SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants season-ticket holder Tony Alvarado has been around long enough to have seen Dave Dravecky pitch at Candlestick Park.
They were both in the same building again Tuesday night, united by their love of the San Francisco Giants. Dravecky was a guest of honor of the Giants at the world premiere of the 2012 San Francisco Giants World Series DVD at the Castro Theatre. Alvarado was there because he could not wait to buy it in the store. He shelled out $25 a ticket to see it on the large screen.
"It was really well done," Dravecky said afterward. The audience, a little biased perhaps, agreed whole-heartedly, giving it a standing ovation. In addition to Dravecky, Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda was in attendance along with San Francisco mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco native and DVD narrator Benjamin Bratt, clubhouse manager Mike Murphy, Giants president and CEO Larry Baer, manager Bruce Bochy and announcer Jon Miller among others.
"I've seen a lot of ups and downs over the years," said Alvarado, a charter season ticket holder when AT&T Park opened in 2000. He's been a Giants fan since 1987. "I wanted to see the movie as soon as possible."
So did about 1,500 other fans and friends of the Giants. The ticket sales helped fund the Giants' $10,000 donation to the San Francisco Food Bank.
The atmosphere of the venerable theatre (built in 1922) was kind of like sitting in the bleachers during a particularly close game.
Usher Mike Davis, an icon in sections 110-112 behind home plate, was brought in with several of his cohorts to help the assembled, whom appeared more eager to greet and meet Bochy than watch the film.
The DVD, currently on sale, covered a lot of ground, including the 2010 World Series title and all of the 2012 season. What started out as a question mark for Buster Posey turned into an MVP season. Closer Brian Wilson was lost for the season but a group of other pitchers helped pitch the team to another world championship.
"It was so much fun to work the playoffs," Davis said. "This is a good group."
Giants P.A. announcer Renel Brooks-Moon acted as M.C., introducing several of the special guests. Bochy got the biggest ovation, but that could be because he was carrying the World Series trophy down the aisle.
"Baseball to me was always more than a game," Bratt said. "And the San Francisco Giants were always more than a team."
Alvarado has seats in the front row of section 131, down the left-field line. His greatest moment was a game in which Barry Bonds made a catch of a foul ball and fell into Alvarado's seats. Bonds handed Alvarado's wife of 14 years, Anna, the ball.
The San Jose resident said the Oakland Athletics could move to his city but it would never make him change his allegiance.
"Maybe the casual fan would switch," he said. "Not the die-hard ones."
While everybody knows how the season ended for the Giants, the DVD has a special ending that is simply not to be missed. Not to give anything away, but there are several players involved in ways you've never seen them.