Players who are scheduled to attend FanFest this year:
my friends and I are, then even earlier!) Also, single game ticket sales will begin at 9 AM at the ticket windows on King St, so you might want to keep that in mind. Last year, there was a little table with food on it that fans standing in line were welcome to take from. If I remember correctly, there was cantaloupe, honeydew, hot chocolate, whipped cream and other good stuff. Lou Seal even came by to say hello! There were also other great crazy Giants fans in line, of course, so don’t worry about being bored if you get there early because there’s plenty to do. There will be lots of other crazy people like you that you can meet and talk to about the Giants. 🙂 There’s definitely nothing wrong with getting there at 10 AM or later, but if you’re interested in anything that requires standing in line or standing/sitting in front of a stage, then you obviously won’t get as good of a spot. One of my friends is planning to get there at 6:30 AM, but she’ll probably be the only one there. I’m planning to get there at around 7 AM, but there will probably only be a handful of us there at that time. You definitely don’t need to get there as early as us.
Player Autograph Station Rules
-Please do not cut in lines; first come, first served. One autograph per player, no photos.
-Standing in line does not guarantee you an autograph. Players and coaches will be moving from station to station and if a player’s time expires before you are able to get an autograph, you may stay in line and wait for the next player(s) to arrive. That player will be signing at the point where the previous player(s) stopped.
-All appearances are subject to change.
-If we experience inclement weather, certain autograph areas will be relocated and/or cancelled.
Last year, pretty much all I did the whole day was stand in line getting autographs. It was actually fun! I got to talk to some knowledgeable Giants fans and even got lucky and got a beautiful autograph from Randy Johnson. Here’s how it was set up: There were 5 autograph booths (you can see their locations on the map – one was for kids only). Each booth had three or four Giants people at it. These included current and former players & coaches, minor leaguers, and even the Spanish language broadcasters. The players had nametags and there was a fairly large sign next to each booth that displayed the names of the players signing at that particular booth. The players stayed in the same group for the most part and had a kind of “rotation” between booths. There was a set schedule – could someone who’s been before and remembers help me out here? I think it was every hour at the 50-minute mark the players would stop signing, get up, and move to their next booth. Another group would arrive and start signing 10 minutes later at the top of the hour. It wasn’t literally a “rotation” though, because there didn’t seem to be a set order and some players would leave or enter groups. I don’t think the security guards or players knew which table they were going to next – someone would just come and escort them to their next booth. You would stand in line, and when you got to the front you would be able to get one autograph from each player at the table. Technically, photographs were not allowed, but many players would take a picture with you if you asked. I think it is definitely worth it to ask for a picture because it is very hard to get pictures with some of them any other time (even at photo day). The autograph lines were pretty long – I think some were longer than others. I wish I could remember better, but I think it probably took about an hour to get through the entire line. Because of the rotations, it made it near impossible to choose whose autograph you were going to get. Pretty much the only thing you could be guaranteed was that when you got in line, whoever was signing at the front was probably NOT going to be signing for you.
The strategy I used to get the most autographs was to find one autograph line, stick with it (I chose the Build-a-Bear one), and just keep running to the back of the line after I got an autograph. It was actually kind of exciting not knowing who the players would be by the time I got to the front of the line. If you keep moving to other autograph booths it wastes time and then you might end up with the same people you already got. During one player rotation, the players sitting at the tables were Tito Fuentes, Erwin Higueros, Alex Hinshaw, and I think someone else I don’t remember. I didn’t particularly care to have any of those autographs, and neither did a lot of people standing in line near me. When we got near the front of the line, we decided to let people who wanted these people’s autographs cut in front of us so that we could wait for the next rotation and possibly get better players in the next group. This ended up working great, as Randy Johnson and Pablo Sandoval were two of the players in the next group, but I must admit I kind of felt bad. A lot of fans noticed what we were doing and copied us, and it must have been pretty obvious to the players signing what was going on – tons of people in line just standing there, letting other fans go through….. Oh well.
I think the Kids-Only autograph booth only gets one player at a time – and last year their first player was Tim Lincecum!
In 2007 and 2008 I went on the self-guided tour of the Giants clubhouse, which was extremely crowded but totally worth it. Looking at this year’s map, it looks like they aren’t offering one…. Well, I hope they do because it was great! You start out in the media tunnel under the field club level, and as you walk through the Giants clubhouse you can walk past the weight room and batting cage and take a peek inside. Then you exit through the Giants dugout and onto the field. It’s really cool to see what the clubhouse is like and to see what it’s like to sit or walk around in the dugout. There’s also a press box tour.
Every year at FanFest, KNBR has a big stage where they do live interviews with players that are broadcast on KNBR. I’ve never stuck around to listen to these interviews because I’m always busy running around doing other things, but it seems pretty interesting. There’s usually a huge crowd gathered around the stage watching. Most of the time, these interviews are also being shown on the big scoreboard. A couple of years ago, the KNBR stage was located on the club level, but this year it will be on the field around the home plate area.
There is also always a Q&A stage where a group of players will sit on a stage and a moderator will take questions from the audience for them to answer. I’ve listened to a couple of these and they are really fun. When I’ve seen it, they aren’t active throughout the whole day but have players come at certain times that are listed on a sign in front of the stage. I don’t think you’re supposed to ask for autographs from these players but people always do, and I think they’ve signed for me before.
KNBR Broadcast Stage (Home plate)
Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria Q&A Stage (3rd base line, Club Level)
10a-11a Murph & Mac
11a-12p Damon Bruce
12p-1p Mychael Urban
1p-2p Ray Woodson
2p-3p Dan Dibley
11a-12p Dan Dibley w/Giants player
12p-1p Marty Lurie w/Giants player
1p-2p Lou Seal with children’s entertainers
2p Take Me Out to the Ball Game Auditions
hosted by Ray Woodson
It’s kind of neat to just walk around the ballpark because sometimes you’ll run into players being escorted to their next destination. Merchandise stands and concession stands are open on all levels, and on the club level there are some really cool display cases you can look at also. There’s also apparently a “highlight theater” but I have no idea what that is. Individual game tickets for the regular season go on sale at 9 AM (an hour before FanFest starts) at the ticket windows outside the ballpark on King St as well as the ticket windows on the Promenade Level. There’s also a kids zone in the area behind center field (underneath the scoreboard) but I have no idea what that’s like either. If you’re interested in learning more about the San Jose Giants, they will have a special booth in the field club lounge – more info can be found about that here. OK, that’s about all I can think of for now. I hope you found it helpful! I’ll leave you with some photos I have of FanFest from previous years.