San Jose Giants vs Lancaster Jethawks
The other day I was fortunate enough to be granted a media credential to a San Jose Giants game. It has been quite a long time since I saw the single A minor league affiliate for the San Francisco Giants (most likely the days when Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain were playing there). It was a great experience!
Long before the gates opened to the public, I had the chance to interview two of the San Jose Giants players, outfielder Chuckie Jones and right handed pitcher Joe Biagini. Both players, and I’m sure the same goes for the rest of the team, love playing in the Bay Area, especially Biagini since he grew up in Menlo Park and Santa Clara. “It’s really great, I think I fail to appreciate it every day. I grew up going to these games…even though it’s almost been a year it’s still pretty surreal.” Biagini says about being able to play in his home town.
Jones, who is from Missouri, says, “I grew up a Cardinals fan, really looking up to Albert Puljols. But ever since I was drafted by the Giants I’ve loved being with them.”
One thing that Biagini really loves about the Giants organization is that “The Giants do a really good job of keeping a family environment throughout the organization.” At “the height of [his] Giants fandom” Biagini really looked up to Jason Schmidt and the 2002 World Series squad. He says that the Giants do a great job of “bringing those guys back to keep teaching us and being around us. It’s like we’re peers, almost” he says with a chuckle.
Jones and Biagini had very different experiences when they were drafted. Jones was drafted by the Giants right out of high school. He says, “It was definitely scary at first, going from high school competition to seeing guys that really know what they’re doing is a big difference.” Even though it was a little scary, Jones still remembers it as a great experience.
Biagini took a little bit different route to the Giants. “We all have some kind of long winding route to where we are now,” Biagini says. His route started out at College of San Mateo, a local community college, and from there he transferred to UC Davis. Along the way, Biagini had to stop for Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.
When they did make it to San Jose, both players said it was not quite what they expected. Jones says, “Growing up, being young, you always think ‘as soon as you get drafted, you’re here, you’re in the show’ but you realize you have to work to get to where [the major leaguers] are and to really play at that level takes a lot of work.” Biagini agrees. “I don’t think anyone’s really prepared for it…it really shapes you and prepares you for the person you want to be and I think that some of [what I’ve learned here] will translate into the rest of my life, whatever that may be.”
The San Jose Giants have made the games and the stadium very kid friendly. Before the game tees off, there are tons of things for kids to do. Things like big bouncy houses, a Giants blow up slide, throwing, and hitting stations and more. For the parents, there is a fantastic BBQ restaurant and an area to enjoy alcohol. The stadium itself had famous quotes from legendary ball players painted everywhere. Even in the women’s bathroom there were paintings of the women’s baseball league that once existed in the mid 1900s when men were off at war (made most famous in the movie “A League Of Their Own”). Before the game started, almost all of the players came over to the side fence which separated the playing field from the fans, to sign autographs for fans of all ages.
The game itself was loads of fun to watch. I had one of the best seats in the house, right in the dugout on the first base line. I had a great view of both the game as well as the San Jose Giants players. Throughout the game they could be seen enjoying themselves and they seemed to be having as much fun as the fans who came to watch. The Lancaster Jethawks, the Giants opponents for the last few games, unfortunately accounted for most of the offense of the day. There were several fantastic defensive plays made by the Giants, including a double play, a throw out from the outfield to second base, and an amazing web gem of a catch by the third basemen.
There were several regular season ticket holders that filled the crowd along with some San Francisco Giants fans who were looking for some good baseball a little bit closer to home. Either way, the fans, especially the kids, rooted on their Giants through thick and thin.
I definitely loved interviewing the players and taking pictures at the game. I’d like to give a special thanks to Ben Taylor, the marketing and media relations manager at the San Jose Giants, who got me the media pass as well as set up the player interviews. I’d also like to thank Juliana Paoli, the San Jose Giants chief marketing officer.
There are a few of my favorite photos from the day’s game in the post below. To see even more photos and the rest of the gallery, check out:
SJ Giants Blog Update
Hi everyone! If you’re looking for the newest blog article on my evening at the San Jose Giants game, don’t worry! We had a small power outage due to PG&E doing some service repairs and were unable to post the article in its completion along with the photos.
Check back this evening and they’ll be up! Thanks for your patience!
San Jose Giants
Yesterday I had a great experience taking photos at the San Jose Giants game. I had the chance to interview two of the players who were great. Having taken over 900 photos during the game, I’ve been steadily going over the pictures and found a bunch of great ones! Stay tuned as I will likely put up my favorites here on the blog and the rest in an album on my website: www.invisiblesmiley.com . Hopefully everything will up tonight and tomorrow!