AT&T Park: Baseball by the Bay

On Friday I saw the Giants and Dodgers play by the bay. My PSU friend Andy and I arrived at the park early, giving us time to walk around the outskirts first. The gates at AT&T Park are varied and dramatic. The brick structures, signs, statues, plaques, and neighboring scenery make the outside of this park one of the most interesting parks I’ve seen.

One of many interesting gates at AT&T Park.

One of many interesting gates at AT&T Park.

The Giants Wall of Fame is located on one of the outside walls of the park. The commemorative plaques are for players ranging from all-time greats like Willie Mays to fan favorites with average careers (I won’t specify which players fit in this category).

The Giants Wall of Fame is on the outside wall of the park.

The Say Hey Kid on the Giants Wall of Fame.

The statues by the park are great. My favorite one captures the high leg kick of Juan Marichal.

The Juan Marichal statue.

The Juan Marichal statue.

I was very curious how the Giants would handle Barry Bonds’ legacy. What do you do after one of the greatest players in the history of the game, and the career home run leader, played for your team–yet his career is overshadowed by performance enhancing drug use? I thought the Giants handled this well.

A plaque for Barry Bonds.

A plaque for Barry Bonds.

Being at the park early meant we had time to explore and watch batting practice for the Dodgers.

Sitting in the outfield bleachers for batting practice.

Sitting in the outfield bleachers for batting practice.

A ballpark employee took a photo of Andy and me as we were making our way to our seats.

I detest being manipulated by photographers.

I detest being manipulated by photographers.

Our tickets turned out to be in the last row of seats in the park. It’s been a long time since I sat in the very top row of a park. and I’ve never paid more than $60 to sit in the last row before, but that’s what you get when you go to a rivalry game between two teams in contention on a Friday night at a ballpark that uses market pricing. The view of the bay was spectacular. Ships and yachts glided by.

The view from the top.

The view from the top.

We were much closer to the flags on top of the ballpark than the field.

The flags were our neighbors.

The flags were our neighbors.

The Coke bottle and glove behind left field are very cool design features. I also liked the visual of all the boats clustered in the harbor behind left field.

The Coke bottle slide and glove in left field.

The Coke bottle slide and glove in left field.

The game did not go well for the home team. The Dodgers blew out the giants 10-2. It was fun to see Yasiel Puig play again. Juan Uribe had a 2B, 3B, and HR. He only needed a single to hit for the cycle, which is the closest to a cycle I’ve ever seen in person.

The park in the dark.

The park in the dark.

It gets cold in AT&T Park at night. I was happy I brought a jacket. In the future I’ll take another layer. I was reminded of the faux Mark Twain quote: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

AT&T Park ranks high on my list of MLB ballparks. The building is beautiful, the sight lines are impressive, the food is wonderful, and the atmosphere is excellent. The biggest downside to the park is that they have a ballpark DJ–DJ Momentum. That better not spread to other ballparks.

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