T Park
Standing at the Willie Mays entrance
After our “20 minute” look around of AT&T turned into a 90 look around, we were off to Alcatraz. As long as I could remember, Alcatraz has always been a place that interested me and had to see.
View of Alcatraz from the ferry
After a few hours walking around the grounds of Alcatraz, we were off to look around the outside of AT&T Park again. I was completely amazed and in awe at all the plaques and statues depicting the history of the Giants. Here are some of the pictures I had taken while walking around outside the stadium.
Willie Mays statue
Mays’ career stats on on the base of his statue
Orlando Cepeda Statue
Juan Marichal Statue
Willie Mays Plaque on the AT&T Park outside wall
Barry Bonds 500th Home Run Plaque
2012 National League Champions Plaque
Matt Cain Perfect Game Plaque
2010 World Series Parade Plaque
Tim Linecum 2010 NLDS 14 Strikeout Plaque
After spending a few hours walking around the stadium we headed back to our hotel to relax before exploring the city’s night life.
Tuesday morning we had purchased tickets to tour AT&T Park. I was finally going to get to go inside of the stadium I had only ever seen TV and in pictures, to say that I was excited would be an understatement. Before the tour we had gone into the Dugout Store, I was afraid of what would happen while I was in there, I have a bit of an addiction when it comes to purchasing jerseys and other memorabilia. I was pretty good, having only purchased a light jacket, Brandon Belt ring ceremony jersey (side note, I had to tell the girl what number he wore as she thought he wore number 8) and Buster Posey bobblehead and a Replica mini World Series Trophy. Once finished with the Dugout Store it was time for the tour. Knowing that I would standing in the same dugout as my favorite team and being able to walk down the tunnel they do as well made me feel like a kid all over again. Here are some of the pictures from our tour.
Willie Mays display featuring all of his Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers
Picture from when the team had a parade after moving to San Fransico from New York
Entrance to Giants Clubhouse
View of LF from Giants Dugout
Standing outside the Giants Dugout
Leaning on the Dugout railing.
Giants Dugout. View from the pressbox
Our Tour Guide
View of the field from Tony Bennetts suite
McCovey Cove, from Tony Bennetts suite
View of the Bay Bridge, from Bennetts suite
After the tour, it was back to the hotel to drop off our purchases and to change for the upcoming game. Once we got back to the stadium it was time to finally go in and see a live game between my hometown Toronto Bluejays and my favorite team San Francisco Giants. Once we entered the stadium, we had no idea where to go. One of the very helpful ushers pointed us in the right direction and also told us to make sure that we stop at customer service and tell them that it our first visit to AT&T Park. Once we got to customer service and told them it was our first visit, the lady asked our name and then to both of our surprise we were handed a certificate
Certificate for first time visitors to AT&T Park
After receiving our amazing “gift” it was off to our seats in section 126, row 1
Buster Posey warming Tim Lincecum up pre-game
After seeing the Giants 5 times in Toronto and twice in Philadelphia, I was finally going to see Tim Lincecum pitch live. Both Lincecum and Jays starter Josh Johnson pitched great games
The game lasted all of 2 hours and 16 minutes, with the Giants coming out on top 2-1. The only Giants home run I seen in the 2 games came off the bat off of Andres Torres.
The next was a day game and our last day in San Francisco. While walking to the game, I received a tweet telling me to stop by the Giants Community Clubhouse. Once in the stadium, I located the Community Clubhouse and had no idea what I was in store for. I lined up with other Giants fans, to get my picture taken with a Giants 2012 World Series ring.
Wearing Matt Cains World Series Ring
After getting my picture with the ring, which I still only believe because of the above picture, it was time to head to our seats. We had the same seats as the first game. Like the first game we seen another low scoring quick game. Jays starter R.A Dickey pitched a gem
This game went a total of 2 hours and 21 minutes with the Jays coming out on top 4-0. My 2 game experience was now over, the 2 games combined were shorter than the flight from Toronto to San Francisco.
After leaving the stadium, it was time to walk to the other side of McCovey Cove and see what we could find there.
Willie McCovey Statue
Also got to see past “Willie Mac” Award winners imprinted on the ground
The most amazing plaques or statues I had seen while looking around, had to be all the “San Francisco Era” plaques. On these plaques were, opening day roster, starting lineup, coaches, stat leaders and more.
1974 Team Plaque
1974 Batting Leaders
1974 Opening Day Lineup
1974 Pitching Leaders
I hope you enjoyed my “trip down memory lane”. I am very excited for 2014 and more memories of both Spring Training and another trip to San Francisco. After being there in person, I truly understand the saying “I left my heart in San Francisco” as mine is and always will be in that beautiful city
I would like to wish everyone a Happy Holidays and safe and Happy New Year. Hopefully the Giants keep up their current trend of World Series Championships in even number years.