After a five year playoff drought, the San Francisco Giants are once again going into the postseason. With this success, and the popularity of outdoor activities due to the pandemic, students find themselves amongst the crowds cheering in the stands of Oracle Park.
“I love going to games because you just get to sit there, watch the game and eat classic baseball food,” senior Mia Sassi said. “You get to watch a game that everyone around you loves just as much.”
As the post season approaches, the most inexpensive tickets are around $100, but during the normal season prices are more manageable, making Oracle Park a fun destination, according to senior Sarah Startz.
“A group of my friends and I — like seven of us — wanted to go the night before school started because we had missed each other over summer break,” Startz said.”We all had hotdogs, sat in the bleachers and had a good time.”
7% of Major League Baseball’s audience is younger than 18, according to 2017 data from Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Magna Global. The average audience age is also rising as time goes on, according to the same study.
“When I was a kid I would come home from school in the spring, and I would sit like three feet in front of the TV and watch the last four innings of every game,” English teacher Mark Botti said. “I also got into it because I played baseball in my backyard with my brothers, then fell in love with a specific team.”
The Giants are having a record-breaking year, and have already won over 100 games. Though the average spectator age is above 50, many people from our school have attended games this year according to Startz.
“I see people I know all the time at games,” Startz said. “The atmosphere is amazing, and I think the returned success of the Giants this year is definitely a factor in how popular games have become.”
From Junior Giants to high school travel teams, there are young people learning baseball throughout the Bay Area. Once baseball was a part of her life, it never stopped, according to Sassi.
“I have been playing baseball since I was five,” Sassi said. “The beautiful thing about it is that it’s completely unpredictable, and the game is so long that the fight is never over.”
Oracle Park is located within the city, and fans can access the park through methods such as walking, public transportation, driving, pedicabs, or ferries — as the stadium overlooks the bay.
“I think that baseball is the best sport to watch live,” Botti said. “There’s a slower pace and it’s easier to pay attention to what’s going on, I think being outside with nice weather has a lot to do with it.”
Being outside is not only pretty, but also safer in these times, according to Sassi.
“I think people are realizing that we can start doing things again, especially since this activity is outside,” Sassi said. “It feels really nice to enjoy yourself and be safe at the same time.”
There are currently three female Public Address announcers in the entirety of the MLB, and one — Renel Brooks-Moon is the Giant’s PA. The Giants also hired the first ever female coach in the MLB last year — Alyssa Nakken.
“I love Renel,” Startz said. “Between her voice, the atmosphere and the scent, everytime I go I am reminded of when I would go when I was little.”
Atmosphere is one of the most important aspects of going to a baseball game, according to Sassi.
“The atmosphere of a baseball game is completely unmatched,” Sassi said. “When everyone is cheering together, you have the support of 40,000 people at once, which is just an amazing sound and sight.”