AT&T PARK — I gotta hand it to you, Giants Nation. You sure know how to show up for a midday rally to support the Giants when you should be at work.
Raymond from Redwood City — who works two blocks from AT&T Park — told me as he pulled an orange-and-black jersey over his powder blue button-down work shirt:
“Heck, my boss is probably here too!”
The Giants’ Orange Friday Rally might not have officially started until 12 noon Friday, but eager fans — or “lunatics,” as KNBR host Bob Fitzgerald lovingly called the crowd — were flowing into Willie Mays Plaza much earlier to listen to live radio broadcasts, snatch a couple free rally rags, and, of course, cheer for their favorite team.
Allison Bassi from San Francisco had a spot right up against the barricade that separated the radio personalities from the screaming fans:
“I actually don’t have classes today, so I am free to be here for as long as they’ll rally us. It’s at an odd time because it’s a Friday afternoon, but I think a lot of people will show up. … The city is on fire this weekend.”
Adorned with black and orange balloons, the Willie Mays Plaza served as a hub for merchandise booths and a stage for KNBR radio personalities and members of the Giants organization.
Fans were treated to complimentary orange hair dye, the opportunity to get an autograph from mascot Lou Seal, and the first listen to a Giants play-off anthem remixed by Bay Area rapper-at-large, E-40.
Pitcher-turned-announcer Mike Krukow told the crowd how intense the aura was surrounding the ballpark leading up to the playoffs:
“For many of you that got here early. … you felt the vibe that is coming off this building. … You can feel it, this place is humming.”
Stadium announcer Renel Brooks-Moon took center-stage in cork-and-bright-orange platforms, waiving an orange rally rag and whipping the crowd into a frenzy:
“Who cares about a Big Red Machine?! This is our house!!”
In addition to past players, rally attendees also got to hear from a favorite face from the current squad: relief pitcher Sergio Romo. Sporting a 49ers cap, Romo told the screaming crowd:
“This is such a great way to start our play-off run. We appreciate everything, the whole season long, sold-out crowds left and right … everything about it, together we really are Giant. That’s what’s up.”