As a native son of San Francisco, I've seen my share of Giants games on their home field. I'm old enough, in fact, to have seen the great Willie McCovey power more than enough balls into the night over the right-field fence to suggest he get his own cove one day.
But to see the "Say Hey Kid" play the game was more of a Halley's Comet kind of deal.
"Once in a lifetime, if you're lucky ..."
While I was too young to have witnessed The Catch in the 1954 World Series on TV, I did get to see Mays play in '65, the year he hit a career-high 52 home runs. To have been at the park to see him hit one of those 52 dingers may be my greatest sports memory, which includes watching Joe Montana become the messiah of our Niners in '81.
My brother runs a flooring company in the area, and when his shop won the bid to lay every square inch of the new park (then Pac Bell Park), it was considered a family best, far exceeding anything I had accomplished in my career (much of which is chronicled in my first book, "How I Slept My Way To The Middle" -- out next week, what are the chances?!!).
Just a few weeks before the ballpark opened in 2000, my brother gave me a personal tour of the Giants' new home. Another personal high was definitely walking out onto that field before a single game had been played there.
It didn't hamper the experience for my brother at all when Barry Bonds strolled out to check it out, and then upon recognizing me (from A Few Good Men, which he was kind enough to insist was a fave) demanded that we three take a photo.
Never got to meet the "Say Hey Kid," but his godson did the trick for my brother and I. Craig and I haven't been to many games together over the years -- schedules, family stuff, etc. Sadly, when they won the World Series in 2010, I was filming and unable to attend a single game.
Thanks to the fine folks at MLB.com, I get to repay my brother Wednesday, as I take him with me onto the field for Game 1 of the 2012 World Series during batting practice, before heading up to their booth to call a few innings. Can't wait!
Oh, hey, did I mention I went to high school with Rags ...? Dave Righetti was a skinny kid (5-foot-9, 120 pounds) who played center field all three years. Never pitched a ball ...
Kevin Pollak is an actor, comedian, author and fan of the San Francisco Giants. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.