Saturday, May 07, 2005

A Gorgeous Saturday

YG is, as the Reader will have gathered, playing Little League Softball this year. And today was Little League Day at SBC Park. So, far too early (like, 8:30 or so) with YG in her Giants uniform (yes, her team is the Giants; much bliss there) the four of us headed off to the ballpark. Gates opened at 9:00 and the SFLL program started at 9:30. For an hour we got to hear from one of the coaches, a pitcher (I forget which one!), and the catcher, all of whom were well-spoken and fun to listen to (although I did keep flashing on the "talking to the public" lessons from Bull Durham: "I'm just happy to be here, and I hope to help the team, Good Lord Willing." There was a raffle (we didn't win anything) and then we got the run of the stadium, more or less, until the game started at 1:05. The day had started out gray and overcast, but the fog burned off and it was a clear, hot, beautiful day.

A word about SBC Park: I am no connoiseur of ballparks; until I married, I had never been to a professional ball game. And while I reverence Yankee Stadium and Shea as the founts from which my inerest in baseball spring, they're old fashioned and a little dreary (especially Shea, which has a 1963 World's Fair vibe without any particular charm). SBC Park is relatively new, and it's gorgeous: built to remind one of an elegant park of the early 1900s, red brick, arched hallways; but it also was clearly well thought out. There are enough bathrooms, there are enough food and drink and souvenir vendors so that you don't have to wait long for anything. If the Disney Corporation had made an "old time ballpark" it might have been much like this, and I mean that as a good thing (Disney may hark back to a good-old-days that never was, but their people-moving skills are excellent...remind me to tell you a story about that some day). The park is south of Market, overlooking the Bay, with McCovey Cove right behind the right outfield (every time a Giants' player bats a ball over the "splash wall" into the cove, Old Navy puts $500 into the Giants Community Fund; there are always a few people in small boats haunting the Cove, hoping a ball will clear the wall and they can catch it). To the east there's the Bay Bridge. It's breezy with the wind off the Bay, but on a good day it's just about the most beautiful venue you can imagine for a ball game.

Some of YG's team-mates sat nearby, and her coach (it turns out he's a stone SF fan; once he found out I wrote the stuff he got endearingly goony and wanted to talk about writing and SF and...everything). And then the game began. For the first three innings it was 0-0; then, in the fourth inning the Giants had the bases loaded when Moises Alou came to bat, hit one over the wall (not the splash wall, alas!) for a Grand Slam. It was a genuinely thrilling thing to see. The next inning the Giants' fielding went to hell, and the Nationals got 5 runs, and then two more. It was pretty depressing. Finally, the Giants pulled ahead, and we went into the last inning 8-7. Of course, the Nationals turned that around, and went into the bottom of the ninth inning 11-8, and of course the Giants fell apart in three easy outs. By this time the fog was beginning to move in, and we headed off to the Muni to go home. It was by then about 4:30, and we had been there for seven hours. Ran into one of YG's classmates and his family, and we all agreed it had been a long and mostly excellent day.

We returned home, grilled burgers and watched A New Hope and then shoveled the Young off toward their beds. Tomorrow is supposed to be drowningly wet, so I guess we got our fun in on the right day.


Anonymous Adrienne said...

This has nothing to do with baseball. Sorry.

My big plan for the day is to go about the internets and wish the folks I know to be moms a happy mother's day. And, so, Happy Mother's Day!

6:22 AM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

It is not necessary or required to Talk Baseball in this blog, Adrienne. Thanks for the wishes.

Happy Mothers' Day to all mothers, caregivers, and nurturers out there. Yes, this means you and you know who you are!

10:29 AM  

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