The Great Baseball Ride: Game 11; San Francisco Giants.

“They’ll put a man on the moon before I hit a home run.

Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry
On July, 20 1969, just a few hours after Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon, Perry hit his only home run.

Today was our second day in San Francisco and we intended on going down to Fisherman’s Wharf, then we realized we were tired, and didn’t want to, so that’s that.  We ran a few errands, including Target, which made us feel like we’re at home since Target is a Minnesota institution.  

It’s game day today and one I’m excited for; the San Francisco Giants.  We’ve been to Oracle Park (then AT&T) before, and we loved it then. We were excited to explore it in more depth this time.  

Keke was able to score tickets on Stubhub for $10 a piece (upper level behind home plate), and also got a $40 parking pass in lot A next to the stadium for $25 online.  Last time we visited, the tickets were $30 minimum even for our then two year old.  

It was Friday afternoon/early evening in San Francisco, so you can expect traffic to be a bear, but even with that, the drive from the Ramada Airport was reasonable.  Our first stop after parking was the Baseballism store across from the main gate. We are suckers for their baseball-themed gear, and Keke has had her eye on a certain sweatshirt from them.  She justified the purchase as her Mother’s Day gift (although she didn’t need to do that).

Soren’s free balloon lasted about 5 minutes, then it popped, and we had to go get him another one that was less free.

While at Baseballism, I struck up a conversation with another family there.  They dug our trip and are slowly doing one of their own as they visit a new city.  I asked for some advice on what to get at Oracle and they said that the Poke Bowl from Da Poke Man was the best outside of Hawaii.

Da Poke-Man – Keke approved!

I’m not big on raw fish, but Keke is, and she really enjoyed it. There are numerous other food options, and I would say that it is harder to get traditional ballpark food there than it is to get specialty food; this is opposite most stadiums.

A weekend game at Oracle, especially with the Warriors playing away, is a busy game, and it was fun to see the energy.  The stadium is wonderful, built up next to the harbor, and thus with great water views.

There is a wiffle ball stadium in left field complete with aquariums in the left field wall.  There are also big slides in the giant Coca Cola bottle next to the wiffle ball field.

One of the best kids areas we’ve seen.

Some stadiums reward you for sitting up higher, Colorado with their mountains come to mind. The Giants reward you too, the higher you go up, the better those harbor views are.  One drawback of the stadium is that some of the corridors seemed a bit tight, and you can’t always see the field from the concourses. No place is perfect.  

The corridors may have been snug because of all the hardware they have to store.

One interesting place in the stadium is The Garden in center field.  They grow things there, and make things with what they grow. I was on the hunt for a local beer called Local Brewing Company.  They make a beer from some of the fruits grown in this location. Upon getting to the bar (after a nice journey in line), I was told that they were only accepting cash (card system was down), this was the same when I went on the hunt for an ice cream sandwich for Soren.  To add to the frustration, the ballpark app had the ice cream sandwiches as a number of stands that they didn’t exist in. Those apps can be helpful, but only if they are current.

Kiddos love Legos, and Soren is no different. He really enjoyed these life-sized (kinda) MadBum and Buster Posey Lego sculptures.

One fun thing is that we met the founder of the Ballpark Passport (Tim Parks), the book that we get stamped at each stadium.  We joined their Facebook group and are excited to connect with others on this journey.

We had to leave earlier than we’d have liked to, but we later learned that the Reds ended up beating the Giants 7 – 0.  At this point we are 7 – 4 on this trip while cheering on the home team.  Three of those loses have come with the Reds as the opposing team; don’t mess with the Reds.

We eventually made it back to the Ramada.  I think we were all happy to call it a night.

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