SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KTXL) — The San Francisco Giants welcomed back fans Friday to their home opener at Oracle Park in San Francisco, after an entire season with no attendees.
Compared to last year, this was a much more joyous occasion, one that a lot of these fans waited a long time for.
For Giants fans, the cracker jacks and hot dogs of the opening day have always been special.
“I’m very happy that I’m back, that I can see the Giants again,” said Alan Jacob Lopez from Livermore.
“It’s springtime, the sun is out, it’s shiny, it’s warm, it just brings me back to when I was a kid,” said Ken Sayles from Pleasant Hill.
But this year, it was especially significant.
“The boys are back! I am super excited,” said Mindy Charlup, a Giants fan.
Many shared their excitement.
“I’m elated, just elated,” said Patricia Monterrey, another Giants fan.
Not only were the fans not allowed to attend games in 2020 but the Giants missed the playoffs by one game.
Shutdowns and surges in the COVID-19 virus made it a dark season.
“Once everything closed down we didn’t know when we’d be back,” said Debra Silverberg-Lopez.
“Watching it on TV was not the same,” Charlup said. “I went through withdrawals last year and this is my happy place.”
Friday, fans were allowed back inside Oracle Park, although only at 25% capacity since San Francisco County is in the orange tier.
“We parked down the Embarcadero like we always do and walk up and nobody is around. It’s like are we really here?” Sayles said.
Besides last year, Sayles hasn’t missed a home opener in 30 years. He says he’s making up for the lack of a sell-out-crowd.
“There’s only 8 to 10,000 of us here so I will be extra loud,” Sayles said.
While there are more empty seats, fans like John Haverkamp have found a new use for their old cardboard cutouts to fill in the holes.
“I’m behind home plate for today and I’m just going to put it in the seat next to me and just show a little love for the Giants,” Haverkamp said.
Like most events during the pandemic, restrictions are tighter to attend a game.
Fans must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
“Our picture of our vaccination card, right at the gate along with our ticket stub,” Sayles said.
But most FOX40 spoke with say they don’t mind.
“I don’t care. Whatever. I will do whatever,” Charlup said.
Fans say the Giants winning this game is the extra cherry on top of the home opener pie. The Giants are now 4-3 this season.