The kids have really gotten excited about baseball (and the Giants especially) since the Giants won the World Series last fall. And so, we thought we should try to make it to a game when the Giants came to Milwaukee. In fact, I asked for it for my birthday, not quite sure if we could find reasonable tickets. Fortunately there was a deal at Sam's Club a few weeks ago - $10/ticket for the $40 seats. We jumped on it.
Two days before the game we had tickets for, one of our favorite Giants' players, Buster Posey (who subsequently won the All-Star voting for his position) broke his leg and tore several ligaments in a traumatic and highly controversial home-plate collision. We were bummed! He was one of the players we were most excited about seeing in person.
But we pulled ourselves together and figured the Giants' would be especially in need of fan support at an away game, after a losing streak, after losing a key player. We found all the orange and black clothing we could and made LOADS of signs.
We arrived at Miller Park about an hour before the game and ate dinner at the car (a.k.a. tailgating). It felt really funny walking through rows of tailgaters all in blue on our way through the parking lot. It definitely felt like everyone was looking at us (maybe it was just the six kids - LOL). But it was fun to stumble upon the rare Giants' fan who was pleased to see us. The camaraderie in being such a minority was amazing.
The game didn't look too good early on, which didn't surprise me. I thought we'd be in tough shape. But suddenly, things began to turn around (maybe because my husband decided to start cheering with the rest of us, instead of going for the Brewers!) and it turned into a really exciting game. After Posey's injury, the Giants brought two players up from the minor leagues. This was Brandon Crawford's first game in the majors and he managed to hit a grand slam. Only the 6th time that's happened in history. It was a great moment, partly because the team needed the boost, but also because we could suddenly see all of the other Giants' fans in the park.
One news article mentioned that Brandon Crawford hit a home run in front of 500 people that Wednesday, and suddenly pulled off a grand slam on Friday in front of 40,000!
Here's a video of the great moment. It sure seems like we can hear our own screaming in part of this:
I couldn't get the embed to work, but you can watch the clip here.
Because we were such a big cluster and the other fans were so few and far between (perhaps a few hundred obvious ones in the whole park), we got noticed a lot. One Giants fan came to the game with a bunch of friends who were Brewers' fans. He walked by us early in the game and shrugged in disappointment about how they were doing. After the grand slam he paid us a visit and gave all of us high-fives individually.
We were a little nervous at the end of the game, because the score was close. We were expecting to see Brian Wilson (the Giants' amazing closer-pitcher) come out to help hold back the tide. But no Brian through the 8th inning. Our seats were not greatest - the players we could see best were out in left field (and we couldn't see them very well). But when Brian Wilson finally came out to pitch in the 9th, you couldn't miss "the Beard". And, naturally, he came through.
The pitching was perhaps the most amazing thing to watch. Getting to see Tim Lincecum AND Brian Wilson pitch in person was a real treat. Oh yeah, that and watching Brandon Crawford's stats on the scoreboard jump from .000 to .333. :)
There were a few slightly rude comments from Brewers' fans (it was a night game and so there was definitely some drinking going on), but most people were curious and interested.
It was such an exciting game that the whole family has been pumped up about baseball ever since. We have an online subscription to MLB.com's audio stuff - which basically means we can listen to all of the baseball radio broadcasts. The kids have hardly missed a Giant's game since then.
This is a much better picture than the one I found earlier. We sure felt conspicuous walking through a sea of blue with all of our orange! :)