Yeah, I’m reusing the headline I wrote on the Giants homepage, but it’s too perfect not to. On Tuesday at AT&T Park, there was a stir the likes of which I haven’t seen the height of the Barry Bonds home run chases. Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao appeared as part of the first Filipino Heritage Night of the year, and he drew attention like a rock star wherever he went.
In addition to a huge media contingent, from boxing magazines and Web sites to HBO to local Filipino newspapers. channels and sites, the crowd was swelled by an extra 11,000 tickets sold just for Filipino Heritage Night. That translated into a nice $50,000 check presented by the Giants to local Filipino groups.
Last year, the first Filipino Heritage Night smashed all records for tickets sold to one of these special group nights, with over 5,000 tickets purchased. The Giants even had to issue vouchers for the commemorative T-shirt because they ran out. This year, the giveaway was an extremely cool Pacquiao bobblehead, which is now a hot item on eBay. There was also a special T-shirt with Pacquiao’s nifty Nike logo in orange on sale at the ballpark. You can see Amy Gutierrez wearing the shirt in this video:
Before Pacquiao entered the field for the ceremonial first pitch to a HUGE ovation, there was a nice dance performance by the very colorful Likha Pilipino Folk Ensemble. Because people were rushing around in preparation for Pacquiao’s entrance, they kept walking in front of the camera, so this video is very short and features a jump-cut in the middle, but you get the idea:
The first Filipino Heritage Night at AT&T Park was definitely a success, with over 4,000 tickets sold, one of the largest numbers for a heritage event at the ballpark. The Likha Pilipino Folk Ensemble provided pregame entertainment, and it was pretty impressive, as many of the cultural entertainment groups are. Here’s a short clip of their performance; the music you hear is from a full on-field orchestra.
Coming Friday: Japanese Heritage Night, featuring Masanori Murakami bobbleheads for those who purchased the special Heritage Night ticket package. And here’s a little Welcome to Third and King scoop for you: “Mashi,” the first Japanese player in the Majors, will be here in person as the Forever Giants Fridays special guest, signing autographs near the home bullpen from 5:45-6:15. He’s also featured on the season ticket for Friday’s game. By the way, the photo to the left of Murakami enjoying his first hot dog is displayed on the Club Level of the ballpark.