Saturday featured one of my favorite annual events at AT&T Park, the Giants’ Dog Days of Summer. More than 700 dogs got to come to the yard, participate in a pregame parade and costume contest and then watch the game from a special dog zone section in the bleachers.
For the second time that I can remember, the costume contest was won by a great big ol’ dog wearing some kind of frilly thing. This time, it was Clouseau, sporting a festive color and cuffs that flung bits into the air when he gave a good shake. In the photo at right, his proud parents are celebrating his victory.
Check out my photo gallery for more shots from this fun event. Take special note of Thing 1 and Thing 2 in one of the photos — those two kept getting pushed together by their mom and dad for photos, but they did NOT want to be that close to each other and made that quite clear with plenty of snarling and nipping. Ah, siblings.
On Sunday, the ballpark will be invaded early by two other wild packs — participants in the Plate to Plate 5K Run/Walk to benefit Project Open Hand (with Matt Cain serving as the race’s official starter at 9 a.m.) and more than 4,000 Junior Giants as part of Junior Giants Day. All fans are asked to donate just one dollar to help the 15,000 kids who participate in the wonderful Junior Giants program, which will receive a prestigious honor before Sunday’s game as well.
The Giants come back home Tuesday, and AT&T Park will host another Heritage Week, spread over the nine days of the homestand. Things kick off Tuesday with the second Irish Heritage Night of the year, featuring a pregame party in Lot D and a special Irish-themed cap for those who purchase the special ticket package.
Wednesday is Italian Heritage Night, with the special ticket garnering fans a Giants “beanie” (ski cap, or tuque to our Canadian friends) that has the SF logo in the Italian colors of red, white and green. On Orange Friday, it’s African-American Heritage Night, featuring a neat talking bobblehead of Renel Brooks-Moon, the AT&T Park public-address announcer. Renel has made plenty of history in her nine years behind the mike, becoming the first woman to announce a World Series Game and an All-Star Game.
Each night will include pregame and in-game heritage-themed entertainment, which is always pretty cool to see. The Giants find some very talented groups to show off their culture’s music and dance, like the dancers shown at right who performed last homestand as part of Luau Night, celebrating Polynesian culture.
Speaking of Luau Night, here are a couple more photos from the event:
The Giants return home Monday for a weeklong homestand, and prior to the opener against the Braves, there will be the latest addition to the Giants’ wildly successful heritage celebrations: the first Luau Night at AT&T Park.
Those who purchase a special game ticket will get admission to the pregame luau in Lot D, a free adult beverage or Polynesian food option and the awesome Lou Seal grass skirt bobbler.
Other discounts for Monday’s game include tickets in honor of the San Francisco Marathon and to support Project Homeless Connect. Tuesday is the first annual Girl Scout Night with special tickets available for Girl Scout troops and their friends and families.
On Tuesday, the Giants present the 11th annual Organ Donor Awareness Night. When Giants bullpen coach Mark Gardner was a pitcher for the team, his wife, Lori, a former All-American softball player at Fresno State was diagnosed with liver cancer, receiving two transplants before her death in 2004. The Gardners became advocates for organ donations and the Giants supported the cause by holding Organ Donor Awareness events.
The first 10,000 fans at Tuesday’s game will get commemorative baseball cards of Giants players that include organ donation facts on one side.