Until yesterday, I thought I might be the most loyal San Francisco Giants fan in Albany. I don’t come close.
While I viewed the Giants World Series Parade on my computer screen at work Wednesday, Dan and Cecilia Easdale and their son Matt, 11, went the extra mile — make that more than 570 miles — to watch the celebration.
Dan is the big Giants fan in the family. After graduating in 1983 from South Albany High School, he attended San Francisco State University, earned a degree in social work and lived in the City by the Bay for five years. Dan’s time there bolstered his loyalty to the Giants. He takes his family back to San Francisco every summer to watch the team play at AT&T Park.
When they found out about the Wednesday morning parade, the Easdales decided to make a quick trip south. Dan and Cecelia work for HeadStart — he in Jefferson and she in Independence — and Matt is a sixth-grader at St. Mary’s School. So after a day at work and school on Tuesday, they left Albany at 6:30 p.m. and headed down I-5.
“I switched off driving with my wife, which was great” Dan said. “When I got tired, she’d take over.”
They pulled into San Francisco at 4 Wednesday morning, and slept for three hours at a friend’s house in the Mission District.
After breakfast, they drove to a relatively inexpensive garage, then walked the short distance to the BART subway station at 16th and Mission. BART had put on longer trains in anticipation of the huge parade crowd, but every train was still jammed packed with people.
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“We got on and stuffed in,” Dan said. “The nice thing about it was people were in a good mood. They were happy and excited.”
The Easdales rode three BART stops to Market and Montgomery streets, right smack on the parade route. They walked one block north on Montgomery, a narrow street, and waited nearly two hours for the parade to start.
They were not disappointed.
“It was pretty awesome. It was great” Dan said. “There was a general feeling of euphoria. It was really worth all the driving.
“And to see Willie Mays and Willie McCovey. That was an added bonus. It was good to see them all up close. Tim Lincecum is a tiny dude.” And stopper Brian Wilson sported a mohawk for the occasion.”
There was also a sea of orange, black and white confetti.
After the parade passed by, many people headed west along Market Street to Civic Center Plaza, where dignitaries and team members were to give speeches. The Easdales decided it was too crowded, so they slowly made their way back to the BART station and a longer-than-normal ride back to 16th and Mission.
They grabbed some lunch, then headed to AT&T Park — which was also a zoo — and bought Giants T-shirts. At about 3 p.m. they left San Francisco.
“We got back to Albany at 12:30 a.m. (Thursday) and back to work at 8:30 a.m.,” Dan said.
OK, I hereby proclaim Dan, Cecelia and Matt Easdale to be the most diehard Giants fans in Albany.
The Easdales have posted the photos above and otherSan Francisco Giants World Series Parade photos to our photo-sharing site on democratherald.com.