Well, that was a fun ride! Three World Series victories in five years. As Giants fans, we have to savor it because we never know if and when it will happen again in our lifetimes. Years from now, I have a feeling we as fans of San FranciscoÂ sports teams will look back to the Giants in the 2010s like we now do the Niners in the 1980s. That it was a special timeÂ and that we were fortunate.
I attended five playoff games this year — two NLDS games, including the clincher; two NLCS games, including the clincher; and Game 3 of the World Series, where I sat in the bleachers for the first time. I watched the rest on TV, living and dying with every pitch.
It was fun. Yet stressful. Nerve-wracking.Â But in the end, it was pure joy.
Now,Â I have five orange rally towels. Each time I’ve come home from a game, I’ve just flung them on top of the bedroom dresser. What am I going to do with them?
Maybe use them to wash the car. 🙂
This was our holiday card. It pretty much sums up our 2013.Â We sold our house in Arizona in February and moved into a quaint rental in California. In September, we began house shopping, found one we loved, bought it in October and we’ve been remodeling ever since.
Who needs to watch HGTV and its house-selling, house-hunting and remodeling shows? I’m living it.Â Moving twice and doing house renovations twice in one year (once to sell, once after purchasing) is exhausting!
We moved into our new house the day before Thanksgiving and even managed to host Thanksgiving dinner. But we’re still living among boxes as renovations reach its 10th week. We do see light at the end of the tunnel. The last remodeling project, our master bathroom, should be completed within the next two weeks and we can finally get settled.
A good friend, Pete Hammer, emailed me yesterday with some good analysis about our year. He wrote, “So you’ve done a ton of work this year getting yourselves re-established. 2014 will be a time to reap the harvest. A lot less work and more time to enjoy yourselves.”
I like that. It’s true. We moved back home to California, so we could be among family and friends. The year 2013 was about transitioning back. I look forward to 2014, and I look forward to using this new space — our courtyard. We plan to string up lights, put in furniture and have movie nights on warm, summer evenings.
My co-author Matt Johanson and I were on Marty Lurieâ€™s Giants pre-game show on KNBR 680 on Saturday to discuss the newly updated edition of our book, â€œGiants: Where Have You Gone?â€
It was a fun day at the ballpark. Marty’s had us on his show in the past, so it was great to be invited back.
Hereâ€™s the audio of our interview:
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And here’s a few photos from the day:
Don’t we look pretty calm, considering we’re about to go on air?
After the interview, it was still about two hours before game time, so we hung out and watched the Giants play whiffle ball with their children.Â Here, Giants closer Sergio Romo pitches to his son.
The view from the press box. The Giants beat the Dodgers, so it was a good day.
After ten years in Arizona, Iâ€™ve moved back to California.
The Grand Canyon State served its purpose. In 2002, after years of working crazy, insane hours during the Internet boom, my wife and I craved a quieter, more peaceful lifestyle, so we moved to the desert.
We loved it.
Then life got too quiet and peaceful. Our batteries were recharged many times over.
So here we are, back home in the Bay Area, spending quality time with family and slowly, but surely reconnecting with old friends â€“ and old landmarks, too.
I learned a lesson. Never in the media section of an event blurt out loudly, “I think I am going to get coffee.” Next thing I know people within earshot were spinning around, asking if I was going to Starbucks and could I please get them a tall, non-fat latte and a tall, decaf Americano?
The only cool thing was one of them ended up paying for my coffee since I was gopher boy. Heh.
Here are some photos I took from the World Series parade:
Lou Seal arrives on stage.
Giants radio announcers Jon Miller and Dave Flemming emcee the festivities.
The crowd at Civic Center.
A happy fan who waited hours for the parade to reach the steps of City Hall.
From behind the media tent.
Buster Posey speaks.
The team rallies together one final time.
I reached my gate at Phoenixâ€™s Sky Harbor Airport, minutes before my flight began boarding. It was early Sunday morning. I was pre-coffee but awake, excited for my plans for the day: fly into San Francisco, have lunch and then head to AT&T Park for the first game of the National League Championship Series between my beloved Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals.
All the seats at the gate were taken, so I strolled up to the dozens of travelers standing in an open area. I stopped next to a friendly-looking guy wearing a Giants cap.
â€œHey, you going to the game?â€ I asked.
He looked up from his smartphone and said, â€œYeah, both games.â€
It turns out he had a more ambitious plan than me: Upon landing at 12:35 p.m., his friend would pick him up from SFO and drive him directly to Candlestick Park for the Niners’ game, which starts at 1:25 p.m. Sometime in the second half, heâ€™d leave the football game early and take a taxi to AT&T Park for the Giants game.
I told him that was awesome. We talked some more. It turns out he was a Bay area native, too, now living in Dallas. Phoenix was just a stopover for his Sunday buffet of sports. After reminiscing about the 2010 World Series championship and what it meant to us as lifelong Giants fans, it was time to board. I gave him a head nod â€“ and that was that.
About nine hours later, I was at the upper deck concourse at AT&T Park. It was around the third inning and time for another beverage. While heading back to my seat with drink in hand, I heard a loud, â€œHey there!â€
I stopped, turned to my left and looked at the guy barking at me. I didnâ€™t recognize him.
â€œYou are here!â€ he yelled.
It was the guy at the airport. No way!
â€œHeeyy! You made it to the game!â€ I said, laughing.
â€œYou did, too,â€ he said as he raised his beer.
We clinked our plastic cups together in Giants solidarity and went about our merry way. And that was that.
What were the chances of running into each other at a ballpark with 42,000 people? Pretty darn near impossible. But it was a cool moment.