Started the day at about 9 am, slapped the labels on the backs of the 10 extra photos (I printed them last thing the night before), and put them in the box on the other side of the calendars, and tossed in about a dozen hangers which I won't attach unless there is room in the show for more photos. Because they make the photos ungainly.
On a whim I left for CalTrain Sunnyvale one train earlier than planned, and boy am I glad I did. Found parking behind the station where I usually do, it was a longer walk into the station because they have added fencing, and then once on the platform there was an announcement and signs that they were single-tracking and the SF side was closed. So across to the SJ side, and saw that the train was 20 minutes late. Caltrain had not gotten the memo about the special Giants event, and the close to sold-out stadium. Usually they add trains on game days, but not today. :-(
Lots of eye candy, as usual, because the Beautiful People go to The City. The first train to arrive was an SJ train and many of us were amused at how many Giants fans got on board.
Another stupidity is the SJ side is being remodeled, and 2 cars' worth of doors were blocked.
SF train finally arrived and it was packed. I found a seat with someone's jacket on it, turns out it was not being reserved, so I sat next to a very attractive green-eyed 20-ish woman and across from a DDG Asian gal - probably Korean/Japanese, but all American. Also their friend who was not model quality but not unpleasant to look upon.
From then on, every stop they announced it was SRO. And the number of people slowed the train even more. Plus it was hot outside and the aircon was not quite handling it.
Got to SF at 3, walked to AT&T, doors due to open at 3:45, the lines were massive. I waited till about 4 or maybe longer, by then the end of the line for the side entrance was "only" back to the main gate - 1 city block. It moved along well, and I was inside maybe in 15 minutes.
Swag, the first 25,000 fans got a 25 hat in SF colors. Unfortunately an AT&T logo on the back.
Walked up several flights of ramp, got directions at the top, found my section 140 was not the section I thought it was (Bonds played in front of 138, the other side of left field). 5 rows from the turf, end seat. Basically had to climb down as far as I had climbed up, and discovered a ground level entrance they should have directed me to when I entered the stadium. Harumph.
My 300mm zoom did an adequate job of capturing the less famous guests as they walked the carpet to the center of the infield where the ceremony was taking place, but I needed the jumbotron which was above and to the left to see the big stars. It was an amazing collection. Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, Gaylord Perry, Willie McCovey, Willie Mays, probably someone else I forgot. All the living retired numbers players.
Bonds had started in Pittsburgh, his first coach was there, as well as Dusty Baker. Two highlights were Eric Gagne, Dodgers pitcher who had a real pitcher's battle against Bonds, who hit a game-winning homer on a full count+. Massive boos as he walked in, massive cheers after his interview with the MCs. He said he remembers every pitch, and it was epic - best pitcher in baseball against the best hitter.
Second highlight after all the preliminaries seemed to be done, MC says "Mr. Mays wants to speak. When Mr. Mays wants to speak you hand him a microphone" which they did, but after a few seconds he stood up and, helped by all three MCs, walked to the podium. He talked for about 10 minutes, and it was thrilling. He's a terrific speaker. 87 years old, amazing. Marichal, Cepeda and McCovey are "only" 80.
There was a video tribute - talking heads - Bay area famous athletes congratulating Bonds. First up was Tom Brady, could not hear him from the resounding boos. Next was Joe Montana, could not hear him from the resounding cheers. Steve Kerr, Steph Curry and I forget who else. By now all the seats between me and the board were filled and I couldn't get any pictures of it.
Bonds finally walked in - from center field! People were on their feet in front of me so I missed the best shots of his grand entrance, but did get some. It's a long walk.
He's a boring speaker. Pirates and Giants were out on the field warming up as his speech ran long.
Speech over, confetti marked 25 being added to the row of retired numbers below the press box (out of my view). All the dignitaries were taken off in golf cars, Bonds and his mom & daughters were loaded into a 1950's era convertible which went on a victory lap around the warning track. Again, people blocked my view, some holding up cell phones, other holding up plate-sized circles with 25 on one side and the AT&T Death Star on the other.
Players were starting to take the field, Bonds ran out to left field with a glove and his 25 jersey over his dress pants, and pretended to be ready to play. #19 Alen Hanson, who usually plays 2nd base, came out to play left, got a handshake & hug from Barry, who went back to the dugout.
I stuck around for the 1st inning, but despite two base hits, nobody scored. Time to go home.
Stopped off at Safeway for some fried chicken to take home, then across the street to Caltrain, which was boarding the bullet train - express which only stops 4 or 5 times before Sunnyvale. It was also packed, but not as bad as the first trip. I found a seat across from earbud guy, who got off at the BART connection. Where a very tall couple sat across from me who would have been better off not plopping into the first seats they saw. He blocked the aisle and stairway pretty effectively. But they left at Redwood City, so not a biggie.
Car was where I left it, home was too. The only mail was an adult ed catalog for a district too far to get to by their 6 pm start times, and Xfinity trying to sell me home security. No deliveries.
Dinner took a while to get around to. Chicken in water with matzo balls and shrimp won tons. Popsicles for dessert. Watched some Tivo.
Posted some photos on FB of Bonds' last stand. The whole series is on Flickr here(Clicky).
Plans for Sunday:
Pick up Janice for lunch at Tommy Thai
Drive to S. SJ Almaden Lake Park for a quiet walk
Maybe Xenolinguist book will be delivered
Dinner & read & Tivo