Since a bat hit a ball, people have been watching baseball games. Folks have been drawn to the grace, skill, strategy, and competition of the national pastime, whether having to pay for the pleasure or stumbling upon a pickup game. These people who so desperately crave the action of baseball, or any other sport, have become known as fans.
The word fan is derived from the word fanatic, which can be traced back to the Latin word fanum. Fanum means sanctuary or temple. The Latin adjective fanaticus, which comes from fanum, means of or relating to a temple. Fanaticus was used to describe religious people who were fervid in their belief of a god or goddess.
So, after a brief hop, skip, and a jump across a few centuries, we come to the modern-day fan. The fan is sitting in their seat, hot dog in hand, beer in cup holder, mustard stain on their shirt, sweat dripping down their forehead, with a mouthful of nachos, and a mind full of opinions. Their belief is in their team. It is unwavering–if they are a true fan–and they are critical of all other loyalties that buck against their own.
The natural habitat of a fan–the lion’s den of comfort for the painted belly orator–is the stadium. It is the best place to see–and make public exclamations of approval or disapproval–that which they worship. Sure they can do this at home, but at home, they are haranguing pixels. In the stadium, they are interacting with flesh and blood. For the fan, flesh and blood will always win.
The modern-day fan, the 2020 fan, more specifically the 2020 baseball fan, has been taken out of their natural habitat by an intruder. This intruder attacks the fan by spreading from person to person through respiratory droplets, expelled from the infected by coughing or sneezing. This intruder has made it so the fan is not allowed to watch baseball in person. They must rely on pixels.
A Different Sort
The intruder has forced Major League Baseball, as well as other sports, to conduct their business without the benefit of fans. That means less money and also less motivation for the teams. So, how can this be replicated in a way that the fans will be represented, but not able to spread the intruder to one another? You guessed it, cardboard cutouts. And if you’ve tuned into any San Francisco Giants games this season, you’ve probably seen some familiar faces scattered among the crowd of unknowns at Oracle Park.
Getting to Know You. Getting to Know All about You.
It has been nice to see baseball back at Oracle Park, especially when we had to open the season in Los Angeles. Even though a crafty Dodger fan found a way into the hallowed confines of AT &–wait, Oracle Park, there have been some great cutouts silently cheering on the black and orange. So, who are these wordless wonders? Here is your San Francisco Giants guide to the famous faces that you might spot among the masses trying their best to avoid the swarming seagulls of the Bay.
Almost every Giants’ alum you could dream of is accounted for. Of course, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, and Monte Irvin are represented. Will “The Thrill” Clark is stationed down the first baseline and Brian Wilson, whose beard is well intact, looks right at home amongst the motley crew. And, Bruce Bochy with his characteristic half-grin is there; how could he not be smiling with three World Series rings? But wait, who’s missing? Oh, yes, the Bonds clan. No need to worry, both Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonds are represented in the black and orange.
San Francisco has always been a mecca for celebrities, musicians especially, and the seats at Oracle are filled with them. Bay Area natives, Metallica (although originally formed in Los Angeles, they, early on in their career, moved to San Francisco and have been based there ever since) and Steve Perry, of Journey fame, are among the faithful. Also crooning away in their seats are a few members of the Rat Pack, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr., and fellow vocalist, Tony Bennett, whose voice can be heard after Giants victories, singing about leaving his heart in San Francisco. The Summer of Love is represented by the smiling faces of Carlos Santana and Jerry Garcia because every gathering of Giants’ fans could use some tie-dye.
A Couple of Superheros A Robot And A Wookie
Any good fan base needs a few do-gooders to make sure the Dodgers fan(s) stay under control. In this case, Iron Man and Spiderman are on the lookout for any Dodger blue getting into some mischief. The not so caped crusaders are backed up by a few representatives of the rebellion. Chewbacca, probably the most well-known wookie in the galaxy, and R2-D2 are on hand to guard the World Series trophies.
Not All, but All for Now
The dark green seats at Oracle Park are filled with many others. So many that a second article would be needed to list them all, but, alas only one is in the works. So, for a detailed celebrity seating list click away.
There in Spirit
We all wish we could be there gazing out at the Bay and watching our Giants. But, being able to see any baseball is a blessing. And it is nice to see some familiar faces in the crowd. We are all there in spirit and some of use are there in cardboard.
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