Sunday, July 17, 2011

San Francisco South

You won't see more black and orange on Halloween than what appeared at Petco Park the last four games.

Giants fans populated most sections in the ballpark, bellowed at every Giants success and generally outshouted Padres fans. Chants of "Let's Go Giants" still lingered at the ballpark late Sunday afternoon, Giants fans celebrating the 4-3 victory that decided the series at San Francisco South.

If all credit was acknowledged for the series' financial success, the congratulations via Twitter that Padres president Tom Garfinkel directed to Padres fans for the attendance -- which at nearly 153,000 was Petco's most since 2005 for a four-game set -- should've included an #SFgiantsfans mention.

For the three nights and one day, a native San Franciscan watched and heard this Giants lovefest without surprise.

"As far as Giants fans are concerned," said Padres broadcaster Jerry Coleman, a former batboy for the San Francisco Seals, "they're very knowledgeable and they're very ardent fans. They're the type of people who take nothing except for winning as an answer. Basically, they're great fans."

The enthusiasm of Giants fans impressed Bruce Bochy when Bochy played for Giants opponents in the 1980s and later when he managed the Padres, but Bochy said the World Series victory last fall, which was San Francisco's first, has raised the volume on "Let's Go Giants" chants in Los Angeles, San Diego and the team's other road cities this year.

"They love their boys out there," Bochy said. "Every ballpark we go to, we hear them. The support we are getting from these fans is unbelievable. But even before we won the World Series, it was great. It shows you what a great, storied franchise the San Francisco Giants are."

Without Giants fans spinning the turnstiles, the last-place Padres would've netted far less money over the four games. The windfall for Giants players?

"You have a little more motivation and confidence," pitcher Matt Cain said. "That's always nice to have. It was really cool to see so many of our fans here. It brings you energy."

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