The last time the Giants were in the World Series …
In 2002, I was a season ticket-holder at Pac Bell Park. Yes, I still call it Pac Bell, just as I called Cinergy Field in Cincinnati Riverfront Stadium until the day it was demolished. That also happened in 2002, by the way.
Technically speaking, I was a tenth of a season ticket holder at Pac Bell. Some folks at work had gone in to buy shares in a little inner-office cartel. Dad and I would make the trip six times a year, strolling to Fisherman's Warf for his pre-game seafood binge. I'd gorge on garlic fries at the game.
When World Series tickets went on sale, though, Dad and I balked at the price. Instead, we hopped in the car, and then BART and then hoofed it to Pac Bell for Game Five. It didn't matter that it was on a Thursday and we both had to work the next day. It didn't matter that we wouldn't get inside the park. We were there for the atmosphere.
In 2002, we didn't have the guys. That would change by the middle of the next baseball season. That fall, though, we had to worry only about rousing our own tired butts out of bed the next day. We didn't have to hassle with finding sitters, and we wouldn't have to drag kids, strollers and diaper bags along if we couldn't locate care.
In 2002, the whole trip cost about $60. That included gas and $15 for BART tickets. We can't get out of the house for less than a couple of hundred now.
In 2002, Dad was a Dodgers fan. That much hasn't changed. But I vividly recall seeing him high-five a Giants fan in a bar across the street from Pac Bell as the Giants blew out the Angels 16-4. I am not allowed to mention that high five today, but I know that for a brief second I saw his cold stony blue-bleeding heart go out to San Francisco.
In 2002, Giants fans were stomping Angels Rally Monkeys. I have no idea if the Rangers have a similar schtick, because I haven't seen more than a handful of baseball games all year. I'm too busy going to tee ball. Or soccer. Or basketball. Or karate.
In 2002, steroids were rumored but not confirmed. Hank Aaron still was the homerun king, though Barry Bonds had broken Mark McGwire's single-season record. I secretly rooted for Bonds, as long as Dad didn't catch me. There was nothing sexier in sports at the time than hearing the opening strains of Dr. Dre's "Next Episode" as No. 25 strode to the plate with runners on base.
In 2002, I was on AOL. Will you forgive me if I tell you that it was because I didn't want to change an email address I'd had for eight years?
In 2002, I was shooting film. I got my first digital for Christmas that year, a whopping 2 megapixels that cost $200. I've upgraded twice since then. The guys' el-cheapo digitals are 3 megapixels.
In 2002, the house we lived in was valued at a smidge more than $100K. That's about how much it's worth today, except it's now in a neighborhood of sun-ravaged lawns displaying "for sale" signs. That makes me more than a little sad.
In 2002, military aircraft were a novelty in our lives. Dad was about to go to bartending school, and the Army was the farthest thing from his mind. These days, even Big Guy can tell a Black Hawk from a Chinook.
Eight years, hundreds of miles and millions of memories later, I think I'll root for the Giants this time around. Just for old time's sake.
Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.