Author: Judd, Brooks

Ten Items or Less

1957-2010: What a loooonnnnggg strange trip its been………

1) Snowflakes: I still don’t understand this. There is a universal “belief” that no two snowflakes are alike. Billions upon billions of “freshly fallen silent shrouds of snow” (thank you Paul Simon) flakes drift silently from our skies to earth and no two are alike? Come on, give me a break. Who says this and more importantly who has proven it. To find out more about this subject you can go to:

2) I was embarrassed and yet pleased and amused that my good friend, Ed Alston, gracefully “borrowed” my daily column heading and utilized it quite effectively for his own use. For a man of Ed’s stature to even read my column reddens my chubby Portuguese cheeks. It was indeed an honor.

3) 1957 and 1958 are memorable years for the San Francisco Bay Area. The Pacific Coast League San Francisco Seals Triple AAA farm club to the powerful Boston Red Sox will be closing down and playing their last game at Seals Stadium in September 1957. George Christopher is the Mayor of San Francisco and he won’t deny the rumors that the Bay Area is working desperately to bring the New York Giants to San Francisco.

4) 1957 and my father says, “Let’s go see the SF Seals play before they leave.” I get to see my very first “professional” baseball game (even though it is a Triple AAA affair) at Seals Stadium in San Francisco. The stadium is beautiful and I get to witness the Seals go against the great Boston Red Sox and their Hall of Famer Ted Williams. When the Splendid Splinter comes to bat the Seals rotate their infield to the right. I ask my father why they are doing this and he patiently explains to me that this is called the Ted Williams shift and why a team does it. Forty Five years later at AT&T Park I will see the same shift deployed when Barry Bonds comes to bat.

5) September 1957: The Seals clean out their lockers for the last time leaving the Bay Area without a baseball team. A few weeks later on a warm September morning Rick Cornish and I anxiously walk together to Highland school as we anticipate what our first day in fourth grade in Mrs. Eddy’s classroom will be like.
6) 1958: After much bitterness and business dealings between the east and west coast, the New York Giants move to San Francisco disappointing thousands of New Yorkers while bringing elation to the San Francisco Bay Area as they get their own National League Baseball Team.

7) April 1958: The 4th grade school year is three months from being over for Rick and me, Mrs. Eddy is a great teacher, and it is opening day at cozy Seals Stadium as the SF Giants take on the newly transplanted Brooklyn Bums now the LA Dodgers. After school I rush to get home so I can listen to the ending of the game. I get home, turn on my sturdy tiny white radio and catch the ending of this historical first game between the two recently East Coast transplanted teams. My San Francisco Giants crush the Bums 8-0. A love affair begins.

8) Sad legacy: Since 1958 The San Francisco Giants have been to the World Series three times, lost them all. It is always, “Wait til next year!” 9) November 1, 2010: As I write this game 5 has just ended and the San Francisco Giants are Champions of the World. San Francisco finally has a World Series title to call their own. The common lingering sadness the Giants Fans felt at the end of each season, the agony of crushed hopes, squelched spirits, has come to a glorious end. The ½ century wait is over.

10) The vast, huge, joyous, Black and Orange World Series parade has concluded and Giants fans everywhere will not have to say “Wait til next year.” The Giant Faithful can look upward at the beautiful November night sky glimmering with thousands of stars and realize that for this one moment in time, this brief blip in history, all is right with the world and the World Series Championship Trophy has finally come home.

(*****) “Ed Alston your table is ready!” Chef Mike has carefully prepared a tasty minestrone soup for you and it is simmering in a black and orange soup bowl waiting for you. All you need to do is supply the hat. Bon appétit.

Until next time: Enjoy Thanksgiving, give thanks, love your family, share a meal with a friend, read a book, hug a child, pet a dog, and smile.

Posted:  11/5/2010

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