Thursday, April 23, 2009

Birthday Trip: SFO/Giants Game - Day One

Brian and I left for SFO early Wednesday morning. We arrived just in time to pick up the rental car and head to AT & T Park to see the San Francisco Giants play the San Diego Padres. This was my first visit to AT & T Park (Brian has been before).Brian bought us great seats! Right down the third baseline......9 rows off the field.

A T & T Park is in the South Beach neighborhood and has a capacity of about 41,500. On the facing of the upper deck along the left field line are the retired numbers of Bill Terry, Mel Ott, Willie Mays and Juan Marichal (just to name a few).

The most prominent feature of the ballpark is the right field wall, which is 24 feet (7.3 m) high in honor of former Giant Willie Mays, who wore number 24. Because of the proximity to the SFO Bay, the right field foul pole is only 309 feet from home plate. Atop the outfield fence are four pillars with fountains. These four pillars will burst jets of water when a Giant hits a home run or win a game.Beyond right field is a section of the bay, dubbed McCovey Cove after famed Giants first baseman Willie McCovey. On game days, fans take to the water of McCovey Cove in boats and even in kayaks, often with fishing nets in the hope of collecting a home run ball. Across the cove from the ballpark is McCovey Point and China Basin Park, featuring monuments to past Giants legends.

Our weather was awesome (warmer than I had imagined). As a result, we both got a little pink.

It was a great game (a National League pitcher's dual), the Giants won 1-0 in the 10th inning.We spent Wednesday night close to our hotel (the retro hip Hotel Americana) and enjoyed a burger and a chardonnay in their eclectic bar (complete with a jukebox).We head off to Napa Thursday morning.