I was just shy of my fifteenth birthday when the Giants played the A’s in the Battle of the Bay in 1989. I remember laying on the couch with my dad and brother sitting on the other couch, waiting for the game to start. We heard the garage door open. Mom was home from work and she was parking the car inside.
Suddenly there was a loud grumble. Was my mom crashing into the wall? My father yelled for my brother and I to get out of the house and into our backyard. We lived right behind a school facing the gassy field. I looked over the fence and saw the baseball game played by a bunch of neighborhood kids was frozen in time and eventually they dropped to the ground. If I wasn’t holding onto the fence, I probably would have fallen down as well.
I was less than an hour from the epicenter of Loma Prieta earthquake. My husband R said he felt the earthquake two states away in Idaho!
Needless to say, see the orange and green on the field brought me back.
This was our first time in the bleachers section and fortunately for us, I found the tickets for fourteen dollars each. I knew R did not want to come. He simply couldn’t.
R has been to one other Giants game and that experience was too much for him. His PTSD and anxiety prevented him and all of us from having any fun. I tried to alleviate the stress by asking an usher if we could sit in the seats reserved for disabled ticket holders temporarily but it didn’t help. Still, that was a huge step and triumph for R and maybe in time he’ll be able to watch another game with us.
L, who’s seven years old, did not come with us because she gets too cold and too tired at games! Poor thing! I’m glad she was able to stay home with Daddy and keep him company.
So we brought Grandma!
My mom has never been to a game before so it was nice to bring her along. We stopped at the commissary to buy drinks and sushi (yes, sushi) and sandwiches and sunflower seeds. You name it, we brought it because I didn’t want to pay ball park prices. I did however wanted to splurge on garlic fries. Those delicious fries are normally nine bucks but because it was the first game of the season and the registers were brand-new, they weren’t working! So I got free fries. Yum!
We got to see the A’s have batting practice before the game in the outfield. Occasionally a ball would roll away from play and fans would beg for a player to throw them the ball. My daughter and I were happily watching from the backstop.
A teenager asked to trade places with us so he could use his contraption (made of rope, duct tape, and a cup) to retrieve one of the balls. He was so cordial that I said, “Okay, but only until you get the ball!” A few minutes later I was shocked to see that a gentleman came with a similar invention. I thought, Come on! That kid was already trying for it!
When the teen got the ball, my daughter and I cheered. The kid turned to my daughter A and asked if she has a ball yet. A shook her head.
Then he said, “Here you go!” and gave her the ball.
I was floored. There are many times as an educator where I am disrespected and most times I shrug it off. However, there are a few times when a kid reminds me why I still have hope for the youth.