Magic at 2nd and King on and off the field

SAN FRANCISCO — The dog days of August are here. This is the time when teams have to grind out painful games and fans either jump on the bandwagon or, in most cases, emphatically jump off of it. The Giants suffered a tough series loss to the Mets at home, but not at the fault of the fans. AT&T Park has been a source of electricity since the magical 2010 season, pennant race and World Series drive. It has become a winning environment that not only sends out a competitive team of players such as Buster Posey, Matt Cain and Melky Cabrera, but also has a competitive feel in the stands. After having sold out the entire 2011 home season, the fans have kept the streak alive all the way into August of 2012 by always showing up to show their support.

This surprising on-field reincarnation of the Giants in the post-Bonds years is mainly due to the rise of their strong young players, such as Cain, Tim Lincecum, Posey, Brian Wilson, Madison Bumgarner and Pablo Sandoval; and the leadership of nomadic veterans who found homes in San Francisco like Aubrey Huff and Ryan Vogelsong. This 2012 team is a stronger team than last year’s, who won just 86 games and finished eight games out of the playoff spot they earned in 2010. The additions of Melky Cabrera, Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence; the breakout years of Cain and Bumgarner and the return of Buster Posey has outweighed the negatives of the season – season ending injuries to Freddy Sanchez and Brian Wilson and the overall sub-par year from Cy Young pitcher Tim Lincecum.

This team has captured the interest of a city that had not tasted World Series glory in the 52 years prior to 2010. Due to the Giants’ success, the fans are now recognized by the national baseball scene as some of the best in baseball, and also some of the best young fans.

However, despite the newer, title-hungry demographic taking over AT&T, the loyal fans who remember the 22,900 seat Seals Stadium and the frigid, near empty Candlestick Park remain.

Dave Robison has been a Giants fan since the summer of 1957 when the Giants announced their move to San Francisco. Now in his 11th year as an usher at AT&T Park, he is one of the last things fans see as the leave for the escalator from the View Reserve giving high fives to each other after wins. “It’s closer to heaven up here,” Robison said referring to the third level of seats at AT&T, traditionally the bad seats of a stadium. This shows the gratefulness of the fans, many just thankful to be away from Candlestick and have an exciting, winning ball club and a beautiful park. It goes without saying, the Giants have to thank their fans for a lot as they play a big part in their success.