Encounters with the Wildcatter (cont'd)

It seems like a prime spot, free parking within a leisurely walking distance of the park, so I ask him how early he arrived to snag it.
Seven-twenty, he tells me.
But that's just because the stadium was half empty?
Every game, he says. And if there's nothing here, I park around the university. The farthest I've ever had to park was up around the bar where you get off 280.
The Connecticut Yankee?
The wildcatter lets me in on his methodology. Find free street parking and bike from the car to the ballpark. If the line for the guarded bike garage is too long, lock the bike to a street rack. Preferably across 3rd Street from the Giants Dugout store where the cops hang out. Two locks. Always two locks--one for each wheel.
We get to talking about meathead kids in the bleachers and the conversation turns inevitably to Candlestick Park. I float my theory that the Candlestick crowds were different because fans didn't show up looking for fights, they showed up to cheer for the Gyros, and sometimes in the heat of the battle fights occurred.
The wildcatter agrees with me . . . to a point. Dodger games were different, he says, recalling a Dodger game when a guy was walking around the stands swinging a golf club. In the first inning. He's rolling now, so I just step aside. I used sit in the upper deck and watch the fights ripple around the lower deck. They looked like dust storms. You know why they passed the state law banning alcohol sales in the stands? Giant-Dodgers. They were on top of the Dodgers dugout, throwing bottles. He adds one last Candlestick memory, establishing the impeccability of credentials by placing himself at the center of the defining moment of Giants fandom during the long lean years. We used to buy beer just to throw at the Crazy Crab.
It's getting late, so we say goodbye and head our separate ways through the dark Mission Bay night.

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