Touch 'Em All: What were they smoking in the stands?

West Deptford's Margaret Gardner (center) shows her support for the Phillies between Giants fans James McClanahan (left) and Nick Carollo before Game 5 of the NLCS at San Francisco's AT&T Park.
West Deptford's Margaret Gardner (center) shows her support for the Phillies between Giants fans James McClanahan (left) and Nick Carollo before Game 5 of the NLCS at San Francisco's AT&T Park.
Posted: October 22, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO - To some degree, the 1960s will always survive in San Francisco, where the hippie movement bloomed.

On Thursday, the national anthem was sung by Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, two surviving members of the Grateful Dead, the ultimate hippie group.

And while the Phillies might have ended Wednesday's Game 4 on a down note, a lot of fans in AT&T Park's center-field bleachers had no such problem.

As the Giants and Phils swapped leads in San Francisco's dramatic 6-5 win, the aroma of marijuana in the concourse beneath the cheap-seat grandstands was as thick and pungent as the smell of garlic fries elsewhere in this downtown ballpark.

Actually, marijuana is a hotter topic than usual throughout California this fall. Proposition 19, which would allow municipalities to legalize and derive tax revenue from the sale of the drug, is on the November ballot.

Thursday afternoon, as players prepared for Game 5, a psychedelic ladder truck was parked outside the ballpark. Along one of its multihued sides hung a banner that read, "Prop 19: Yes We Cannabis."

For a while, it looked like the measure was a shoo-in a state where the hippie movement flowered. But a New York Times story Thursday suggested new polls now show those planning to vote against it outnumber proponents for the first time, 47 percent to 46 percent.

All these developments were curious when you consider the Phils' pitching coach is named Dubee and the Giants' Game 5 starter was Tim Lincecum.

Lincecum was busted with a few grams of marijuana in his native Washington state last November.

On Thursday, several fans referenced that event, wearing bright orange shorts emblazoned with a large green cannabis plant on its front along with the words, "Let Tim Smoke."

Giant-sized greed

Far be it for the Giants to take financial advantage of the baseball excitement intensified by Game 4.

For Game 5, they halved the outfield auxiliary press box, selling the dozens of newly created table seats to eager fans.

And overnight they raised the price for a cup of beer from $8.25 to $8.75.

Speculation is that should the Giants reach the World Series, ticket-buyers will be asked for their first-born sons.

Photo surprises

Some interesting facts gleaned from studying all the old Giants photos that line the walls of their ballpark:

The Giants have more players and managers (66) in the Hall of Fame than any other team.

When Bobby Thomson hit his "Shot Heard Round the World" at New York's Polo Grounds in 1951, the left-field warning track was so covered with litter that it appeared as if someone had just sliced open several Hefty bags full of trash.

In a spring-training photo from the pre-Marvin Miller 1930s, players were manicuring their own field.

On the cover of the Giants' program for their 1911 World Series matchup with the Philadelphia A's is a photo of New York owner John Brush in which the poor man resembles a vampire.

The Giants were presented with an actual pennant in '62. Do pennant winners still get pennants?

Still waiting

The Giants, who have been here since their 1958 move from New York, have yet to win their first world championship in San Francisco.

Among the events that have happened in this area while the baseball fans wait patiently:

The Monterey Pop Festival; the Summer of Love; the Zodiac murders; Patty Hearst's kidnapping; the attempted assassination on President Gerald Ford; the assassination of Mayor George Moscone and city supervisor Harvey Milk; the 1989 earthquake; one Warriors NBA title and five 49ers Super Bowl wins; seven U.S. Opens, three at the Olympic Club and four at Pebble Beach; and the BALCO scandal.

Did you know that . . .

. . . there's a campus of Penn's Wharton School in San Francisco?

. . . the Phillies have lost nine of the 14 postseason elimination games they've played in their history?

. . . Manuel may be picking up a little Philly-speak? In his pre-Game 5 news conference, the Phils' manager said "all right" like someone from Wissinoming - "He's allll-ight."

Game 5 limerick

The fans said "Give us Roy and not Joe.

"In Game 4 it's an ace you should throw."

But Charlie said "Blanton.

"Let Philly fans rant on."

And a must-win his Phillies did blow.

Contact Frank Fitzpatrick at 215-854-5068 or at

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