It was an odd day at China Basin this afternoon, although the game itself was fairly normal. What made the day more interesting than usual (besides the rare fact that the Giants won) was my companions in the stands. Which didn't look to be the case as I left for the game, since I went alone (it's not easy to find other people with nothing to do on a Wednesday afternoon).
There was Dale, who has been sitting behind me since the park opened. This season, he decided not to keep his season tickets, but he has grabbed some games from another of our regulars, so it wasn't much different than usual. This was the first game where he and I were both in Section 317, so we got caught up on stuff. Dale is a guitarist, and he has a new album out that I listened to on the weekend ... if you are a fan of solo guitar, mostly fingerpicking, in the style of Fahey or (as I said to him today) Jorma Kaukonen when he's doing acoustic, you'd like Dale's music.
To my right, another longtime fellow fan who I hadn't yet seen this season, Dan, a freelance writer formerly of the Chronicle. I keep up with his writing because he always posts links to his Facebook page when he has something new ... he's been in the New York Times a lot recently ... but it's good to see him at the games, and I would say that even if he hadn't given me those "Little Man" souvenirs when he left the Chron. (Being that he specializes in technology, it's no surprise that Dan knows my old friend Annalee, a small-worldism I had to mention.)
Dan brought his friend Jason, who I hadn't met before. He, too, is a freelance writer ... Jason writes a lot for Giants Magazine, so he had some good stories about the players. Also, he's got a book coming out early next year, Breaking the Code: Baseball's Unwritten Rules Revealed, that sounds right up my alley.
Dan is working on his own piece for Giants Magazine, and during the game he pulled out his laptop and started writing. After awhile, he passed the computer to Jason, who edited the piece for awhile. It was delightful to see how they worked together on the writing ... I can tell you from experience that there is nothing so wonderful as an editor you can trust. That they were typing on a computer while the game went on didn't seem as awful as the purists might imagine ... they could have been in the press box, they opted for the sun and the reg'lar fans like me, and it's hard to complain about that.
And finally, there was one more group of people that made the day memorable. I'm going to have to apologize in advance ... I don't know the correct term for people who are ... well, if I could tell you, I'd know the term. I'll try "developmentally disabled." They were a little less intelligent than "normal," a little more socially inappropriate than "normal," and that's really about it. Different enough to be noticeable, but not more than that. There were three of them, and one other friend who seemed a combination friend/aide.
These guys were locked into the game, and had no qualms about expressing their interest. Quite enthusiastic, to be sure, and very optimistic about the home team. What was especially interesting to me was how their fandom existed in the moment. Each batter was the beginning of a new story ... each at-bat was as important as the last out of the World Series. The joy we might feel when one of our guys makes a fine defensive play, for instance, was felt by the fans behind me for every ordinary ground ball. It was hard to be cynical, sitting in front of great fans like them.
And so, in many ways, it was just another midweek day game, spent with the other ne'er-do-wells who fill the stadium when the real world is at work. But it was memorable in its quirks, which is pretty much the best we can hope for with the Giants this year.