What better way to celebrate the first day of summer than with the Game of Summer? Eric and I took my still-new Saturn and put some miles on it today, Santa Rosa to Oakland and back, on an adventure to the ballpark. Our team was playing the team from across the Bay, and we were venturing into enemy territory.
This was the first longish freeway drive since I got the car, and it performed perfectly. We left my house just after 3:30 this afternoon. That might seem a little early for a 7:00 game in a city that's only 65 miles away, but he reminded me that the NASCAR weekend at nearby Sears Point would be adding to the traffic, and we didn't want to have to rush.
It would be better to get there early than to have to fight our way into the Coliseum parking lot. There were bottlenecks here and there, but mostly the traffic flowed smoothly all the way. That's good, because I wasn't really sure where I was going. I haven't actually driven from Santa Rosa to the Oakland Coliseum since the 1989 earthquake knocked down the old freeway I used to take. Obviously, things had to have changed since then, but Eric lived in the East Bay for a while, and he knows the area better than I do.
You can tell I haven't been getting out much lately because it's not even called the Oakland Coliseum any more. It's been Network Associates Coliseum for several years now. And Sears Point, although it's still called that by most of us who have lived in the area for any length of time, is now Infineon Raceway.
I hope Network Associates and Infineon are getting their money's worth out of the naming rights they bought to those to venues, because I couldn't tell you for sure what either company actually does. They're both technology companies, I believe, but that really doesn't tell you much.
This being the first day of summer, it turns out that it's also the longest day of the year. I wish I'd remembered that when I decided I wouldn't need to wear a hat for a "night" game. That's probably true in theory, but we sat looking directly into the sun for the first three innings of the game. A baseball cap would have kept it out of my eyes; that's what they're for, you know. And I forgot the sunscreen, too, so there could be pain involved as well as squinting.
It was a great game, too. The Net (as it's called, I think) had a full house, nearly 53,000 people. The two local teams play each other only six times per season. Since this one was in Oakland, most of the people there were A's fans, but we Giants fans were a vocal minority.
Really, there was good humor all around, and enough action to keep both sides happy. I'm sure we were happier than they were, since the Giants won, but the A's spent the last three innings almost coming back and winning themselves, so their fans had plenty to cheer about as well. It was a real nail-biter, and it would have been a bad one to lose after things looked so promising for most of the game, but my team won, so I feel justified in calling it a very good game.