Venturing into Enemy Territory

It was a balmy Tuesday evening as the intrepid band of Giants’ fans ventured into Enemy Territory to watch “The Freak” pitch against the Oakland A’s. Figuring there would be decent seats available at game time, we left Visalia at 2:00 p.m. and motored to the Coliseum, encountering just enough Bay Area traffic to remind ourselves of one of the reasons we live in the Central Valley. We were able to acquire decent seats for a reasonable price in section 131, Row 36, down the third base line behind the foul pole, just in foul territory. As we settled in to our seats we saw enough folks wearing Giants colors to know that there were “friendlies” in McAfee Stadium. Before Timmay threw his first pitch we were rocking and rolling as Pablito hit his shot down the line toward us that seemed to curl around the base and rattled around the corner to allow Andres to score. We were doubly encouraged when Bengie brought him home with a sac fly – not always a given with the G men. Tim was masterful his first four inning with the only blemish Giambi’s homerun, which was a no doubter.

It is a different experience being in another team’s park; we were definitely the minority even though there were plenty of fellow Giants rooters. At least in our section we managed to get plenty of “Let’s Go Giants” chants with the requisite clapping in between. When the A’s fans tried to get their chant going we substituted “Last Place” for “Let’s Go,” which caused some irritation. Ha, Ha. It was payback for all the highlights of the 1989 World Series that were shown prior to the game and the recognition of the ‘89 A’s prior to the game - conspicuously absent were the bash brothers – Canseco and McGwire.

Things got very interesting and tense during the fifth, sixth and seventh innings when Tim pitched out of some serious jams. We had a feeling that the Giants’ offense had performed its duty in the first two innings by scoring four runs and it was up to Tim to hold the line. As the A’s fans that surrounded us were cheering and yelling and encouraging their team with each rally we kept our cool and sent positive vibes to Tim. In many similar situations I would be crouched in my seat muttering about the “Frickin’ Giants” and how they were about to blow it; however, with Timmay there was an unspoken confidence that he would get out of each jam and he did – he is maturing as a pitcher before our very eyes. He did receive the benefit of a very favorable call on the ball that Edgar dropped in the seventh inning; from the replays on the screen at the stadium it appeared that he never had it in his glove – oh well, we deserve a few breaks.

After each ground ball that triggered a double play the air was let out of the A’s fans and the Giants’ fans in our area were jumping up and high fiving and yelling for Timmay and the Giants. What a glorious feeling – being on the edge and then being rescued time and again.

As Timmay completed the eighth inning in efficient fashion and then approached the mound to begin the ninth the crowd roared, as the Giants’ fans found their collective voice. With no one warming up we knew it was time for him to shut the door. As he began his warm up tosses Brian Wilson began to warm up – just in case. He again, efficiently dispatched the A’s in the bottom of the ninth, with Giants’ fans standing and clapping, for a very, very sweet victory and one of our top major league baseball experiences.

Four tickets on the field level - $104.00; parking - $15.00; a full tank of gas - $42.00 + 450 miles on the ‘97 Honda Accord; beer, soda, burritos and hot dogs - $72.00 – experiencing a Timmay masterpiece in Enemy Territory with my brother, nephew and brother-in-law – PRICELESS.

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