Whenever rankings of major league baseball parks are complied and published, you usually see AT&T Park and PNC Park listed at the top of these lists. Now being a Pittsburgher and a Pirates fan, I will probably never concede that any place is better than PNC Park, but I have to be honest with you, AT&T Park is really nice, and I can see how this place finds its way to the top of many lists.
You begin your tour from the Giants clubhouse store, work your way through various lounge areas and concourses, and take an elevator to the top level, whereupon you are directed to your first glimpse of the actual playing field, which is the picture you see at the top of this post. It is called the "view level", and the view is spectacular, although it was enshrouded in fog the day we were there.
Even from that top deck view, you get the sense that you are really close to the field, so the intimacy that is such a great part of the charm of PNC Park also exists in AT&T Park.
As you can see, we were ready for some action:
Of course, it would have been nice to actually see a ball game that day, but it was January, after all, and on the tour, we did see more of the Park than we would have if we were there on a game day. Oh, and you can see by the cap I am wearing that I did spend some money in that Clubhouse Store before the tour began.
Here are some of the highlights:
The outside walls of the ball park feature plaques of a Giants "Wall of Fame". I took pictures of these three Pirates nemeses of my youth:
For what it is worth, there is a plaque on this Wall for Bobby Bonds, but no such plaque for Barry Bonds, yet.
Inside what would be the equivalent of PNC's Lexus Club, you find these really beautiful baseball murals. The murals are huge, and these photos do not do them justice.
Throughout the Park, the Giants pay tribute to their history, including their roots in New York, but it is dominated, as you would expect, by one man. Both on the outside,
The tour takes you into the clubhouses and, on this day, the visitor's dugout, where I got the chance to channel my inner Clint Hurdle.
And I was also able to get some pictures of me with Giants heroes past
I am most grateful to Marilyn for forcing the issue of a tour of the ball park. How many wives would do such a thing? However, we both really enjoyed the two hours that we spent there. It was a worthwhile touristy thing to do, even in our limited time in the city.
San Francisco is really a terrific town, and I have detailed the rest of our visit in a post a few days ago. A great town to visit, and one I would love to see again some time, and maybe on that next visit, the Giants will actually be playing a game that night.