25 Years Ago Today…

25 years ago today was one of the scariest times in my life. I was living in Roseburg, Oregon and playing baseball with my brothers in the years while waiting for the game 3 of the World Series to start. I remember going in to check and see if the game had started a couple times. At 10 years old, you have to maximize your play time (and at 35 years old too, apparently). So, even though I thought the game should have started, i was back outside to get a few more swings in, perfecting my Will Clark swing before I parked in front of the TV for the #SFGiants and Oakland A’s. The third or fourth time inside I began to wonder why the game wasn’t on. It was nothing but commercials. Finally, I took the time to wait out the commercials to see if the game had started. I was shocked to see Candlestick Park, filled with police, paramedics, half empty stands and players comforting their wives and kids on the field. Then in hit me. My grandparents were at the game.

1989 Earthquake, Battle of the Bay, San Francisco GiantsThere were no cell phones back then and all i was seeing on TV was fires, collapsing freeways and complete chaos. My dad’s phone was busy. It was the most fear-stricken sickness I’d felt at my age. My mind raced, i was confused, the one thing I loved more than anything, Giants baseball, could possibly be taking away my grandparents. Finally, my dad called, he was panicked as much as I was, probably more from feeling helpless from being in Sacramento. He had been talking to every family member and friend trying to find my grandparents. I remember crying uncontrollably. I remember hearing the fear in his voice. It makes me well up with tears as I type this.

As he tried to get in touch with family, i hung up the phone and went back to the TV to see what else was going on. Then, the worst thing happened. The images of cars driving into the collapsed portion of the Bay Bridge played. I couldn’t comprehend what I was seeing. People were driving into the collapsed portion of the bridge. The bridge that we would take from The City to get back to Sacramento. The real fear began to kick in.

I don’t remember the next couple of hours. I imagine that I do what most people do in times of tragedy, stare at the endless loop of despair that is “the news.” I do remember answering the phone to hear my dad tell me my grandparents had made it out of San Francisco safely. Somehow, instead of taking the normal way home, my grandpa had taken the Golden Gate Bridge…“the long way home” and gotten out of the stadium as soon as the earthquake hit. The relief was indescribable.

Ever since, Section 53 at Candlestick Park has had a special place in our memories. And the crumbled cement and bolts from the upper deck seats at Candlestick that my grandma still has to this day, serves as a reminder of the ups and downs that make being a fan family member of Giants baseball so beautiful.

Best Cleats of the MLB Postseason: Nelson Cruz New Balance 1103

As a San Francisco Giants fan I became familiar with Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers last postseason during the World Series. This season he seems to be a home run machine carrying the Rangers through the postseason and now just one win away from the team’s second consecutive World Series appearance. Not bad for a team that fell into bankruptcy a couple years ago and never made it to the World Series in the first nearly 50 years of the franchise. I’m cheering for them this year since the Giants are out of it, and because Nelson Cruz has some of the best player exclusive cleats in the game.

If New Balance created the 1103 as a turf shoe, the way a lot of the trainers from the late 90’s and early 200o’s were released, better believe I’d be grabbing a pair of each colorway. The details are awesome, especially the design of the heel ares. The colorways are both solid as well. The grey based version is especially nice. I really like the secondary overlays and how the colors accent each other. Normally I’m not much on New Balance outside of their running silhouettes and heritage but I think this is an arena they could actually jump into and find success.

Nelson Cruz blasts one of his 2011 postseason home runs wearing the New Balance 1103 PE cleats.

How To Blow Over $200 Million Dollars Playing Baseball

The only thing that’s certain in life is death and taxes…and the Yankees being in the mix when it comes to late season baseball. Last night the Bronx Bombers got clawed out of the postseason by a bunch of  eager and hungry Tigers from Detroit. Though I’d like to say that lack of enthusiasm from the fare-weather fans in New York were the reason for the loss, it’s more than likely that the fans in Detroit are probably hungrier for a winning sports franchise than most cities in the United States (reminds me of someone I know from last season). They’ve gone through hard times both economically, and as far as sports goes, for quite a while now.

The Lions haven’t had a winning season since we were all celebrating survival of Y2K catastrophe in 2000. The Pistons might not even get a chance to play this year thanks to the NBA Lockout but even if they do, it doesn’t look bright. And as for the Tigers, they haven’t won a World Series since 1984.

With last night’s win over the Yankees, according to FUNGraphs, the Tigers can celebrate both economic growth (well, sort of, actually they just cut spending) and their first postseason series win since 2006. The Yankees on the other hand, should just be considered the Paris Hilton’s of Major League Baseball, they’re all clean cut, clean shaven and may look good in pictures, but when it comes down to it, as my friend Chedda said, A-Rod spelled backwards is Dora and they probably would have done just as well with her at the plate with the game on the line.

As for Minnesota and Houston, apparently you’ve done something to upset the Baseball Gods because this season, your teams qualify as the other Hilton paying that much to lose.

Major League Baseball Cost Per Win Statistics 2011Major League Baseball Cost Per Win Statistics 2011 (Click for Full Size Image)