Royalty Tours USA

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Royalty does a Bay area baseball doubleheader!

After experiencing a false start on Saturday August 10th on the way out to the Bay area, things changed for the better on Sunday, August 11th.

After I got that amazing night's sleep in Patrick's bed. I was rested for another busy day that lied ahead. I even got a break when Tike Narry said he would drive all of us. Once the King, Duck & I got ready we headed out after meeting Tike's wife Dawn. We spoke with her briefly. She seemed like a wonderful woman. She must be after all she married Tike. They initially met while umpiring a game together 15 years ago. They seem to be a perfect match. Tike found his baseball sweetheart. With that being said, I considered him a lucky man.

Once we said our goodbyes to Dawn, Tike drove us to the area by AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. He parked the car in his favorite parking lot where he can get out of the area with relative ease. The days of free parking in the vicinity even on Sundays are gone he said. They charge $7.00 an hour to park by a meter everyday. What a joke that is. Since the Giants have been World Champions two of the last three years they can get away with being extra greedy in this city.

After we parked the car, we got out and we walked towards the ballpark which was nearby. Before we went inside, we stopped off at the 21st Century Amendment Brewery which is Tike's place to go before Giant games. Tike walked in with us and he looked like he owned the place. He knows every worker there from being such a regular. In fact, he used to work at Kinko's that was located nearby. As a result, he was able to build a business relationship with the owner back in 2001. He told us he used to have parties for his employees there all the time. With that being said, he now has a second home if you will. Even though he no longer works for Kinko's, he's a customer of theirs for life.

Hell or High Watermelon 
After Tike introduced us to some of the people who work there, we sat down and we ordered our pre game meal. They had a special brunch menu that was limited because it was a game day. I normally prefer to have eggs for breakfast but the choices weren't to my liking. So I decided to do something out of the ordinary. I had a burger instead. Tike told me how good they were. True to his word, it was absolutely awesome. I had it with mozzarella cheese & grilled onions. I also had a Hell or High Watermelon beer which had a 4.9 alcohol content. It was really good. I'm not a big fan of beer. Tike is & he knows his microbrews. They brew their own beer there. I took Tike's advice and I wasn't disappointed. I knew he wouldn't steer me wrong. The King ordered a different kind of beer so did Duck. The King enjoyed his first ever beer in the morning he said. Technically speaking, it was really afternoon because we gained three hours the day before. Regardless the clock at the time said it was still morning. After we all enjoyed our brunch and brews, we headed over to the ballpark. Tike once again got us tickets in section 315 in the first row behind home plate. We had a beautiful view of the field and the amazing backdrop with the Bay in the background.

Patrick, Tike & I at AT & T Park
When we walked inside the ballpark, I got my main MLB Pass-Port Book officially stamped/validated at the Guest Services booth on the lower level. We then walked around the concourse area to look around the ballpark. I had flashbacks from my last visit there in May 2009. I must say AT&T Park is one of the best new modern ballparks. I always hear people raving about it. I can see why. It's a small compact place with incredible scenery.

When we were done walking around we went up to our seats to watch the game between the visiting Baltimore Orioles and the hometown San Francisco Giants.

View from section 315 at AT& T Park
As for the game we saw, it was a close one for seven innings as the Orioles were beating the Giants, 3-2. Then in the eighth & ninth innings, the Orioles turned the game into a blowout as shortstop J.J. Hardy and center fielder Adam Jones blasted home runs to lead the way as the Orioles beat the Giants, 10-2.

After the game, we went back to the car and Tike proceeded to drive to San Jose which is about 40 miles south of San Francisco. Thankfully he knew the way. We wound up parking the car on the street in the neighborhood which was within walking distance of San Jose Municipal Stadium , which is the home of the San Jose Giants, the single A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants in the California League. They were hosting the Bakersfield Blaze, the Dodgers' farm club. We managed to get inside the ballpark with just enough time to spare for the 6PM start. The only other time the King & I were there was back in August 1993.
Prince at San Jose Municipal Stadium
Shortly after the game started, we got a special visit from our pal Andrew Van Cleve who was there with his son, Dylan. Andrew is originally from the Bay area. He contacted me when I was at the Giant game. He asked me what I was doing that night. I told him we're going to San Jose. He was flying back from Las Vegas to San Francisco that afternoon because he had his brother's bachelor party there. He decided to join us for the game. As always, it was great to see him again.

As for the game we saw, the Blaze tied it at two in the eighth inning. The game wound up going into extra innings. The Giants ended it in the eleventh inning when second baseman Ryan Cavan delivered the game winning hit as the Giants won, 3-2.

On the way back to Casa De Narry, Tike decided to stop off at Carl's Jr. where we were able to get a post game meal. I had a charbroiled fish sandwich which was really good. I also had a orange cream shake to go along with it.

Stay tuned as I will write the next installment of this memorable journey when time allows.

Thank you for reading & following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

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