September 2006

End of the line

Though there won’t be any postseason baseball at AT&T Park this year, this week’s final homestand will have several cool events for fans coming to the yard.

The Diamondbacks arrive Monday, which is the second College Night of the year. On Tuesday, fans with special tickets can celebrate Oktoberfest at the BallPark; the ticket package includes a pregame party, a seat in the official Oktoberfest section and a 22-ounce San Francisco Giants
Oktoberfest Stein with one free pour of beer.

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Fittingly, the final weekday game of the season Wednesday is PG&E Giants Solar Day, and the first 15,000 fans get a special Giants cap with a sun-themed logo.

Of course, the hated Dodgers will be in town this weekend, and the Giants would love to knock them out of playoff contention. Friday’s series opener, the final Orange Friday of the season, features Rally Rags for the first 40,000 fans. On Saturday, as part of Strike Out Violence Day, fans can buy $1 tickets in hopes of winning autographed jerseys in the Jerseys Off Our Giants raffle to benefit Casa de las Madres.

Sunday’s the traditional Fan Appreciation Day, with tons of prizes to be given away. The grand prize is a 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser. Hope it’s orange :-p

Sultans of swing

Outfielders were fighting some wicked shadows Sunday thanks to the 5:05 p.m. ESPN start time. If you want to get a first-hand taste of just how rough that early-evening sun at AT&T Park is for catching fly balls, sign up for the "Swing Like a Giant" event slated for after Thursday’s day game.

Participants will take eight swings from home plate off a pitching machine, with prizes for the five farthest hits, but those who aren’t batting will get to shag flies in the outfield. Bring your flipdown shades.

Proceeds benefit the Giants Community Fund.

Sept. 11 banners in Willie Mays Plaza

Banners in Willie Mays Plaza note the names of those who were killed in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Toy Drive

Fans donated toys and cash to the San Francisco Fire Fighters Toy Program.

CHP horses

The CHP brought another mode of transportation, of the equine variety.

Vince the greeter

Vince the crash-test dummy beckons fans to the safety festival.

The CHP display

The California Highway Patrol brought some of their modes of transportation.

Family Safety Festival

The Safety Festival took place on Terry Francois Boulevard, across the cove from AT&T Park, and featured displays from variety of public safety agencies.

Here for the party

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Omar Vizquel makes the price of admission worth every penny whenever he’s playing shortstop, but on Friday, he showed off some of his non-baseball talents for free in Lefty O’Doul Plaza at the second annual Fiesta Gigante, a festival featuring Latin music, food, crafts and other entertainment.

Vizquel showed up with catcher Eliezer Alfonzo and infielder Tomas De La Rosa to say hi to the crowd, but the Venezuelan couldn’t resist the chance to show off his impressive percussion and singing skills as well. He even sang a duet with Spanish-language broadcaster and former Giant Tito Fuentes, crafting lyrics that said "The Giants will win tonight" (which they did, by the way, with Matt Cain again flirting with a no-hitter).

Vizquel is also an amazing dancer, which comes as no surprise to those who’ve seen his fancy footwork on the field.

Take a look at some photos from the event.

Home again

Winn_bobbleThe Giants come home Friday night to kick off a series with the Wild Card-leading Padres, and fans coming out for the pivotal series opener will definitely get their money’s worth. It’s Orange Friday, of course, and the lines should start forming at the gates quite early since it’s Randy Winn Bobblehead Night.

Luckily, those arriving early to queue up for bobbleheads can enjoy the annual Fiesta Gigante, featuring Latin music, food and crafts at Lefty O’Doul Plaza starting at 3:30 p.m.

It’s also the third and final Singles Night, where those with special tickets get to attend a pregame party and then sit in a specially designated seating area with an equal number of men and women. At an earlier game this year, the Giants honored a recently married couple who met at a Giants Singles Night a couple of years ago.

On Saturday, the first 5,000 kids will receive a Giants lunch pack, and pregame ceremonies will honor Roberto Clemente Award nominee Omar Vizquel and the Junior Giants Willie Mac Award winners. During the game, fans can make silent bids in the Sports Memorabilia Auction to benefit the Giants Community Fund with the live auction happening postgame atop the Giants dugout.

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The Giants will remember Sept. 11 on Sunday (since they’re off Monday) with a tripleheader of community service-oriented events. The annual Traffic Safety Festival takes place starting at 2 p.m. on Terry Francois Boulevard across the cove from AT&T Park. It’s a cool event that in the past has included fire engines, police cars, even a CHP helicopter, as well as the crash test dummies Vince and Larry and CHP mascot Chipper. The Giants will honor emergency service agencies and people working to keep the community safe in an on-field presentation.

It’s also the annual toy drive to help out the San Francisco Fire Fighters Toy Program, so bring a toy or $5 and get a Matt Morris pin in thanks. What’s really nice is that the Toy Program is housed just one block south of the ballpark, and the firefighters bring toys to the Giants’ annual holiday party for families from homeless shelters.

By the way, if you haven’t heard, Sunday’s game time has been pushed back to 5:05 p.m. thanks to being picked as the ESPN Sunday Night Game.