Saturday, May 7, 2011

Willie Mays 80 #2 -- May 7, 2011

06-May-2011 was the 80th birthday of the greatest baseball player who ever lived, Willie Mays. Last night we went to see the Giants play the Colorado Rockies and honor Willie Mays. When I left the office, I was shocked by the power of the wind. My cap blew off as I crossed Harrison. I found a huge crowd waiting in line at the front gate. I also found that the statue of Mays was wearing an orange party hat. I took this photo.

I walked around the outside of the park, waiting for the booth that sells Muni tickets to open. The line for the main gate extended across the bridge and past the McCovey statue. The line for the gate by the bridge went to the marina. The line for the Second Street gate stretched off down the Embarcadero.

I bought the tickets and had a nice chat about Pacifica with the seller. I went across the bridge and found the end of the line near the gate to the little ball field by the McCovey statue. The line wrapped around the statue, back across the bridge, and up to the front gate. My wife and daughter tried to join me as we passed the Dugout store, but a security guard rudely threw them out. I stayed in line to be sure to get one of the statues the Giants were handing out.

I went up to the Club level and looked at the exhibits. I found our seats, out in the left field corner. When the family made it in, we bought sandwiches and took them to our seats. The cold and the papers blowing around reminded us of Candlestick.

Before the game, the Giants honored Willie Mays on his birthday. Two of his teammates from the Birmingham Black Barons, Jimmy Zapp and the Reverend William Greason, were on the field, along with Hall of Famers Gaylord Perry, Orlando Cepeda, and Willie McCovey. Teammates Felipe Alou and Jimmy Davenport were also there. Lon Simmons read a letter from Monte Irvin. Jon Miller read a letter from President and Mrs Obama. Many people spoke on video, including Hank Aaron, President Bill Clinton, Barry Bonds, John Montefusco, and Bill Cosby, who led us all in a toast to his great friend Willy Brown. Willie Mays cried. I wanted to cry.

In the game, Matt Cain pitched against Ubaldo Jimenez. Cain gave up a home run in the first and two in the third. The Giants weren't hitting at all, scoring only one run through the 7th. They tied it in the 8th and won in the 9th. Brian Wilson got the win.

I felt bad, but we had to leave after the 8th. We took an N car to Powell, and drove home from Fifth and Mission.

Today is National Train Day.

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