It turns out you don't need a home to enjoy a home game. Friday's opening day at AT&T Park transforms Mission Bay from a banal realm of wide streets and boxy condos resembling something you'd find
on a Stolichnaya bottle to action central. Hopes are high for the San Francisco Giants this year, and the heavy crowds of yesteryear may follow.
That'd suit Jim McQuown fine. The heavily bearded man with a large plastic bag full of bottles and cans says he was pleased with banking $70 from three separate trips to the recycling center last week. But hordes of detritus-spewing baseball fans could help him easily eclipse that number. "The games will be good. There'll be plastic bottles and beer cans -- and maybe some of 'em will even have beer in them," he says. "I'll be down here. I just have to read the schedule to figure out when they're in town."
Aaron, a middle-aged man toting his worldly possessions in a garbage bag seated next to him at the Caltrain depot is also marking his calendar for Friday's opening day. "People come to the games -- that sounds real good," he says. "That makes everything real efficient. I like seeing people."
David Hart, who lives in his vehicle in the Dogpatch, doesn't solicit donations or recycle bottles and cans. But he's happy opening day is upon us anyway. Hey, the man likes baseball. "I'm excited, as a fan," said the Giants hat-wearing man. "I occasionally go to a game." Most of the time, this entails standing out beyond right field and watching through the fence.
Of course, not everyone is pleased that it's time for Mission Bay's annual transformation. "Nah, nah, nah," said Michael. "I'm a football fan, football, football, football. It's all about the Dallas Cowboys."
And others -- well, we're not sure. A slight, shirtless man with a large backpack, sleeping bag, and a floppy hat timidly uttered "Yeah, baseball is good!" when asked about opening day. He then excused himself, mumbling "I love baseball."
When asked his name, he shouted it over his shoulder: "Baseball."