Hello again, everyone! As is customary with our family, when the world is not locked down because of some deadly virus, we go to at least one Cubs game every season. Back in 2019, after we had moved to California, we went to a Cubs game at Wrigley during a summer visit back to Chicago. Then, in 2020, nobody could watch baseball unless they lived in Texas because Texas doesn’t care about things like pandemics. With the increase in vaccinations and a gradual drive towards herd immunity, we have started eating out occasionally, although we still keep our distance from others and try to avoid peak hours when shopping. It is very reassuring that the restaurants and stores do their best to maintain cleanliness and social distancing though, and especially since we all got vaccinated, we do feel a bit safer, although we are leery of the new variants of coronavirus that are being reported both in the mainstream media and as I read scientific journal articles for my work. Blech.
I haven’t actually been to a Giants game at (then Pac Bell) Oracle Park since Barry Bonds was still active, back in 2002 when they went to the World Series and lost to the Angels. While we were still living in Chicago, we did visit the park on a non-game day just to walk around and take pictures (they’re still up if you’re interested!) while we were in state to see family and friends. So this Friday night game would have been the first Cubs game since before the world shut down, and the first Giants game in San Francisco since the days before super juiced balls and sticky baseballs, although the players were probably juicing mightily.
I honestly just wanted to get into the ball park, but the wife insisted on getting good seats, so we sat behind the visitors dugout to be closer to the Cubs. The Giants set up fully vaccinated areas, so we got wristbands and got to sit kind of packed in with other mostly Cubs fans with Giants fans sprinkled into our section. I guess other Cubs fans had the same idea of sitting and cheering with their compatriots! We had lots of neighbors in those seats who were either from Chicago (visiting or having become transplants) or became fans because of WGN once upon a time. For the most part, everyone kept their masks on except when eating, and the banter between fan bases was civil and friendly.
Long story short, the Cubs didn’t win, but we had plenty of fun. It was weird to be among such a large group of people after having sheltered for so long, but the ushers were pretty stringent about making sure we were in the right seats and had the wristbands, we were checked for the proof of vaccinations prior to receiving the wristbands (although I guess you can fake vaccination cards, shrug), and other than some drunk fans giving us the 108-year line again (seriously, the Cubs won the World Series more recently than the Giants, bro), nobody tried to beat us up on the walk back to the car. Despite the loss, we had a good time, and we will likely try this again next season, whether it is during a summer trip to Chicago or just sticking around here in the Bay Area.
As an aside, because we know that certain Cubs have not gotten the vaccine for their own reasons, and some people are leery of getting the vaccine (or any vaccine for that matter), I suppose all I can ask is that if you’re not yet vaccinated, consider doing so because the science shows that the risks are vastly outweighed by the benefits of being able to be in as normal of an environment as I just described above…and that comes with the added bonus of a reduced chance of having to be hooked up to a ventilator. If you decide not to get vaccinated anyway, that’s fine, just don’t be a jerk about it and wear your mask when you’re around strangers. Maybe wash your hands more than usual too!
Enjoy the gallery below! We didn’t take as many action shots because we were focused on talking to fellow fans and watching the game, but it was a pretty good night for baseball.