I have no idea what I can say at this point that adds anything to what I’ve said before. I went to my first Giants Opening Day in 1980, and I haven’t missed an opener since. Today will be my 37th consecutive such game. At times, I kinda wish I’d missed a game in there, just so I could just enjoy the game for what it is, and not for the record I am continuing.
Oh, who am I kidding? It’s fun running up such a silly streak.
As I have often done, here are a few of the highlights of the past 36 years.
April 17, 1980. My first opening day. I had a broken foot. The Giants beat the Padres, Vida Blue pitched a complete game.
April 5, 1983. Still probably the most exciting opener I’ve seen. Mike Krukow couldn’t get out of the second inning, the Padres put up 8 runs in the fifth, and when the Giants responded with 3 runs in the bottom of the inning, the Padres got them right back in the top of the 6th to take a 16-6 lead. Yet by the bottom of the 8th, the Giants had the tying run at the plate, Tom O’Malley. That’s when the dream ended, as O’Malley flied out and the Giants were retired in order in the ninth for a 16-13 loss.
April 6, 1987. Chili Davis singled off of Dave Dravecky, scoring Jeffrey Leonard to give the Giants a 12-inning walk-off victory over, yes, the Padres.
April 12, 1993. Barry Bonds’ first home opener as a Giant. Of course he hit a homer. Darren Lewis knocked a walk-off single in the 11th to beat ... the Marlins. The Grateful Dead sang the anthem.
April 7, 1998. Rey Sanchez had a walk-off pinch-hit single in the bottom of the 10th to beat the Astros.
April 8, 1999. The last opener at Candlestick. The Giants rolled over the Padres, 12-4. Barry homered.
April 11, 2000. The first game at the new ballpark. In his first at-bat at China Basin, Barry smacked a run-scoring double. His next time up, he homered. But the story of the game was Dodgers shortstop Kevin Elster, who hadn’t played a single game at any level in 1999. He hit three homers and the Dodgers won.
April 5, 2002. Fourth game of the season. Barry hit his fifth homer of the season, this one a 2-run shot in the bottom of the 10th to send us home.
April 9, 2010. We didn’t know it yet, but this was the year the Giants finally won the World Series. In the opener, Aaron Rowand singled in the bottom of the 13th to win it.
April 8, 2011. The first-ever World Series championship banner raising in San Francisco history. Aaron Rowand singled in the bottom of the 12th to win it.
April 13, 2012. In the top of the 6th, Pirates’ pitcher James McDonald rolled a squeaker past third base into left field off of Matt Cain. He was Pittsburgh’s only base runner. Cain struck out 11.
On this date in 1982, I saw the J. Geils Band at the Civic Center in San Francisco. It was the second of two shows at Civic. I thought it was a fine concert, although I was on psychedelics so I’m not to be trusted. I loved that band, saw them several times in concert.
What makes this concert noteworthy in retrospect was the opening act: U2. Although no one knew it then, this was the last time U2 opened for anyone, other than at festivals. My memory is they kicked ass that night, although stories that they blew J Geils off the stage are exaggerating.
For U2 fans, here is their setlist:
I Threw a Brick Through a Window
A Day Without Me
An Cat Dubh
Into the Heart
The Electric Co.
I Will Follow
Encore: Out Of Control and 11 O'clock Tick Tock
Here’s "Whammer Jammer" from a show I saw at Winterland in 1977, featuring Magic Dick. (Robert Gordon and Head East were the opening acts.)
27 years ago today, a friend and I attended a GG Allin concert. I’ll let you do a little online search if you don’t know what that means. It was at Kesha’s Inn, which used to be Ruthie’s Inn, which is currently a bookstore that is closing down.
Steven Rubio's Online Life
Neal Cassady, February 8, 1926 - February 4, 1968
Nine years ago today, I posted a roundup of TV in 2006. Nine years is a long time in TV World ... almost everything I talked about is long gone:
Battlestar Galactica, The L Word, The Shield, 24, Desperate Housewives, The Sopranos, Big Love, Huff, Penn and Teller: Bullshit!, Bonds on Bonds, The Unit, My Name Is Earl, The Office (U.S.), House, Lost, Rescue Me, Deadwood, Entourage, Life on Mars (U.K.), Weeds, Dexter, The Wire, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Ugly Betty, The Nine.
Some of my favorite shows are on this list: Battlestar Galactica, The Shield, The Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire. Some shows I barely remember are here: Bonds on Bonds, The Nine. There are even three shows where essays I wrote ended up in anthologies (BSG, 24, and House). They are all gone now. You can find a bit of the spirit of Lost in The Leftovers. Ugly Betty and Jane the Virgin have similarities.
And then there are a few items that are still around in some form:
Comedy Central (although Jon Stewart is gone, and Stephen Colbert has moved to CBS).
Tim Goodman (went from the Chronicle to the Hollywood Reporter).
The World Cup (in 2006 it was the men, in 2015 it was the women).
Here is one of the highlights of TV 2006 for me ... it comes from a show I didn’t much like:
Here's a blast from the past: an archive of articles I wrote or co-wrote for the Baseball Prospectus website from 1997-2000. Perhaps the most interesting is a piece I wrote after the first home series at the Giants' new ball park at China Basin.
Thirty-eight years ago today, I saw The J. Geils Band at Winterland, with Robert Gordon/Link Wray and Head East in support. Here’s the entire J Geils show: