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Take Me Out to the Ballgame

San Francisco’s Pac Bell Park

by Tammie Thompson

Ball Park TicketMy son had been bugging us to see the Giants at Pac Bell Park. Securing tickets was rough, but we finally managed to score four for a summer weekend.

I’m not a baseball fan. I won’t pretend to be. But this first foray into professional baseball presented a great family outing, so we booked our weekend in San Francisco and headed out to the ballgame.

Pac Bell Park, just a year old, is beautiful. We left the car at the hotel (stayed at Hotel Metropolis on Mason St.) and walked towards the ball field. It was a bit of a walk, but it was a gorgeous day, and we enjoyed window shopping and strolling towards the Embarcadero. Entry into the Park was smooth, with lots of friendly ticket checkers who directed us to our seats. We were way up there. A little too far for my son, but hey the view of the Bay was awesome! Even in the “View” section, we could still see all the action on the field as well as in the Bay. The highlight for me was a floating BBQ; my daughter loved the cotton candy; and my son – well he liked the game.

My five-year-old daughter only lasted until the sixth inning, so we left a dejected crowd of Giant’s fans (Barry Bonds wasn’t getting those hits today), and headed back towards Union Square. We took the long route, along the Embarcadero and savored the sunshine and sea lions basking on the wharf.

When I first heard that the Giants were relocating from Candlestick Park to downtown San Francisco, I thought they were nuts. How would everyone put up with parking, traffic, and how would the size of the stadium fit in with the landscape?

Just great it turns out. There are plenty of options for public transportation, BART, MUNI, ferry, taxi, etc. Parking didn’t appear to be a problem as the lots were only three quarters full. But it was the “walkers” that impressed me. We watched scores of families taking in San Francisco as they walked to the stadium. The atmosphere was contagiously festive. Pac Bell Park has brought baseball back to the people.

Pacific Bell ParkThe Park’s design is pretty amazing too. I don’t know many ball fields, but this has got to be one of the best views in the world. A unique feature of the park is the Portwalk. Located beyond the outfield wall, you can take in the sweeping views of San Francisco Bay while strolling along the water’s edge. You can peek through the knotholes at the game for an inning or two, and then move on.

The kids loved the Old Navy Splash Landing. The “Splash Hits” counter keeps track of the blasts into the Bay. The Giants Community Fund receives a donation from Old Navy for each home run hit into McCovey Cove.

Giants’ fans should take note of the Kids Club. Kids 14 and under can become an official member of the Giants/Coca Cola All-Star Kids Club by calling 415-972-2361. For a membership fee of $20, kids will receive two tickets to a pre-selected game, a t-shirt, two newsletters, a membership card and some other goodies.

Even though the Giants lost, it was a great day. Full of hot dogs, cotton candy, peanuts and Crackerjacks (yeah we did it all), we vowed to get tickets for next summer. Maybe we’ll graduate to the Promenade or Field Level!

For tickets contact sfgiants.com or tickets.com.

MORE on San Francisco family activities here.

 

 

 

 

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