The Super Bowl hangover around the Bay Area appeared over by Saturday, as over 25,000 fans came to the 23rd annual San Francisco Giants’ Fan Fest to kick off the 2016 season.
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With pitchers and catchers set to report to Spring Training on Wednesday, players, coaches and manager Bruce Bochy showed up to sign autographs and answer questions for the people the Giants consider to be a large part of the team, the fans. Bochy even officially announced that Madison Bumgarner will be the Opening Day starter on April in Milwaukee, which was probably pretty obvious.
Fans were lined up in large groups outside the ballpark by 7 a.m., three hours before the gates opened. The fans then swarmed inside, toured various parts of the ballpark, flooded the field and took part in various question and answer sessions on the Club Level. Hunter Pence even gave a speech to Javier Lopez, Brandon Belt and Moderator Kate Scott, who were gathered in a small circle during a question and answer session.
Pence talked very quickly, but he made one thing clear. “162-0,” he told the three of them.
Another question and answer session for some laughs when a Boston Red Sox fan had a cynical question for Bruce Bochy.
“As a Red Sox fan, can you please take back Pablo [Sandoval]?,” asked the fan.
Scott very quickly moved on to the next question to avoid an awkward situation with the 2012 World Series most valuable player’s former manager.
The city of San Francisco was engulfed in baseball-like weather, and it was a significant change from the rain that fell on last year’s fan fest. Hopefully the weather is an indication of things to come, as pitchers and catchers report to Scottsdale, Arizona for Spring Training on Wednesday. And we will finally get to see and hear Giants baseball again.