San Francisco is one of America’s great baseball cities
The fall classic is upon us and, fortunately for me, I am one of the lucky souls whose team is represented this year. I grew up in the Bay Area and have been a Giants fan for as long as I could wave an orange rally rag. Now I could sit here and talk about how I think, after we have seen so many incredible moments in these 2012 playoffs, that the Giants are what we in sports call a team of destiny. I could talk about the effect of the Tigers’ time off and the Giants getting hot just at the right time. But these topics have been discussed from here to Lake Michigan.
What I would like to talk about instead is how San Francisco is one of the greatest baseball cities in the country. This claim comes in response to an article published by a Detroit sports writer, who will remain unnamed and said the Tigers would be ashamed to lose to such a “strange” baseball town. Are we strange? Absolutely. Ashamed? Not a chance. We’re a bunch of beard growing, panda-head wearing, Gangnam style dancing “freaks.” And you know what I think? I think it scares the crap out of opposing fans, players and, apparently, sports writers.
The article criticizes San Francisco for its food selection at AT&T Park being too exotic and not “baseball” enough. Heavens is he right; I would hate to have any option other than hot dogs and beer. Forget about our addictive garlic fries or world renowned clam chowder from a famous San Francisco sourdough bread bowl; bring on processed meats wrapped in foil. And who likes a full bar when you can drink yesterday’s flat beer. Let’s not even bring up the Ghirardelli hot fudge Sundays. Yuck. AT&T Park sits atop most “best stadium food” articles, so if that’s weird, bring on the crab cakes and wine.
One place he may have us is our slide and build-a-bear shop up by the giant Coke bottle in center field. These things are, admittedly, not the most “manly” attractions a baseball park can have, but take your children to every park in America and ask them which one they want to go back to most. I bet stuffed animals and slides look a lot better when you’ve got an antsy kid in the summer sun who can’t seem to sit still. Let’s also not forget that Comerica Park features the least intimidating baseball attraction of all time, a carousel. Careful with those stones in that glass house you’re living in.
Lastly, and perhaps most heinously, he takes to attacking our right field, saying that it looks like something a child designed. You know, that big beautiful red brick wall that separates the spacious confines of AT&T from the frigid waters of McCovey cove? It’s not unusual for visiting teams to critique our right field because playing in it is incredibly tricky, but it is also the thing that makes our relatively young stadium look like an all-time classic along the ranks of Fenway’s big green monster and Wrigley’s ivy. Not to mention, quirky outfields are one of the reasons we love baseball. It’s one of the few sports where no two playing fields are the same and the design of the stadium can greatly affect play. Our right field plays like no other in the league, and we like it that way.
The article closes with a few halfhearted compliments before stating that something here in San Francisco feels “wrong.” I think I speak for all Giant’s fans when I say: If eating great food, having a beautiful family-friendly park, and being up three games to none in the World Series is wrong, then baby, I don’t want to be right.