(UPDATE: Apologies for the videos accidentally being marked as private. That’s been changed, so you should be able to view them now.)
Giants fans had to like Monday’s Opening Day in Houston, where Tim Lincecum was brilliant, new Giant Mark DeRosa bashed a homer, John Bowker showed off a nice glove (and bat) and Brian Wilson was downright filthy in the ninth.
But the fans who showed up to AT&T Park for the CSN Authentic Opening Day viewing party REALLY enjoyed the day. They got to watch the game on the high-def video board, surrounded by fellow orange-and-black faithful, eating a free hot dog and getting an autograph from Vida Blue and Jeffrey Leonard. Here are some of them getting excited for the first at-bat of the season (love the guys jumping out of their skin with excitement in the dugout):
(More photos and videos after the jump — click “Continue reading”)
Last night, the Giants opened the AT&T Park gates an hour earlier than normal for the first time this season, part of a special program where they’ll do that for every Friday and Saturday night home game so fans can see the entirety of the Giants’ batting practice.
Previously, the gates opening two hours before gametime would mean the earliest arriving fans would see perhaps the tail end of the Giants taking BP and all of the visitors. Now, with the gates opening three hours prior on Friday and Saturday nights, fans can see the home team stretch, take infield and swing away.
Each early opening will include an “Orange Plate Special” at the concession stands (last night, it was a meal deal of a hot dog, peanuts and soda) and 20 BP baseballs will be specially marked so fans who end up with them can redeem them for a prize.
Last Monday, 3,300 fans got to experience Opening Day without having to travel all the way to Los Angeles. They showed up at AT&T Park for Comcast SportsNet’s Authentic Opening Day celebration, which gave fans the chance to take batting practice on the field, see Willie Mays unveil the new Comcast SportsNet sign on the outfield wall, eat free dogs and watch the season opener live from L.A. on the massive high-definition video board.
Though the result of the game wasn’t what people were hoping for, it was a neat experience, and all for free. Fans even got in a nice round of “Dodgers suck!” at one brave soul who dared to wear a Dodgers jersey to the event.
Some photos from the event:
First, a note about the new blog format — the importing of my photo galleries was done automatically and in a quick-fix method, so that’s why the embarrassing parade of giant food items appears below. I’m debating just deleting all the photos and waiting for proper photo tools to be added, but maybe I’ll leave them for now and just have it look a little stupid.
But much bigger things to discuss, namely OPENING DAY. On Monday, AT&T Park will be buzzing despite the Giants being hundreds of miles south to face the rival Dodgers in Los Angeles. That’s because FSN Bay Area is sponsoring a party at the ballpark to commemorate the channel’s relaunch as Comcast SportsNet.
The yard opens at 11 a.m., with batting practice beginning at 11:30 a.m. Anybody who wants to wait his/her turn can take five swings from home plate, believed to be the first time BP has been offered at the ballpark for free (though a donation to the Giants Community Fund is suggested).
At noon, the special one-hour pregame show from Los Angeles will air on the scoreboard’s high-definition screen, followed by the Giants-Dodgers game. At roughly 12:03 p.m., as part of that show, Hall of Famer Willie Mays will unveil CSN-BA’s new outfield sign. The day’s festivities will be hosted by PA announcer Renel Brooks-Moon.
Oh, perhaps the best part: FREE HOT DOGS for the first 5,000 fans.