Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Longest Drive Home

One of the greatest pennant races in my life took place during the 1993 season. The Giants and Braves were hot that year, the Giants' first year with Bonds, both winning over 100 games and entered the last game of the year tied for first place with records of 103-58. The Giants closed out their season with a four game series in Los Angeles against the hated Dodgers. The Giants won the first three and the Braves won the first two of their three against the Rockies.

I drove the nearly 400 miles down to LA to witness that fateful last game of the year and bought tickets from a scalper. I stayed with some friends - not big Dodger fans but they cheered for them nonetheless. The first three games of the series were amazing in that there were more Giants fans in attendance than Dodger fans. The last game, however, was fan appreciation day and Dodger fans had bought tickets to that game all year long. Still, there were at least 15,000 Giants fans there. Dusty Baker made a controversial decision to start young head-case Salomon Torres instead of veteran Dave Burba. The Giants were nuked, 12-1. Meanwhile the Braves completed a season sweep of the Rockies, winning all 13 games and the division on the last day. The Giants won 103 games and watched the playoffs on TV.

The long drive home was painful. There were thousands of Giants fans on I-5 for hundreds of miles. I stopped at a gas station and a rest stop and both places were packed with fans.

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