We ventured by car up to the bay area to pick up games at both sides of the bay in San Francisco and Oakland. Our first stop was AT&T Park since it was beer fest day. Turns out the beer fest was sold out, but enterprising Sara found tickets on a Colorado University website since it was alumni day at AT&T Park (the Giants were playing the Rockies). She also managed to get us some club level passes which were pretty cool since you get to see things not normally seen by the common folk (aka any other stadium seat).
Driving and parking around San Francisco is not ideal, but we DID manage to secure a spot on Pier # something or other for $30. It was a safe and secure location and we had our suitcase and some other things in the car that we didn’t want to have to worry about.
We showed up before the gates were even open since it was beer fest day. The festival was in a little park next to the stadium that had great views of the ballpark. It was actually kind of a lame beer festivals but it was still fund and not the main reason we went. Also, AT&T Park being on the water, makes it a great park to walk around and explore on the outside before you venture to your seats. You’ll see some great views and a lot of statues that pay tribute to famous Giants from the past.
AT&T Park has a bar connected to it called The Public House. The thing that’s cool about this is you can get regular priced craft beer and bring it right into the stadium! Special note – if there is a giveaway, they don’t do that at the Public House gate so we went in the main gate, got our ugly Giants socks, then ducked into the bar to grab a beer before venturing up to the Club level.
The Club level is pretty awesome and you have a great view of the stadium, plus you get to see all sorts of things you normally wouldn’t have access to such as huge bobblehead collections, lots of game used merchandise, trophies and Peanuts statues. Who knew Lucy was a lush? Oh! And the bathrooms are super clean with really short lines on this level.
We snuck out onto some club level seats behind home plate and were enjoying a pretty amazing view until the actual seat holders showed up in the second inning and ruined our day. The nerve.
Actually, there aren’t many bad seats in the ballpark and we ended up in the first row out in center field. The usher came by and gave us a big warning about how we can’t jump onto the field or interfere with balls (which incidentally someone else did later in the game over in left center).
Some guys were hanging out in the center field bar and wanted to exchange seats with us. We obliged and ended up about 15 rows behind the Giants dugout. Their tickets were 2.5 times the cost of ours but they didn’t want to sit in the sun. Apparently they can’t handle the heat. We could – and the seats were pretty great.
The sound and scoreboard were pretty average but did the job (they upgraded them in 2007). The Giants have a cool “old school” analog clock that sits at the very top above their scoreboard. One of my favorite things that you don’t see much anymore at most ballparks is those old style manual out of town scoreboards. The Giants have one out in Right Field, and if you are paying attention, you can watch them manual change the numbers as teams score.
You’ll find plenty of options to satisfy those hunger cravings. All the ballpark staples are here, plus crab sandwiches, clam chowder bowls, bbq, tacos, and cheesesteaks. Also, if you don’t get beer at the public house, you are missing out on the best selection and price at the ballpark, however, outside of that you’ll find plenty of Gordon Biersch and Anchor Steam beers plus a few others. But really if you love beer, you need to visit the Public House.
Tim Lincecum was pitching this game for the Giants, and it would turn out to be his last for quite some time as he ended up having season-end hip surgery. He left in only the second inning, turning the game over to the bullpen. The Giants were facing a 3 run deficit by this time, but tied it back up in the 3rd. The Rockies took the lead again in the 4th, but the Giants scored in the 5th and 7th, taking the lead for the final time and winning 7-5. It’s always fun to see the home team when you don’t really have a team you are rooting for, and in this case, every time the Giants win they play Tony Bennet’s appropriately named, “I left my heart in San Fransisco”.