Seals Stadium for a Giants' ballgame. It went 11 innings without a hit. I don't remember now who won that game because my 15-year old brother was in a fatal auto accident that day and we didn't learn of it until we'd driven home late that night.
Some years later, after my father died, my mother moved into a condo in San Mateo, where the outfielder for the Giants, Jack Clark, was her neighbor. I'm pretty sure she was already a fan before he moved in, but she'd giggle about knowing Jack all season, like icing on her cake.
And with her in mind I decided to ride my bike to the parade. Usually, parades in this town draw a decent crowd, but nothing I can't ride through. Today was different.
There were fans walking on 7th Street from as far away as Townsend. By the time I got to Market it was clear that this was an unusual turnout. I could see and hear the helicopters and knew it would be a long time before they got to us but I amused myself taking pictures of the crowd. I kept moving toward Civic Center - and with my big bike it became more and more of a challenge.
|Fans at Market & 7th Street at 11:15.|
|Fan on street light at Grove & Larkin|
But one thing I saw in Civic Center that touched me, and that I did not photograph, was a family with a framed picture of a man and a shrine of Giants' memorabilia and flowers and a glass of what I guessed was his favorite beverage sitting on the pavement so he could join them for the fun this week.
And then it got really crazy as I continued walking my bike west on Grove, hoping to get to the other side and continue on to school. By Polk Street the crowd was gridlocked and I had to fight against claustrophobia, fear of stampede, but my bike and I finally popped out the other side and I pedaled away.
It said in the paper there really were a million fans in that 1.5 mile stretch of Market Street. A lot of them were still there when I rode back through Civic Center at 3:00. Such a day.