After the home opener, and the postgame press conferences and interviews, and writing a post, there weren’t many people in the park. Just a few beat writers and assorted other media personnel in the pressbox, and stadium employees scattered throughout AT&T Park. Nobody was on the field or in the stands, besides the usual suspects (not people, seagulls).
The Corona Beach Club is an addition to AT&T Park’s first base line that’s received quite a bit of attention, if not much love. Reacting in a vitriolic manner to ballpark promotions is a rite of passage for San Francisco Giants fans. The Crazy Crabber is in a witness protection program these days. That poor Old Navy Mechanical Man, Rusty, had to have his stomach pumped after ingesting 54 robot Oxycontins. He’s doing okay now, but it took several sessions of robot therapy.
Rusty was booed like a Dodger because he was a goofy character created to sell cheap jeans and cargo shorts. Since bringing the beach to the ballpark seems like something a Dodgers fan might like to make their beach ball more relevant, Giants fans aren’t impressed by the Beach Club. The fact that Chase Field’s had a pool for years doesn’t help either. We’re about a year or two from Shamu doing tricks behind home plate at PetCo. (Even if San Diego did that, the NL West combined still wouldn’t be as ridiculous as the Miami Marlins.)
The idea of a beach next to the field sounds almost obscene. Just 50 feet from where
Brandon Belt Aubrey Huff plays first, a bunch of people in swim trunks and bikinis are going to be lying on towels, soaking up rays fog and … not paying attention to the game. So what’s it really like? I took a few closeup photos, so I’ll let you see what you think.
First, the biggest sticking point for many is the sand. Baseball is about grass and dirt (and field turf and synthetic warning traffic surfaces and whatever else). IT’S NOT ABOUT SAND, SPICOLI. Here’s what the sand looks like:
That 4×10 foot section to the left of the stairs, underneath the wraparound bench, is the only section of sand in what is a much larger section than I thought — at least after seeing the first pictures. If you turn around towards the field, here’s the rest of the section:
The non-deck portion with all those metal chairs? That isn’t sand, it’s concrete. This section isn’t a beach as much as its a narrow backyard with a sandbox. A narrow backyard that brings fans incredibly close to the action. Here’s the view from the metal chairs on the concrete:
I mentioned earlier tjat there were seagulls, but compared to last year there weren’t nearly as many. Instead of 43,000 (I figure there was about a 1-1 fan-to-seagull ratio last season, although my estimates could be off), there were only about 1,000 seagulls scrounging around after the home opener. When I started covering games at the end of last season, the last thing I’d see from the pressbox after spending hours writing after a night game was 10 MLB rosters’ worth of seagulls on the infield. This afternoon, I don’t even know if the infield had a full 25-gull roster. These guys need to call a few birds up from Ocean Beach…