As an Englishman who didn't grow up with the sport, and recent drug scandals notwithstanding, I have a strong feeling for the romance of the game. Fifty years older than American football (yes, that's what Wikipedia calls it), and the subject of such wonderfully schmaltzy movies as Field Of Dreams, baseball seems somehow quintessentially American like no other sport.
An informal survey reveals answers to the question "who's the most famous player of all time?" for various sports:
- American football: Joe Namath (1943– )
- Ice hockey: Wayne Gretzky (1961– )
- Baseball: Babe Ruth (1895–1948)
- Basketball: Michael Jordan (1963– )
Nonetheless, my own history with baseball doesn't go quite so deep. I went to a Yankees game in New York in 1998, maybe a dozen Rockies games while living in Denver 2003–2005, but until this week I'd never been to see the Giants play in San Francisco. Thursday's work outing was a chance to see the AT&T Park at its best: a glorious sunny day and a close game.
The field itself is great, too. Lovely view of the San Francisco Bay stretching out to Oakland:
The Giants lost 0–1, but what a lovely way to spend a weekday afternoon.