By Michael Moniz
For the people that have never ventured to a San Francisco Giants game or just want to experience it like a veteran fan of 35+ years does it, I wanted to walk you through a “perfect day” at AT&T. At least from my humble perspective.
Starting off at 10:30am, you arrive at Broderick’s in Walnut Creek. Arguably the best burgers in the East Bay, having a choice of anything from Bison to Duck to Boar to Angus Beef, you can’t go wrong with any burger. These THICK burgers will give you a base to keep you going throughout the day. Also, they have a HUGE selection of beers and a full bar to choose from to get the day going. Ask for Mikey. Best bartender in WC.
Hop on WC BART around 11:15 with a full stomach, maybe a few road sodas, and a full phone battery. About 45 minutes later, get off at Embarcadero Station. Now I know most people take MUNI to drop you off in front of the stadium, but that has never been my favorite. I find a lot of joy, walking down Spear St alongside other Giants fans during a beautiful day in June. You see, there are a few hidden gems at the end of Spear St along the Embarcadero that you’ll miss if you take MUNI.
Around 12:00PM, you have your most important decision of the day. Beer or Liquor? Hi Dive or Reds? Two historic stops that all Giants fans go to, these spots are a must to enjoy a quick bucket of beers between a few friends (Reds) or a Tito’s and Soda with two limes (Hi Dive). I personally love Red’s as you can get a bucket (6) of Rolling Rock for about $23. In the city, that’s practically free. Also, you’re literally sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the ships roll in. Can’t beat that!
When you look at your IPhone for the 13th time in the last 45 minutes and you see that it is 12:45, start the 10 min walk down the Embarcadero to the stadium.
Things to look for:
- Pedi Cabs. This is the definition of FU money. Usually cost about $10/person although there is no standard fee. I’ve negotiated to $5 one time. I recommend you to try it at least once in your life. It’s like rolling up in a limo. Cool status thing, but once you’re done and you pay, you realize it wasn’t worth it. Can help you if you’re running late or impress a date!
- Multiple kids selling various items (water, peanuts, etc). These kids are good. They will get you in conversation and literally run after you to try and close the deal. Pretty sure they make more than me.
- At least one person singing/playing a musical instrument. These aren’t the run of the mill people. These are entertainers that usually have a mic and speakers and sing covers well. Throw a buck.
- Two guys selling bootleg Bay Area sports teams clothing and hats. Out of everything, this is by far the best value on the strip. Half of my Bay teams (Niners, Dubs, G’s) clothing wardrobe has been purchased from these kinds of people. Shirts, beanies, blankets, If it has a team logo on it, they have it. Also definitely illegal.
Now the clock strikes 1:00PM as you’re entering the park. Best place to enter the stadium is in the back near boat docks. Quickest way into the stadium plus you don’t have to walk up the ramps.
Everyone has different preferences for seats. Obviously sitting as close as possible is ideal, but I’m assuming most of you weren’t a part of Google’s IPO. I’ve sat pretty much everywhere, but my two favorite spots were LF bleachers (137) and deep 3rd baseline (Section 134). The value for these seats is unprecedented in my mind. Bleachers you can usually get for $15-25. Section 134 are probably the cheapest lower level seats while also being very easy to get to, near food, and gives you access to the lower level and able to sneak to better seats.
You’re starting to get hungry as it been a few hours since that Bison burger. As soon as I enter the park, I go and get a nice IPA. New this year to the stadium is a partnership with my favorite beer, Sierra Nevada. Sign me up.
As I sip on the hops, I always like to walk around the stadium once and just take in all the different views. I make my way to my seat after and enjoy my view for the first inning or 2. When that is finished, make your way to behind centerfield bleachers for the famous crab sandwich. Although very expensive ($17.50), it is something that you HAVE to eat. Two pieces of toasted sourdough bread, graciously drenched in butter, around about 3-4oz of crab meat and mayo. Tomatoes are also on this and help make this the BEST sandwich in the park. I typically eat this right away.
After devouring the crab sando, make your way to get some Gilroy Garlic Fries. I’ll warn you right now. This is pretty much minced garlic with some fries on the side. Been a staple forever, and easily the fan favorite. I’ll grab those and another beer and head back to my seat to enjoy the rest of the game.
As you’re watching Mad Bum throw the heat and Kershaw throwing the meat, remind Dodgers fans around you about their choke job last year. If the Giants can’t win, then I’d like the Doyers to suffer a slow, painful loss like they had last year.
There are 4 songs that could be played during the game. The first is obviously in the middle of the 7th, “Take me out to the ballgame” like at every baseball game you’ve ever been to. You have a civic duty to sing your ass off. In the 8th inning, if the Giants are tied or losing, they play “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. If they’re winning, “Lights” by Journey is played. Either way, Journey kicks ass. If you’re lucky, you might see Steve Perry sing from his seat.
As the game ends in a 1-0 Giants win over the Doyers with Mad Bum throwing a complete game shutout and hitting a solo homer, you’ll walk out of the park with Tony Bennett singing “I left my heart in San Francisco” in the background.
If you want to keep the party going, I recommend 21st Amendment bar a block away or Pete’s or Momo’s right across the street for a celebratory beer. I tend to like doing that for day games so the crowd isn’t so heavy on MUNI or BART getting home.
So there you have it. The perfect Giants game. I almost forgot, you can actually live it this Sunday, June 17th as the Giants host the Doyers at 1:15PM. Do me a favor and bring a friend or your kid and have yourself a day!