When the Giants moved to San Francisco in 1958 my mother, Aileen Montoro, became a true fan. As she fought her battle with cancer for many years she always listened to the voices of Hall of Famers Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons call the games on KSFO Radio. I became a true fan, too, when my brother-in-law took us to our first professional baseball game at Candlestick Park in 1962 so she could see her boys play before she died later that year.
The 1962 Giants Roster that played that magic season under Manager Alvin Dark included future Baseball Hall of Famers: Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal. Orlando Cepeda, and Gaylord Perry. Also on the roster were these memorable names: brothers Felipe and Matty Alou, Manny Mota, Jim Davenport, Tom Haller, Chuck Hiller, Stu Miller, Mike McCormick, Dick Larsen, Harvey Kuenn, and others. The Giants finished 1st in the National League that year with a record of 103-62 and won the NL Pennant!!! Unfortunately, they lost that World Series 3 games to the NY Yankees' 4 games. To read a heart-breaking review of the last inning of game 7 click here. :-(
FOLLOWING MY GIANTS WHILE TRAVELINGLike my mother, I have been listening to Giants baseball on the radio and watching on TV for as long as I can remember. The games are now broadcast on KNBR-680 AM Radio and NBC SportsNet with equally knowledgeable and entertaining first-string broadcasters: Hall of Famer Jon Miller, Dave Flemming, Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper (better known as Kruk & Kuip). When traveling I can watch the games on our DirecTV Bay Area SportsNet and I also subscribe to Major League Baseball's MLB-TV Premium, MLB.com At Bat.
I'M A GAMER BABEThe internet provides an entirely wide range of experiences for sports fans. For a while I followed a Facebook "Kruk & Kuip" group that got so obnoxious and rude I couldn't take it anymore. I then found the SF Giants Gamer Babes on Facebook and fell in love with a group of women (and a few Gamer Dudes) who always support their team and each other with their knowledgeable baseball discussions. There are currently more than 7,000 Facebook group members and besides all the online chat during a game they now hold social get-togethers. The most popular event is a Christmas Lights Cable Car tour around San Francisco. Then there is the "Gamers Babe Day at the Park" where special group seating is designated and the Babes meet with team members and announcers for a Q&A session prior to the game. Unfortunately, I haven't attended either event -- yet!
Gamer Babe organizer and group administrator Annie Maciel defines the group best:
Hi Friends and Giants Family! Gamer Babe/Dude from ____________! That's us! It's all about our G-Men and the gals AND guys who LOVE them! Nothing too serious, just a Fun Fan page. Let us know where you're from.
Just fun talk, photos and videos about the San Francisco Giants! A NICE and POSITIVE place to cheer them on! Let's keep it classy folks. We are Giants fans, after all.
There are posting guidelines and folks posting negative comments or "jinxing" the team are removed. The reference above to where fans are "from _______" ties into the group's black and orange shirts that have been designed to show your membership support. I opted to use my nickname "COOLJUDY" in the center section while others put their home towns or local counties.
WEARING MY ORANGE AND BLACKWhen I attend a game in San Francisco or Scottsdale, AZ during Spring Training I certainly dress for the occasion. Here are a few scenes that have shown up in my Facebook postings. As you can see, I drag Hubby Luke to the games with me. He was never really a baseball fan but he now knows the team members and watches the game with me at home and on the road.
My GamerDude Grandson Tanner has also attended games with me during Spring Training and in San Francisco.
Every year around my birthday in May I buy tickets to my one and only game in San Francisco each year. In the past that has also been on Mother's Day when there are extra promotional give-aways. The SF Giants scarf that Lisa is wearing in the above photo was a Mother's Day gift I shared with her.
The team mascot, Lou Seal, also gets into a festive mood on Mother's Day and we get to meet "Mom".
GIANT COLLECTIONSOver the years I have been able to collect game souvenirs that are proudly displayed in my home office. Here are a few:
Hall of Famer Willie McCovy, Angel Pagan, and Brandon Belt "bobbleheads"
My 2016 Mother's Day Giants promotional give-away bag
An assortment of Giants lanyards, a dog collars and my Hall of Fame souvenir stuffed toy.
One of the most precious gifts I have received came from our friends Barbara and Tom Westerfield whose son, Jason, was able to get while serving as the caterer for the Fresno Giants. As a birthday gift they gave me a replica set of the San Francisco Giants "WORLD SERIES RINGS".
CAN'T ALWAYS LEAVE MY HEART IN SF
Whenever the Giants win a game in San Francisco the fans leaving the stadium hear the classic Tony Bennett tune, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco". As I leave this blog salute to San Francisco, here's Tony Bennett:
1:13 YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QdvNjOAfUY