Posted by mike in News,Sports at 10:37 pm on July 13, 2008

I generally make it a point to see at least one or two Cubs games every year in person (it’s hard to afford any more than that). Last year I was even fortunate enough to attend the sole playoff game at Wrigley Field. With our recent move, I’ve found myself needing to get creative in order to follow my favorite teams. DirecTV with the MLB Extra Innings package helps, although due to MLB’s stupid blackout rules it can be frustrating at times. For live game experiences, though, one of the first things I checked when we decided to move was the Cubs’ schedule, to see when they would be traveling to San Francisco to play the Giants. They had a 4-game series at the start of this month, and Megan and I were able to attend the middle two of those games.

We had a thoroughly enjoyable time visiting AT&T Park, the Giants’ home since 2000. For the first game we went to (game 2 of the series), we drove to the ballpark and paid $30 to park. While exorbitant, the price was almost worth it for the walk around McCovey Cove from the parking lot to the ballpark.

McCovey Cove Cove-side entrance

The second night, we wizened up (and I left work earlier), and we took the BART downtown, the round-trip price for both of us adding up to less than half of what we’d paid to park the night before.

Thanks to the Giants having a poor season, we found great seats for both nights on StubHub for less than face value, and got to see a game from either side of the park.

July 1st view July 2nd view

The second game we went to (game 3 of the series) was a military servicemen appreciation night, and both teams wore special American flag-inspired hats, which they would continue wearing for the next several games, joined by the rest of MLB the following day and throughout the Fourth of July weekend. As part of this event (and general Fourth of July festivities), a fireworks show was scheduled for after the game. In another of those “welcome to the Bay Area” moments that we’ve been experiencing a lot since the move, there was unfortunately too much fog over the bay that night to really enjoy the show. They went ahead with it anyway, though, and we stayed along with a decent percentage of the crowd (many of them staying despite the fact that the home team had lost the game) to see as much of the show as was visible.

Foggy fireworks More foggy fireworks

Like most baseball fans, I always enjoy having the opportunity to visit different ballparks, and it’s made all the more fun when I can see my favorite team playing there. It’s also made more convenient–which also contributes to the enjoyment of the experience–when the park is only a 10-minute drive (or 20-minute train ride) from where I live. I’ll surely make the Cubs-Giants series an annual event while living in the area. I’m planning on taking a visit to the other side of the bay next month, too, to see that “other team” from back home when they come to McAfee Coliseum to play the A’s.

On the way home from the fireworks display, we realized we’d forgotten to take the obligatory “here we are at the game” pictures, so we took a picture of ourselves riding the BART instead.

Mike and Megan on the BART

Comments (5)

5 Responses to “Home Away From Home”:

  • So it’s a nice ballpark? Did you have any food there? I hear the garlic fries are good and plentiful. This is from

    “Speaking of microbrews: they are available in abundance throughout the park, but there are some curious omissions: Sierra Nevada, for example, is not available, but Anchor Steam is. You’ll pay for the privilege of quaffing a microbrew: $7 for 12 ounces.

    Mexican and Italian food is also prevalent at AT&T Park at several different stands. You can choose from fajita burritos, chicken-fajita salad, tacos, burritos, Italian-sausage sandwiches, pizzas. and quesadillas.

    In the center-field area you’ll find Orlando’s Caribbean BBQ, named after former Giant Orlando Cepeda, and the Fresh Catch stand, which features Fisherman’s Wharf-style sandwiches and crab cakes.”

    That’s pricey for beer. Let me know what the pizza is like out there. There no way it can be as good as Chicago style.

  • Yeah, I thought it was really nice. I liked how it was a new, modern-feeling ballpark without having too much of the bullshit they’re putting in baseball stadiums these days (like swimming pools and crap like that). We had good seats, and there was plenty of room, with a good view. Cupholders for every seat. Lots of concession stands all over, and it was easy to get in and out of the seating area. Everything was expensive, but that’s to be expected. Beers were $8.25 for 16oz, although we did find one place on the first night we went that had Miller Lite for $8.25 if you got a commemorative cup or $5.50 if you got a cheap plastic one. The same offer wasn’t available at any of the stands by where we sat the second night, but they did have more premium beer selections for the same price ($8.25 for a Hoegaarden or Anchor Steam).

    We did smell the garlic fries place–it wafts quite a ways and is very strong. Didn’t try them, though (I guess we just weren’t in the mood). We did find an awesome cinnamon-almonds place, though.

    The nachos actually reminded me of Comiskey. They must use the same cheese or something–it has a slight amount of sweetness to it, and goes really well with jalepenos.

    As far as pizza in SF, we haven’t done much exploring on that front yet. Zelle recommended a place for us to try in Berkeley, but we’ve only been up there once and that was for a party so we didn’t have a chance to check it out yet. There is a Little Caesar’s right across the street from us, though, and it’s the same $5 deal as back home.

  • Almost forgot to mention one of the things that I found the oddest, concessions-wise, about AT&T Park: they had several full-service bars throughout the stadium. If beer’s not your thing, and neither are the margaritas that are available from specialty stands sprinkled about, go to the bar and order yourself a Jack Daniels or Bacardi or some other mixed drink. I couldn’t remember seeing that at any other stadium before.

  • Damn, hard liquor at a ballpark?? Before Reinsdorf bought the Sox, they used to sell whiskey and stuff at Old Comiskey. He got rid of that because he was trying to make the place more “family friendly”. A full service bar at a baseball stadium? With like, seats and tables? That kinda seems pointless. I’ve had the nachos (ballpark favorite) from both Wrigley & the Cell… it seems to be a pretty consistent thing. When me and Alan went to the Cell on my birthday this year, we had some of this wheat ale for like $6.50 that was really good. Nachos went up to $5 from $4.25 last year. Parking is now $22.

    Did they have a Hall of Fame exhibit there? With like, retro Giants gear and such?

  • Yep, the bars had tables and chairs in their area and everything. Not sure if they had waitresses or not.

    Y’know, I didn’t explore enough to find a HoF exhibit, if they had one. I’m pretty sure they do, actually, I just didn’t see it. I’ll have to go back, maybe on a weekend when I can arrive extra early and have plenty of time to wander around the park before the game.