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>It’s Personal

>I actually wrote this last week during the agony/ecstasy of the final game of the NL play-offs and sent it to our San Francisco NPR station, KQED. They picked it up and invited me to come to the studio to record it. It aired on Thursday on KQED’s Perspectives segment. If you’ve read it already, sorry. You get more Giants love today! If you want to give it a listen, you can click on the link below and hear it online.

I learned to speak baseball from my father. Dad worked in the yard with a transistor radio in his breast pocket, scratchy Giants baseball buzzing in the air around us. He translated for me. Double play. ERA. RBI. Sacrifice fly. Radio baseball hypnotized me. Mays and McCovey played better when I listened, I felt certain. A thin thread connected us through the small crackling box in my Dad’s pocket. It was personal, this invisible game, and I knew that my faith in the Giants paid off at the plate.

Occasionally my intrepid parents piled all six kids into the station wagon and headed for Candlestick. We never quite made it into the park for the first pitch. Stuck in gridlock at game time, my Dad would mutter “Scrud!” and turn on KSFO. Fine by me–radio delivered baseball in its purest form. By the top of the third, we would make it to our seats. The brilliant green infield and the sing-song chant of the concessionaires distracted me. Was this about baseball or frozen Carnation malts? Then the crowd would erupt for the home team. Our shared passion for the game and the guys who played it electrified me. It was personal–to all of us. We believed in the boys in orange and black.

This week I will somehow carve twenty hours out of my life for baseball. It’s not the high-tech, sexy entertainment-event or Gilroy garlic fries that draw me to the game. No. The irresistible thread hooked me forty years ago, in rasping low-tech play-by-play on AM 560. How we watch or listen to the Series will vary. Why we watch probably aligns pretty closely. We believe in our unlikely grab-bag team: the unproven kid and the “washed up” veteran; the Freak and the Panda and the whole roster of likable guys who don’t grab the spotlight, but who get the job done. It’s personal. We’ll tune in because we love to see nice guys win. And we’re pretty sure they play better when we’re listening.

With a perspective, I’m Jerie Sandholtz Jacobs


>Fall Colors


I’m sitting in New Hampshire today, gazing out the window at a blazing orange and red maple tree in my sister’s backyard. I can’t take my eyes off it. Folks from the West coast buy plane tickets and rent cars to drive through these parts and look at the foliage. Spectacular.
On Prince Edward Island this week, Fall colors meant incredible violet and orange sunsets over the Gulf of St. Lawrence and scarlet lobsters hot on our supper plates. 
Truth be told, even though a continent stretches between me and home, other Fall colors are rioting in me. Orange and Black, baby. No, not Halloween–I can take or leave that. I’m talking Giants baseball. Say it, fans. Out loud. Giants baseball. It’s been seven years since we could utter those words in October with a smile. A game at AT&T park isn’t just about the garlic fries anymore. Our boys are playing ball. That’s why Friday night found me in North Rustico, PEI hunched over my laptop, trying to get live stream coverage of SF and SD duking it out. The game didn’t even start until 11:15 Atlantic time. I won’t confess how late I stayed up. Everywhere we went that had Wi-Fi, I checked before I checked my email. Madness, right? Can’t help it. I was born and raised near the city by the Bay and on those rare years when Fall colors mean orange and black, I don’t want to miss a thing.