Giants fan shares game-one experience |

Giants fan shares game-one experience

Growing up on the West Coast, the only baseball that ever had a chance with Mike Bratton was the San Francisco Giants.

Dating back to his Little League days of dreaming that he was Willie Mays, Bratton has been a fan of the orange-and-black.

“Mays, McCovey, Cepeda and Marichal,” Bratton said. “Those guys were all great, but Willie … when I was a kid playing Little League, he was just the biggest thing in baseball.”

And while, like the rest of Giant fans, he’s been waiting for a World Series winner since they moved west, Bratton is now 2-for-2 when it comes to watching his team compete in the series.

Bratton, a local State Farm Insurance agent, was among the more than 43,000 fans at AT&T Park Wednesday night when the Giants got their series with the Rangers off to a strong start in a 11-7 victory.

“It was spectacular,” Bratton said. “It was so much fun. The noise level was unbelievable.”

Bratton, who also took in a World Series win for the Giants, when they faced the Angels in 2002, said Wednesday night’s atmosphere just seemed more energetic than the game he attended eight years ago.

“I think the energy was higher,” he said. “I don’t know why. Maybe with Tony Bennett singing, maybe because it was Game 1 or maybe it was just fresh.”

Bratton attended the 2002 game with Grass Valley resident Gary Roenicke, a former World Series champ with the ’83 Baltimore Orioles whose brother, Ron, was a coach with the Anaheim Angels.

“I did sit the Angels seats that year with the Roenicke family,” Bratton said. “So we were a bit subdued (during a Giants win). Maybe that’s why (Wednesday) seemed more energetic.”

The six-run fifth inning, that buried the Rangers under an 8-2 deficit, was likely the loudest point of the night when Juan Uribe went deep for a homer.

“Uribe hitting another home run,” Bratton said. “That was unbelievable.”

“Everybody I was with all thought it was going to be a one-run, two-run ball game, a 3-2 type of thing with the pitchers they had going. I walked out of there (Wednesday) night, thinking ’18 runs in a World Series game?'”

Even in the end of Thursday’s game two, Giants fans still didn’t get the kind of pitcher’s duel Bratton and fellow fans had expected. San Francisco broke out the bats once again, turning a 2-0 lead into a 9-0 victory with a seven-run eighth inning.

The World Series now heads to Texas Saturday, with the Giants leading 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.

Contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton via e-mail at or by phone at 477-4240.

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