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LOVE AFFAIR IN SAN FRANCISCO
Mark Harris
September 28, 1959
The object of affection was a ball club, the Giants, who with great difficulty staggered through September toward destiny in the National League pennant race. The city was in love with the ball club, but in this love affair there were moments of doubt, despair, disillusionment. For those who like baseball, or the Giants, or San Francisco, or even love, Sports Illustrated asked Author Mark Harris and Artist Marc Simont to wander around the city, looking and listening, and then to write and sketch this affair of the heart.
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September 28, 1959

Love Affair In San Francisco

The object of affection was a ball club, the Giants, who with great difficulty staggered through September toward destiny in the National League pennant race. The city was in love with the ball club, but in this love affair there were moments of doubt, despair, disillusionment. For those who like baseball, or the Giants, or San Francisco, or even love, Sports Illustrated asked Author Mark Harris and Artist Marc Simont to wander around the city, looking and listening, and then to write and sketch this affair of the heart.

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A patron orders an Oriental Passion.

Schult pops up. Dark, like Thomson, plays for Chicago today. He fouls out to Catcher Hegan.

"How come Hegan is catching?" the first patron asks.

"Some rookie," the second patron replies. "They're giving him a try."

The rookie, Jim Hegan, who has been a big league baseball player for 19 years, flies out to open the Giants' half of the inning. McCormick strikes out, O'Connell grounds to Dark, the patrons toss off their Sneaky Dragon and their Oriental Passion, Bobby Thomson and Alvin Dark jog into the Chicago dugout, and Willie Mays assumes a defensive posture in center field. It is not the spacious garden Mays knew at the Polo Grounds—but then, it is not the same Willie Mays, either. He feels that he has five good years of baseball left. Eight years ago, in the on-deck circle when Bobby Thomson hit his miracle, Willie Mays was not counting years. No doubt the bent old Chinaman, his face creased with wisdom, knows some ancient proverb with which to console humankind caught up in the awful fleetness of Time. He enters the Temple of Heaven, he speaks, he says, "What's the score?"

UNION SQUARE

The caps were all the rage. They kept the wind out of a man's hair, the sun out of his eyes, and they announced his loyalties. A great many people wore them who labored in neither wind nor sun.

The men in caps at Union Square worked without distraction during the Chicago fourth. It was a quick three outs. O'Connell caught a pop fly, Cepeda a fly ball, and Brandt threw out Ernie Banks. Plastic figurines of Banks were on sale in shops at Union Square, but not of Brandt, who was to be a hero of the Giants' afternoon.

A moment later Felipe Alou hit a home run. At Union Square, in front of the St. Francis Hotel, a lady snapped off her transistor, snapped open her purse, dropped the transistor in and snapped the purse shut. Then she walked downhill past the workmen in caps.

NORTH BEACH

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