Why We Watch Them Play The Games

On May 31st, 1964, the Giants and the Mets had a doubleheader scheduled in Shea Stadium, and thus started playing baseball sometime early in the day. Apart from the break between games, they didn’t stop playing baseball until early the next morning; the second game went on for a recorded 7 hours and 23 minutes, ending in the bottom of the 23rd with an 8-6 Giants victory. Gaylord Perry got the win for his ten innings of shutout baseball, which began in the 13th. Willie Mays went 1 for 10 with a walk. I believe it’s this season that Kevin Goldstein popularized the #weirdbaseball hashtag on twitter for late-night, extra-inning games. This was #freakishbaseball, or possibly #Dadaistbaseball.

Of course, I have no personal familiarity with this game. What I do know is that my grandfather, who has never really been into baseball at all, had to work the next morning when the game started, and had to work that morning by the time it ended. He didn’t get much sleep, though, because Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons were talking several feet from his head. According to him and my grandmother, she listened to all twenty-three innings of that game, and likely added her own commentary throughout.

I’m incredibly unqualified to comment on what makes a successful marriage, but I understand that there are times that you just have to grin and bear it. I’d guess that by, oh, the fifteenth inning or so, my grandfather might’ve realized this was one of those times. There was no turning that game off. They’d gone too far, and Theresa Poling was not about to quit before her Giants did. And her persistence was rewarded with a victory (not to mention a bonus Gaylord Perry complete game shutout and then some.) Continue reading

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In The Land Of Hope And Dreams: Giants Are World Series Champions Once Again

A Civic Center Plaza kind of crowd. (Jen Mac Ramos)

Take a time machine to 10 years ago. Find your 10-years-ago self and tell them that the World Series that year was awful, you know it, but in 10 years, everything will be okay.

“NO. STUPID RALLY MONKEY,” your old self might say. “SCREW THE ANGELS.”

You’ll calm your old self down — or try to at least — and say, “In 10 years, the Giants will have won the World Series twice in three years.”

Your old self won’t believe it, continuing the curse everything about the Angels.

Say that to your 2007 self, too. And maybe even your 2010 self.

It still feels improbable.

The Giants won the World Series twice in three years? No way. Not possible. Come on.

That’s just crazytalk.

There’s just absolutely no way that’ll ever happen.

Right? Continue reading

World Series Recap: Win Sings A Vogelsong

Vogelsong is of the opinion that screw you. (Jen Mac Ramos)

I.

Three games down, three wins.

That’s where the Giants currently sit going into Sunday.

It’s remarkable, isn’t it? Here they are, up three games to none in the World Series.

What do you do with that? Hope and wish, I guess. Game four on Sunday afternoon, fading through the dusk. Say you’re not nervous at all, you’re a liar. Continue reading

World Series Recap: Pablo! Pablo! Barry! Barry!

Pablo Sandoval’s all like “SORRY ‘BOUT IT.” (Jen Mac Ramos)

And so the narrative went: Barry Zito going up against Justin Verlander? None chance. No way would the Giants win here.

But Pablo Sandoval happened. Along with the rest of the Giants offense. They chased Verlander out of the game after four innings and 98 pitches.

Zito, though? He went five and two-thirds, giving up only a run. One walk, three strikeouts.

And that was the new narrative they were building for themselves. Continue reading