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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ballpark-Area Homeless Eagerly Await Baseball Opening Day

Posted By on Wed, Apr 7, 2010 at 7:30 AM

Jim McQuown looks forward to snapping up beer cans and empty bottles near AT&T Park - JOE ESKENAZI
  • Joe Eskenazi
  • Jim McQuown looks forward to snapping up beer cans and empty bottles near AT&T Park
It turns out you don't need a home to enjoy a home game. Friday's opening day at AT&T Park transforms Mission Bay from a banal realm of wide streets and boxy condos resembling something you'd find on a Stolichnaya bottle to action central. Hopes are high for the San Francisco Giants this year, and the heavy crowds of yesteryear may follow.

That'd suit Jim McQuown fine. The heavily bearded man with a large plastic bag full of bottles and cans says he was pleased with banking $70 from three separate trips to the recycling center last week. But hordes of detritus-spewing baseball fans could help him easily eclipse that number. "The games will be good. There'll be plastic bottles and beer cans -- and maybe some of 'em will even have beer in them," he says. "I'll be down here. I just have to read the schedule to figure out when they're in town."

McQuown's haul - JOE ESKENAZI
  • Joe Eskenazi
  • McQuown's haul
Aaron, a middle-aged man toting his worldly possessions in a garbage bag seated next to him at the Caltrain depot is also marking his calendar for Friday's opening day. "People come to the games -- that sounds real good," he says. "That makes everything real efficient. I like seeing people."

David Hart, who lives in his vehicle in the Dogpatch, doesn't solicit donations or recycle bottles and cans. But he's happy opening day is upon us anyway. Hey, the man likes baseball. "I'm excited, as a fan," said the Giants hat-wearing man. "I occasionally go to a game." Most of the time, this entails standing out beyond right field and watching through the fence.

Of course, not everyone is pleased that it's time for Mission Bay's annual transformation. "Nah, nah, nah," said Michael. "I'm a football fan, football, football, football. It's all about the Dallas Cowboys."

And others -- well, we're not sure. A slight, shirtless man with a large backpack, sleeping bag, and a floppy hat timidly uttered "Yeah, baseball is good!" when asked about opening day. He then excused himself, mumbling "I love baseball."

When asked his name, he shouted it over his shoulder: "Baseball."

Farewell, 'Baseball'... - JOE ESKENAZI
  • Joe Eskenazi
  • Farewell, 'Baseball'...

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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