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Giants fans gear up for Game 1

The rollercoaster of emotions Karen Campbell has been riding the past few weeks has been sheer torture.

But, looking back, she and her fellow Giants fans wouldn’t have had it any other way. The white-knuckle rides into the late innings of Major League Baseball playoff series have been frightening affairs for the orange-and-black clad faithful. But like any good rollercoaster, they’ve left those climbing aboard with a smile on their faces by each series end.

And Campbell is absolutely positive, as her Giants compete in their fourth World Series since moving to San Francisco, the winning will continue – if not the torture.



“We’re going to do it in four,” said a confident Campbell, a Grass Valley resident who plans to attend tonight’s Game 1 opener against the Texas Rangers at AT&T Park. “We want it too bad that we’re just going to get it over with in four.

“If not, I’ll take it in six. I don’t care. But I want to get it over with. Enough of all of this torture this year.”




Of course, if the Giants continue to play tight ball games, but come out with the win in the end, their fans aren’t going to argue with the means to the end. San Francisco fans will be watching their team take the field in the title series for a fourth time.

In 1962, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Orlando Cepeda couldn’t get the Giants past the New York Yankees, falling 4-3.

In 1989, the Bash Brothers, Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, led the A’s over the Giants, led by Will Clark and Matt Williams, in a four-game sweep in the Bay series.

And in 2002, the Barry Bonds-led Giants were seemingly six outs away from the World Series title, when a three-run eighth-inning pushed the Anaheim Angels to a 6-5, game-six win en route to taking the series 4-3.

But this time, Campbell insists, it’s different.

Since moving to Nevada County in 1990, Campbell has been a season-ticket holder and has not missed a season opener since. Typically taking in a “dozen or so” games each year, Campbell is also no newcomer to watching her team in the World Series. She attended the opening game of the 2002 series in Anaheim, which the Giants won 4-3.

Campbell also attended last week’s game four of the National League Championship Series, which saw the Giants win 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth on a Juan Uribe sacrifice fly. She and a friend, Chris Towne of Nevada City, sat in the center-field bleachers and “had a blast!”

“My cell phone was ringing off the hook with calls and texting when they won,” Campbell said. “Everybody here knows I’m a huge Giants fan. And there are a lot of us in town.”

Campbell knows this because when she’s not watching the Giants at AT&T Park, she’s usually watching them on big screens TVs at Margarita’s, a Brunswick Basin restaurant where she tends bar.

Along with Margarita’s, Cirino’s at Main Street in Grass Valley and the Northridge Restaurant in Nevada City both expect large crowds for tonight’s series opener.

Campbell said her confidence about the Giants’ chances doesn’t necessarily stem from any in-depth analysis of the team rosters or statistics. She’s simply following the advice from former Journey frontman Steve Perry.

“I’m going with what Steve Perry says ‘Don’t stop believing,'” Campbell said. “He was there at the (Oct. 2) game with the Padres, and then they won the next day to win the NL West.

“They play that song a lot down there now.”

With seven of the 11 San Francisco playoff games decided by one, Campbell said such blind faith suits Giants fans well. Just when things look bleak, the ball club seems to find a way to bounce back.

“It sends chills up and down your spine,” she said. “Just when you think they’re not going on, something changes. Those signs at (AT&T Park) say it best ‘It’s torture, but we love it.'”

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


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