Fans on Both Sides of Bay Elated About Giants-A’s Competition
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Chants of ″We want the A’s″ rang out in Pat O’Shea’s Madhatter bar Monday as elated patrons roared with their fists in the air and hugged strangers after the Giants clinched a spot in the World Series - a Bay Bridge Series.
Excitement was equally intense among Oakland A’s fans on the opposite side of the bay who are anxious for their favorite team to tackle the men in orange and black.
″Everyone was hollering ‘Bring ‘em on 3/8 We’re ready 3/8‴ said Jerry Figone, owner of the Golden Bear bar on Oakland’s Lake Merritt, where Athletics’ fans massed to watch the Giants’ victory over the Chicago Cubs on big-screen TVs, a day after the A’s beat the Toronto Blue Jays.
″We really want to play ’em to decide once and for all who’s best,″ he said.
″Everybody took a four-hour lunch. From 11 a.m. on we were just packed,″ said Bobby Ricardo, whose family owns Ricky’s, a popular joint filled with giant screen TVs and dozens of smaller monitors.
″Everybody is just amazed that the dream came true; that it’s the A’s and Giants,″ he said. ″It’s a once in a lifetime thing. We’re all as happy as we could be. No one’s going to lose. We’ve already won with the Bay Bridge Series.″
He said A’s fans had been rooting for the Giants and vice versa all weekend.
The last time a World Series was played in one metropolitan area was 1956, when the New York Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in seven games.
As soon as the game at Candlestick ended, San Francisco police reported crowds pouring into North Beach, where Columbus Day celebrations were under way in the predominantly Italian neighborhood. Nighttime revelry along North Beach’s Broadway is traditional after a major victory for a San Francisco sports team.
At O’Shea’s on Geary Street, about 150 young people were ecstatic about the Bay Bridge Series.
″If you asked me, in my wildest dreams, if there would be a Bay Bridge World Series, I’d tell you you’re nuts,″ said Dave Stein, of Los Gatos, who said he has attended Giants games for a decade.
At the ballpark, fan Gary Stevenson shouted: ″Fantastic 3/8 Incredible 3/8″
Despite the jubilation, there was no concensus about the outcome.
″Heart’s going to win the series and the Giants have a lot of heart,″ said John Hayward of San Francisco at Pat O’Shea’s.
″The A’s in five,″ retorted another fan who added: ″The A’s have the pitching, the A’s have Ricky Henderson and the A’s have the power.″
Kelly Pratt, bartender at Brew Pub on the Green in Fremont, said the rivalry between A’s and Giants fans is going to be ″hard, maybe impossible to contain, maybe even a little dangerous. Everybody’s getting pretty rowdy.″
The bar’s patrons generally are evenly divided on the teams because of its location, 20 miles to Oakland and an equal distance to the South Bay, a tranditional stronghold of Giants fans. He expects the bar to cordon off areas for each team to keep the fans separate.
O’Shea’s patrons included at least one lonely Cubs fan, Bill Hurstik, a former Chicagoan now living in Grand Junction, Colo. He stood by quietly as the Giants partisans whooped it up.
″There’s always next year; we’ll get another pitcher from somewhere.″