Fortunately the game was plenty exciting after we got there, including the Giants making up a four-run deficit in the ninth (three of them via a homer) to take the game into extra innings and the A's winning in the tenth with a dramatic "Safe at Home" play. There were also a couple of Major League defensive plays; the A's left fielder caught a back-at-the-wall ball that was otherwise sure to go for extra bases. (The A's starter got injured as well, which was Not a Good Thing.) Final score was 8-7.
The crowd was extremely good-natured, which was good considering the sheer numbers (broke not only an A's, but a ML attendance record; Mt. Davis was at least two thirds full) and the rivalry between the two sets of fans. This seemed to be a weekend where MLB was scheduling Cross-"Town", Cross-League rivalries; the scoreboard showed the Cubbies playing the White Sox, the two Florida teams playing, Dodgers (boo) and Angels, and of course ... the Yankees and the Mets.
I was a bit non-plussed to hear the familiar cadence of the "Let's Go Oakland" chant ... with loud "Let's Go Giants" instead. We aren't used to having enough of the other team's fans around to make some noise. It's like what my brother, the devoted Cal booster, feels about UCLA ("Get your own colors, get your own fight song, get your own damn bear"). During the last couple of innings it alternated, which was cool. Due to the close nature of the game, most people stayed till the last run was scored.
Signs around the stadium:
- "Please check your chickens" (this became clear later; Giants fans sport rubber chickens to wave when pitchers pitch out to Bonds. Which happened, to much booing. Bring Back the Barr-o-Meter!)
- Large signs in the entrance area, obviously installed by A's management, saying "No Splash Hits" and "Four World Championships".
- and a guy in a Dodgers shirt and cap carrying a poster that said "BALCO" (I *said* the crowd was good-natured, normally someone in Dodger mufti is not popular even with A's fans). It cracked us up, actually.
Getting out of the parking lot was an adventure, especially since it was late enough and took long enough that people started getting very aggressive. I was still pretty alert myself, which was a good thing (I was also pretty calm, which helped in the situation), and surprising considering I had awakened at 3.30 am and not have a nap. I did have a double latte hit before I left, which was fortunate considering that it ran LATE.