71! (and 72!)

I’m a little bit hoarse today. Through a weird set of events I managed to see baseball’s second most hallowed record broken, twice, on Friday night.

I had tickets to the September 14 Giants-Dodgers game but had to give them up because I was going to do an appearance in VA that weekend. Then Sept 11 happened. My trip was cancelled. And, as it turned out, so was the game. The Giants rescheduled for October 4.

Fortunately, the buddy I gave the tickets to was willing to bring me (the guy he had asked for the 9/14 game, another close friend, couldn’t go to the makeup – whew!). So, Friday, we got to see one of the most exciting baseball games I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen a few. When I was working at KNBR, the Giants flagship radio station (1987-1994), I was president of the Giants Fan Club. I’d witnessed the 1989 Pennant winning season up close. I was at Candlestick Park for the World Series game that was interrupted by the earthquake. There were some amazing games that year, but nothing comes close to Friday.

The pennant above went on sale at the park immediately after Barry launched number 71 in the first inning. I asked the guy if he had pennants with 72, 73, and 74 under the counter, but he said no. I didn’t realize that I’d be seeing 72 just a few innings later.

I’ve interviewed Barry a few times, including at Comdex in 1998 for TechTV, and he’s not easy to talk to. But I credit him for being true to himself. And you have to recognize what an amazing athlete he is. All year long I’ve been amazed by the speed of his swing. The ball just jumps off his bat.

The Giants’ season is over. But I’ll be back in my seat in Section 108 at Pac Bell Park in April. I can’t wait.

10 Replies to “71! (and 72!)”

  1. Cardinals fans. Whatchya gonna do. (Actually Laura still like McGwire from the old Bash brothers days with the Oakland A’s. What’s Canseco up to these days, Laura? At least Rickey Henderson got his 3000th hit!)

  2. How could Mr. Laporte catch the ball from the luxury boxes? Plus, even if he could, the maidens hand feeding him peeled grapes and fanning him with feathers woulda been in the way…

  3. Y’know, my opinion of baseball dropped with that strike a number of years ago. I mean, it’s not that I’m holding a grudge … it’s just that I don’t follow it as closely as I did.
    And, it’s not long before someone hits the 100th homer …

  4. I’m glad it all worked out for you to see the game, Leo, I just got to see #73 on TV, it must be crazy to be there in person and see it all unfold before your eyes! Tell us, what would you do with the ball if you had caught #71 or #72?

  5. Leo did you catch #71 ;). It must be a bitter sweet day for you Barry breaks the record and the Giants don’t make the playoffs. Do you think Barry will stay in SF ?

  6. Baseball is a wonderful game. I’ve been fortunate enough to go to a game at PacBell, who cares if they were the highest seats in the stadium. PacBell is a long way from Fenway, but it is amazing to see the difference in the atmosphere among the people. The fans in Boston are loudmouths and in San Francisco everyone seems happy to be there.
    I stayed up late to watch Barry’s first at bat and I saw number 71 in the first inning.
    I think homeruns are overated these days but it’s nice to see it happen.

  7. I am a diehard baseball fan from way back… grew up in LA, attended the first Dodgers game in Los Angeles (the owners at the time were/are family friends). When we lived in the Bay area, we attended both Giants and A’s games. Tony LaRussa rocks! Wish he could get a decent pitching staff for the Cardinals, though.
    Oh, well, maybe next year 🙂
    (who gave up on the Dodgers a long time ago)

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