Welcome to the refreshed McCovey Chronicles! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card (rules here*). We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!
Why are you here? This isn’t an existential question. You’re at a site dedicated to the San Francisco Giants, reading words, and you probably didn’t get here because you screwed up a Google search. Why does this site exist in its current form? How did I become so much of a Giants fan that I convinced myself that other people wanted to read my opinions?
I’ve written this before, back in 2005, when I was still in my 20s and it wasn’t so sad to mention that I grew up attending games at Candlestick. Now I’m older, and the magic of the 1997 season is in college and drunk all the time, and it never calls. But the explanation for why I became a fan is a little clearer to me.
It was my parents. That’s it. It’s the most common answer, but everything starts there. If my parents don’t get the Sunday-only plan when I’m five or six, I’m not getting balls from Bill Laskey before every game. I’m not there for the Bob Brenly game or the Joe Morgan game. I don’t dress up as Mel Ott at “Come as your favorite athlete” day* in summer camp like the weird kid that I was. And I don’t rediscover my love for the sport in college after abandoning it for Pantera shirts in high school.
* I chose Ott because I had an antique catcher’s mask at home, so it was easy for me to complete the outfit. That was the last baseball-related thing I ever got wrong.
It all started with my mom and dad. My mom used to wait at SFO for the GIants to return from road trips when she was in high school, and my dad used to be fascinated with Ted Williams, even as he was a local kid with the proper respect for Willie Mays. When they were looking for a low-cost outing for me and my brother, 1980s baseball was there for them. It was affordable to get four box seats back then. On a Sunday. While I love AT&T Park, I’m pretty jealous that option was there when they had young children.
It wasn’t just taking me to the games, though. It was all the extracurricular stuff that went along with it. It was going early so I could see batting practice. It was taking me to the photo day so I could get on the field and take pictures:
See, there’s a picture of me with my real dad, and I’ll treasure it so. The dad who raised me was a true sport to let me have that moment with my birth dad.
The took me to every photo day. That allowed me to get this matching set:
My parents took me to Macy’s to meet Willie McCovey. This is literally a McCovey Chronicle:
I can keep going, but you get the idea. I was at the games. I was at the events. I had the merchandise. And even when I got weird in middle school and became a Rickey Henderson-loving A’s fan, I came back because it was so common in my house to have the Giants game on. To have every Giants game on.
When I got more into teenager things, I let my love for the game slip a bit. But when I went away to college, the Giants reminded me of home. I needed to be reminded of home. And when I would spend the summers back in the Bay Area, the parking lot of Candlestick would be the only place a 18-year-old could have several beer and some nitrate-filled intestine socks without drawing too much suspicion, so my friends and I went three or four times every homestand.
It was the 1997 team that hooked me, that got me so interested in baseball that I would spend hours and hours on the internet writing about them. But it was my parents who started the whole thing with their interest. You’re here because my parents liked baseball, and they forced me to, as well.
Your story might be similar. But you don’t have the matching Kruk/Kuip pictures to prove it. Thanks, ma and pa.
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