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A trip around AT&T Park before Game Three of the 2014 World Series

Visiting AT&T Park before the San Francisco Giants host a World Series game provides a fascinating juxtaposition of feelings. It's all about anticipation.

In the morning on an off-day, most of the people walking around the Embarcadero near China Basin are on their way to work. They hardly look up from their cell phones to see the transformations taking place at the baseball stadium. But if their eyes rise, they'll see red, white, and blue bunting surrounding the brick facade. They'll see roadies prepping makeshift stages for live national broadcasts about the upcoming game. They'll see seagulls waiting patiently for the bonanza of hot dog buns and leftover garlic fries sure to be found after 42,000 fans leave sated or sad about a win or a loss.

While World Series tickets are prohibitively expensive for almost anybody, AT&T Park offers opportunities to get the game experience for free. Under the right field wall, fans can watch three complimentary innings from the same viewpoint as Hunter Pence, the Giants' right fielder who made a spectacular catch (that you should really see -- right here) in an earlier round of the playoffs. And beyond the promenade surrounding the outfield fence, kayakers will cruise around in a uniquely Bay Area experience, listening to Hall of Fame announcer Jon Miller call the game on their phones and transistor radios while soaking up the sights and sounds of the World Series.

Right now, though, McCovey Cove is empty of watercraft. Cleaning crews scrub down sidewalks and shine the plaques commemorating great moments in Giants' history. The only traffic is made up of cars queued up to get onto the nearby freeway. It's the calm before the Series.

Ben was hired as Interim Executive Director of KALW in November, 2021.