Giants celebrate 50 millionth fan at AT&T Park
Season ticket holder from Cupertino honored after fortuitous arrival
SAN FRANCISCO -- Grace Witt was startled.
As she walked through the Willie Mays Gate on Saturday like she had done so many times before, two huge confetti cannons shot orange, gold, white and black ticker tape everywhere. The longtime Giants supporter from Cupertino was surprised to find out that she was being honored as the 50 millionth fan to walk through the gates at AT&T Park.
But the celebration didn't stop there, as Giants broadcasters Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow awarded her a commemorative gold No. 50 Giants jersey at the gate.
"I thought maybe somebody else by me had won something," Witt said. "Just no clue whatsoever. Such a shock. There were a lot of smiling faces and tons of confetti. I've still got some confetti down my shirt. It's wild."
From there, Witt made her way down to the field, where Giants manager Bruce Bochy and ace Madison Bumgarner joined in a pregame ceremony behind home plate.
Perhaps it was fate to be running a little later than usual to the game. Witt enjoyed the evening with her husband, Kevin, close friend Tracy Horton and daughter Lacey Myatt. If it wasn't for Myatt's insistence to look for free parking, Witt probably wouldn't have walked through at the right time.
But there was one more person Witt would have liked to share the moment with: longtime friend and Giants superfan Suzi Blackman, who was resting at home and watching on TV. Bochy presented Witt with a ball signed by the whole team, but Witt said she planned on bringing it to Blackman on Sunday.
"I would love to honor my dear, dear, dear Giants friend who is going through a battle right now," Witt said. "I'd love to dedicate this to her."
Saturday's contest against the Phillies marked the 373rd consecutive sellout at AT&T Park dating back to September 2010, which is the longest active streak in Major League Baseball. The Giants also reached the 50 million fan milestone in 15-plus years, setting an MLB record.
Witt and her husband have had season tickets at AT&T Park since it opened in 2000. She also vividly remembers the final Giants game at Candlestick Park, when home plate was removed and airlifted to the current site of AT&T Park via helicopter.
"That was one of the most emotional moments of my life," Witt said.
And to be standing just feet away from where home plate sits now?
"Surreal," Witt said. "Absolutely surreal."