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two weeks...

Posted by
Stephen Phillips (San Francisco, United States) on 19 March 2010 in Sport & Recreation and Portfolio.

...until we play ball.

Sunrise on AT&T Ball Park - Home of the San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge can be seen at right.

Larger view /location:

© copyright 2018 by Stephen Phillips Photography / Oakland, California /
please respect these rights - do not copy or use these images without permission.

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

Are you going, very nice shot

19 Mar 2010 6:15am

Mirko Herzner from Germany

I like how you included those stones in the foreground. A wonderful place for a stadium...

19 Mar 2010 6:48am

@Mirko Herzner: Thanks, Mirko. This is the mouth of Mission Creek - a basin now called 'McCovey Cove' - named for the outstanding Giants first-baseman, Willie McCovey. A beloved figure around the park and still part of the organization. He played from 1959 to 1980. (I was at his last game).

A flotilla of small water craft assemble here during games in the hopes of getting balls hit over the wall into the water (if they're hit to the left of the foul pole - they're home runs) - a phenomenon called 'splash hits'.

yz from Budapest, Hungary

beautiful morning colors

19 Mar 2010 7:28am

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Fabulous early morning light - one day I'd love someone to explain to me the whole American fascination with "rounders" Lol :-)

19 Mar 2010 8:57am

@Curly: Like cilantro, Curly - this is an acquired taste. Over the years - I have lost interest in all of sports, except baseball. I love every nuance. Growing up in the Washington, D.C. area - my father frequently took me to games at the old Griffith Stadium to watch The Washington Senators play ball. It was an old steel facility and people would bang their feet in unison - you could hear the noise for miles.

A newspaper route allowed me the money to afford one of the earliest transistor - portable radios. The thing received AM only - and was the size of a paperback book. I remember sitting in math class with the earplug wire hidden under my shirt - listening to the games.

When I was 13 years-old - the 'Senators' were packed off and became the Minnesota Twins. I was heartbroken. An expansion team replaced them for a couple of years (they were terrible) - and then they became the Texas Rangers - and Washington was left without a ball club.

When I arrived in San Francisco at the ripe old age of 20, back in 1970 - I quickly discovered the Giants baseball club and became a huge fan. This new stadium is just about 4 blocks south of my office. Color me happy when the Giants come to town. Tradition has our National Anthem sung just before the start of every baseball game. And everyone knows - the last line goes:

" the land of the free and the home of the brave - play ball!"

ordinaryimages from Kentucky Bluegrass, United States

I'm no longer a baseball fan—lost interest after the strike—but love baseball stadiums, having frozen to death at the Stick. I do watch some of the college Series, otherwise it's all NFL—until the strike : ]

19 Mar 2010 3:10pm

@ordinaryimages: I fully understand and I'm with you. Big, big money and the forces that have players changing teams annually is the driving force that has pushed me away from all sports. It is business - and that is far from fun. My love for baseball is deeper. I'll watch any game from little league to high school to college to minor league to pro with some profound reverence for what's going on.

The manifestation for me is that at the pro ranks - where I used to go to 25 to 30 games a year - I'll now attend 3 or 4. We have the best baseball broadcasters in the business here and I actually love the radio for baseball. So, I'll time an evening shoot and listen to the game as I set my tripod.

MLB sells its radio package for $30 a season (including the post-season) - so my (headless) business partner, Erik - and I will have games running pretty much all day. You can listen to either team's play-by-play which adds to the fun, switching sides occasionally to hear the difference.

So, play ball!

JJ from Jersey City, United States

Such a wonderful early morning shot, lovely light and an impressive stadium, have never really got into the sports here, but did go to a METS game once and was a cool experience, to me my prime focus for Sport is Still Rugby even though I cannot follow it here

19 Mar 2010 3:50pm

MARIANA from Waterloo, Canada

Beautiful ! Light and colors are great !

19 Mar 2010 3:52pm

Marcie from Newton, United States

Absolutely stunning morning light. Love the colors and reflections!

19 Mar 2010 4:47pm

melodia from ffm, Germany

wonderful warm light and colors!

19 Mar 2010 4:52pm

Patricia from Brecht, Belgium

Very beautiful this morning light, love it (✿◠‿◠)❤

19 Mar 2010 4:53pm

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

I'll tell you an odd, but true, story.
Never had any interest in baseball at all, or ice hockey, but your American Football fascinated me from the first time I watched it on TV here in the UK in the late 1970s. I played a lot of rugby here from school through to college and up to the age of 40, during that time when American Football became popular here and we started teams in the BAFL, I played as a receiver and kick returner for our local Newcastle (later Gateshead) Senators team. Broke two toes twice in successive seasons but had a whole heap of fun doing it. I found the game engrossing on both an intellectual and a physical level as a regular fly half who also played rugby.

Folks just didn't recognise the amount of memory required to take in our American coach's playbook, and the way in which quick decisions had to be taken when changes were needed. Nor did they appreciate the physical intensity of fifteen seconds maximum play time, it was a whole new experience for them, hence the very small crowds. However the first UK playing of the game between the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys at a sold out Wembley Stadium in London 1986 was an awesome day as we chartered a whole train to take us from Newcastle down to the capital. We left at 07:00 in the morning and returned at 06:00 the following day, half dead!. Boy it was a great experience to see Ed "too tall" Jones and Walter "sweetness" Peyton up against each other.

Just don't think I could get that excited over a game of rounders which we used to play as kids in the street or in the park.

20 Mar 2010 12:25am

@Curly: Thanks for sharing this story Curly - it literally had me laughing out loud when I got to the 'half dead' part of your tale.

I played football in high school and was pretty good. Then - followed it closely for years. Changes in my life as I've gotten older mixed with the vast sums of money involved in all sports just saw my interest wane. On the whole - if I could have first class seats at any sporting event - or a day on the beach - the beach is where you'd find me. - - - Except for baseball. Most sports comes down to an appreciation of the subtleties. The tension in baseball is profound. The speed of the pitch - the power of the ball off the bat. The placement of everyone based on the strengths and weaknesses of the batter, the score, whether there are runners on the bases, the potential for damage in a scoring situation. There is much cerebral activity and real tension in many of the moments that seem as though 'nothing' is happening.

Anyway - you had me waxing nostalgically - enjoy your weekend mate - and watch those toes!

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Oh, and another thing, scratching around on medium wave with directional ariels to find some local American radio station live broadcasting a match, or to listen to American Forces Radio late into the night for a west coast game was just ....well......epic,,,,,, and destroyed the next day at work!

20 Mar 2010 12:28am

@Curly: Too cool for words, Curly. I used to lie awake with the AM radio in the wee hours - slowly turning that dial - amazed to be listening to pig future reports from a small station in Laramie, Wyoming - or a good band playing live out of New Orleans. I had a Halicrafters SX-28 short wave as a teenager and loved it (though mom never cared much for my antenna set-ups across the yard and into the trees).

Scott F. Schilling from San Martin, United States

Great image Stephen and I am hoping for great things this year!! I like the light you captured on the stadium!

20 Mar 2010 4:38am

sherri from Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

The reflections are captivating.

20 Mar 2010 5:08am

Calusarus from St Sorlin en Valloire, France

I like the warm light here

20 Mar 2010 2:21pm

Ralph Jones from Detroit, United States

Two weeks indeed.
Interesting explanation of the phenomena. I don't really think it can be explained by words alone. Baseball is summer, tradition and HOME. There is no other smell that triggers memories than the smell of a major league baseball stadium. I have always (even in my old age) been an athlete but baseball is the only major sport I never really played. I do not consider myself to be a fan, yet I go to several games every season, If I am driving I listen to to the games on radio, and watch them on TV. Baseball is like comfort food.

20 Mar 2010 3:09pm