He was in a beer line at Candlestick Park before the third game of the 1989 World Series when the earthquake shook the stadium. He has attended Giants fantasy camp -- he and Willie Mays hit it off immediately -- and has been a San Francisco season ticket holder since '86.
In addition to being nuts for baseball, Dan is a devout Catholic, as is his wife, Carmen. They feel the same way about contraception as Dan does about the designated hitter: Until it was stolen -- at an A's game -- his license plate read DH NOT. So it might have been providence as much as coincidence that they ended up with nine children.
To better understand how Giants fans are dealing with the allegations of steroid use by Barry Bonds, I paid a call on a recent Friday evening to the Maguires, who live across the street from me in San Anselmo, Calif., a Bay Area suburb. As always at the Maguires, the ball game is on and all are welcome.
Dan has missed the first inning because he was on his way back from nearby Drake High, where his 15-year-old son, Casey, came on in relief and quieted the bats of the Marin Catholic jayvees. Starting for the Giants against the Arizona Diamondbacks is Jason Schmidt, who on this night will have his best outing of the young season. When Dan points out that Schmidt is throwing gas -- 94 mph fastballs -- his eldest son, Riley, 24, qualifies the compliment: "Yeah, but they've got [Miguel] Batista throwing 96. I think this radar gun's a little off."
These guys know baseball. Dan's library contains some 450 volumes. "Three of the books aren't about baseball," reports Becky Maguire, 17, "and one of them is Catcher in the Rye."
Becky is on her way out; she's going to see David Sedaris at the Marin Civic Center. T.J. and Elena are off at college, where my wife can no longer harass them for babysitting. Connor, 21, is working. But Riley, the oldest of the Maguire offspring, is back from his recent trip to South America, so I bore in on him: What was your reaction to this Bonds stuff?
"I'm not that disappointed," he says, "because I never really put him on a pedestal. He's always been kind of separate from the team and seemed arrogant. It's not this great, crushing blow because he was never my hero. Now, if Will Clark had been on steroids, that would've broken my heart.
Annie Maguire, a fifth-grader, says she used to root for Bonds, "but then everyone else at my school started liking him" -- don't you hate that? -- "so I didn't like him as much. Then he took steroids." Doe-eyed, nine-year-old Maggie is preoccupied with her own struggles: She's been missing a lot of pitches in her softball league.
"Dad, look where his feet are," she says while scrutinizing a Luis Gonzalez at-bat. "Maybe I need to scoot in more."
By now the sun has set, forcing Casey and 13-year-old Robbie indoors. They've been taking batting practice at Memorial Park, which abuts the Maguires' backyard. Casey's still wearing his Drake High uniform.
"I wasn't surprised," he says, when asked about the allegations against Bonds. "On the Bonds on Bonds show, they showed him in 2000. He looked semi-skinny, but then he just kept getting bigger."
Someone tells the story of Connor's close encounter with Bonds. Connor was 10 or 11 when Dan took the family to Scottsdale, Ariz., for spring training, and a dozen or so kids -- the majority of them Maguires -- surrounded Bonds' car in the parking lot before a game. When Bonds got out, he strode past the children as if they weren't there, stepping on Connor's foot as he went. The lad's response? He nearly swooned -- from joy. "I'm going to have this shoe bronzed," he said.
Casey interjects, "I'll say this about [Bonds]: Every time he steps up to the plate, he's thinking about what's coming. Whether he gets a hit or not, he always puts a great swing on the ball."
Not long after Casey makes this point, Bonds rips a double down the right field line, driving in three runs. A few innings later he defeats the "Bonds shift," singling to the opposite field.
"Bonds can hardly run," Casey continues, "but he always gets a great jump on the ball in the outfield. Earlier this season, in Arizona, he barehanded a ball on the first hop and held the guy to a single."
"He is a great student of the game," Riley concedes.
"And in spite of some of things you hear," adds Dan, "a pretty good teammate."
"If I played for the Giants," concludes Casey, "and I needed help analyzing a guy's pitching motion, I'd go to Barry."
Asked if she has forgiven Bonds, saintly Carmen ventures this. "It must hard to be who he is," she says. "People can be so merciless! Whatever he's done in the past, he isn't doing it anymore." She means the drugs. "And he's doing great. So why not celebrate what he's doing now?"
Bonds is intentionally walked in the eighth and comes out for a pinch runner. As Bonds approaches the dugout, the fans behind it are on their feet. Bonds does not get booed at home. Dan was at the home opener, at which Bonds received a 45-second ovation.
"So far this season it's been all love and support," says Dan, who speaks perhaps for the majority of Giants fans when he says, "Barry may be a liar and a cheat, but he's our lying cheat."