WEAVER: A Giant good time had by fans seasoned and new

Josh Weaver

It wasn’t AT
&
amp;T Park, but it sure felt like it.
The parking lot outside Stubby’s Sport Bar and Grill filled an
hour before the first pitch of the 2010 World Series between the
San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers. Lines formed at the
bathrooms between innings and peanuts and beer flowed freely.
It wasn’t AT&T Park, but it sure felt like it.

The parking lot outside Stubby’s Sport Bar and Grill filled an hour before the first pitch of the 2010 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers. Lines formed at the bathrooms between innings and peanuts and beer flowed freely.

Orange and black colored the local hangout and spilled out of the doors. Chants of “Let’s Go Giants” bellowed at the top of lungs before, during and after each rally. High-fives and laughter filled the air as fans of all ages yearned for the treasured outcome.

October baseball, the World Series edition – Gilroy style.

“I can talk about the Giants all day long,” Valerie Heiser, 30, said. “Every player has stepped up this year, especially since September. Cody Ross, seriously?”

Heiser, a lifelong devotee, said her father and his brothers decided to share season tickets for the first time this season. Her dad was at Game 1 – she had Game 2 tickets.

The Giants hold a warm place in her family’s hearts. Heiser, a San Martin resident, said her grandmother kept a scrapbook of Giants’ memories, a token passed down and cherished by the grandchildren.

“(The series) will go seven,” Heiser said, sporting her Giants T-shirt. “Texas wants it just as bad as we do, but we are hungry.”

The patrons inside Stubby’s on Wednesday embodied the entire Bay Area. “We are looking good tonight. Our bats are alive. We just chased the league’s best pitcher from the game. We are going to win the World Series.”

“We” encompasses the Giants, their fans and everyone following the team. It’s a unique sense of unity and passion bubbling to the surface after what’s been a fascinating Giants season. San Francisco, a team made up of after-thoughts, rookies and rag-tag veterans: It is easy to support a team that has worked for and earned the opportunity that lies in front of them.

We have come to know each player as if they were friends and warn everyone to “Fear the Beard.”

“It has brought out everybody,” said Stubby’s proprietor John Stieber, who took after Aubrey Huff and dawned a lucky red thong for an extra boost of good fortune in hopes of snapping a 52-year championship drought. “It has morphed true baseball fans with bandwagon jumpers and it works. It’s incredible from almost a psychological standpoint.”

Commercial breaks were used for strategy talk, evaluations and series predictions. Striking up a conversation has never been easier. Pick a player and off you go. But when the action resumed, all eyes widen as baseball hits the TV screens. Every out evoked thunderous applause. Sounds of unadulterated jubilation followed every hit. And when Juan Uribe belted his three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth, the roof nearly came unhinged.

Tony Steward surprised his wife of 13 years with Giants tickets for a game earlier this season. The couple had never been before and Tony figured, why not?

“We fell in love,” Rose Steward said with an animated smile from her bar stool between the sixth and seventh innings.

The brand-new Giants fans returned for their second game – Buster Posey T-shirt jersey giveaway night on Sept. 17 – which coincided with a celebration for Rose’s birthday. And you better believe they were flashing the bright orange attire along with the capacity crowd hooting and hollering for three-plus hours.

“It’s the Giants, they will torture us,” Rose said. “But they will win in seven.”

Little Leaguers in town are also benefiting from the Giants’ deep run through the playoffs.

Stieber, an avid backer of youth sports in Gilroy, is donating 10 percent of the proceeds made on game days to the Gilroy Little League and a youth glove for every run the Giants score. The 11-run outburst in Game 1 caught the charismatic owner by surprise.

“This might get expensive,” he chuckled.

Stieber, who compares the electric atmosphere to the buzz in his bar when Barry Bonds hit home run 756 to pass the great Hank Aaron, also had 64 special edition Giants T-shirts made for sale – two remained after Game 1.

“People just want to be a part of something,” he said. “It is a neat opportunity. It’s the next best thing to being there.”

A possible five games still remain in the series and anything can happen.

But we may as well enjoy this to the fullest.

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