Baseball Reflections From A Lifetime SF Giants Fan

I have been a baseball fan and a Giants fan for thirty-two years since I was thirteen years old in 1978. I once had someone tell me that I was the most intense Giants fan that he’d ever met. I took this then and now, as a badge of honor. To me, I equate my love of the Giants with my love of the city of San Francisco. I was born and raised in San Francisco; it is, to me, the most beautiful and provincial city in the world. People are always so proud of either living in or being from San Francisco. I never realized this until I went  to college at Pitzer College of the Claremont Colleges in the Los Angeles area in the mid-1980’s; it was a different world.

I feel like I can chart my life through the hisotry of the Giants. In 1987, the year that I graduated from college, it was also the year that my father married my stepmother, it was the year that the Giants won the division, but lost in the play-offs to the Cardinals. In 1989, my oldest sister married her husband, it was the first time in twenty-seven years that the Giants won the pennant, and the World Series was wrecked by the Loma Prieta earthquake, and the “steroid-ed” Bash Brothers of the Oakland A’s.

There are moments in baseball that I will never forget. For my twenty-first birthday, in 1986, my father, as a special gift, gave me a trip to New York in part to see one of my favorite Giants, Willie McCovey inducted into the Hall of Fame. I stayed with my sister and future brother-in-law, who were living in Hoboken, N.J. at the time. Going to Cooperstown, N.Y. for the induction ceremony with my future brother-in-law was quite an adventure, but I’ll tell you all about that later on– in the future. The other moment in baseball that I’ll never forget is when my best friend, through some miracle was able to get tickets for Game 5 of the 1989 NLCS– the Giants vs the Cubs. It was one of the greatest games that I’ve ever seen. Will Clark, another of my Giants heroes, singled up the middle off Cubs pitcher Mitch Williams to socre the winning runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.

For all the great baseball games that I’ve been to, one of my greatest moments occured last July 10, 2009, when I had the pleasure of seeing the first Giants no-hitter in thirty-three years since John “the Count” Montefusco, one of my childhood heroes. It was thrown by the least likely Giants pitcher to throw one, Jonathan Sanchez, who was pitching due to future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson not being able to take his regular turn in the rotation. It was spectacular and very exciting!! This is also one of the things that makes baseball great and fun– the unexpected.

Well, for all the great moments that I’ve seen, I wouldn’t be a Giants fan without my fair share of heartbreak. The Giants have the honor of being the holder of the third longest streak of not having won a World Series. And, they have never won a World Series since they’ moved to San Francisco in 1958. Utterly heartbreaking, eh? This has occurred even though they’ve had great ballplayers, Hall of Fame ballplayers, including the greatest ball player of all-time, Willie Mays. In 2002, the Giants lost to the Anaheim Angles in seven games, and they were eight outs away from winning it all in game six with a 5-0 lead. Probably, the only time that a team was closer to winning the World Series was in 1986 when the Red Sox were one strike away from winning it all. I cannot explain the emptiness in my heart and stomach as I watched the lead disolve and the game end.

Photo by Icon SMI

Well, I will chronicle the Giants season in 2010 as it progresses. Being a fan of baseball history, I will examine the Giants season in the context of their history. Last year, was a great year wiith outstanding pitching. While I do recognize that the Giants do have faults, as do most teams, I also recognize that they have some of the best young pitching in baseball. Their pitching staff is lead by two-time Cy Young Award Winner, Tim Lincecum, also known as “the Freak”. However, will the Giants have enough hitting to get them to the post-season? This is what the next six months of the baseball season will determine.

Welcome along for the ride from my perspecitve of being a Giants fan..

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  1. Andy J.

    April 4, 2010 at 5:27 am

    Nice interesting article Charles! I was living in Pomona (right next to Claremont) while you were in Claremont. Mark McGwire is also from Claremont (but he’s probably a sore subject for you, lol). Yes, I am a Dodger fan. I found your blog via Keep up the nice writing on these cool articles!

    (aka SingleDaddyof2)

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