Giants fans face wide array of topics on latest 'Bucks'
In the 38 overall episodes of the hit MLB.com game show "Bucks on the Pond," there never has been a cast of contestants quite like Giants fans Andrew Harrison and Shelly Brown.
"Every game we've come to since the taping," Harrison said, "we walk by the spot where the show was recorded and say to each other 'Bucks on the Pond!' and then give a high five."
It was there, next to the giant orange Willie Mays inside AT&T Park, that the pair from Sacramento, Calif., gave it everything they've got for this season's ninth episode, which was released on Thursday. This follows the first strikeout episode of the season, so you'll want to watch to see if they were saying the familiar words of glee in unison at the end of this video.
Waiting until the Bay Bridge Series game on Wednesday night was over to email MLB.com, Harrison described the events that led to their current stardom on SFGiants.com. They have been together about 10 years now, and Giants games are a key fabric in their relationship. He is a banker and she works in retail. They usually go to one game per homestand, and when they were invited onto the set of "Bucks" at a game earlier this season, he was sporting a fresh mohawk and she was wearing a panda hat.
"What brought us to the game primarily was that it was Fireworks Night, and we have made it a priority to attend every the Fireworks Night promotion for the past three years," Harrison said. "We bought the tickets for that game the first day that single-game tickets were made available to the public. On that night, we sat in the view box [upper deck] section on the left-field side, as we have learned that is a good spot to view the fireworks. It's also a good place to watch the game, but as we have found over the past few years, every seat is a good seat at AT&T Park when the Giants are playing.
"A funny story on this particular day was that Supercuts was doing a promotion outside the ballpark for 'Orange Friday,' which is what we Giants fans call every Friday the Giants are at home. I went over to the booth thinking I could get a haircut but found that they weren't cutting hair; they were just applying orange and black gel and styling hair. I am usually pretty conservative with my hairstyle, but I decided to go for it and throw caution to the wind as I allowed the hairstylist free reign to do whatever she wanted.
"Fortunately for me, it washed out pretty easily the next day."
"Bucks" is hosted by Jeremy Brisiel, and -- no matter what your attire or your hair style -- you might be a part of it this season when you least expect it. Fans at the ballpark interact with MLB.com's studio through the magic of technology in conjunction with game action inside. In creating a new experience for fans, MLB.com is giving people a chance to earn bucks while they spend bucks at the ballpark.
Contestants are asked a trivia question -- general knowledge and baseball -- on each pitch during a half-inning of baseball. Get the question correct and win money. Get the question wrong and it's a strike. Three strikes and you're out.
The questions' difficulty and value increase with the number of outs in the on-field action: $5 easy questions to start, $10 medium-difficulty questions after one out, $20 hard questions after two outs. If the contestant lasts longer than the team's at-bat, they win the bucks in their bank.
Topics covered on Episode 9 include the calendar, TV actors, home construction, Giants batting stats, world geography, colors, U.S. states, music albums, Billboard charts, perfect games, cable news, John Travolta movies, biology, Ryan Vogelsong, American Idols, U.S. presidents, Bollywood and the United Nations.
"The 'Bucks on the Pond' experience was hands down the best part of our night," Harrison said. "And that is saying a lot for a night in which the Giants had a walk-off win followed by a spectacular fireworks show. It was exciting, fun and brought us together as a team.
"Shelly and I have talked about the experience almost every day since the taping. I will always kid Shelly about how she thought John Travolta played Forrest Gump in the movie 'Pulp Fiction,' and it's going to be a while before she stops asking me how I knew it was Kelly Clarkson who won the first 'American Idol' or how I know any songs by Bruno Mars. To tell the truth, I don't really know how I know, but somehow, I know."
Brown has been a Giants fan going back to about the time that she saw Barry Bonds hit his last home run at AT&T Park -- which would have been No. 761 of 762, struck off Milwaukee's Chris Capuano on Aug. 24, 2007. She happily scoots over to San Francisco from Sacramento for these homestands.
"Honestly I love San Francisco, the city itself," she said. "It's beautiful, the people are friendly. But I like a good Giants game.
"Being on 'Bucks' was fantastic. It was unexpected and we had a lot of fun. This is just another part of the baseball experience."
It was the second show of the season involving Giants fans, following episode five, in which "Giants Gamer Babes" Emma Dewit and Georgie DeAntoni scored 155 bucks from MLB.com. It was the fourth overall Giants episode, including two during the last postseason at AT&T Park.
The "Bucks" crew has been to more than half of all Major League ballparks and is working its way through the full list. In addition to the Giants, teams visited include the Angels, Astros, Athletics, Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Marlins, Red Sox, Reds, Royals, Orioles, Padres, Tigers, White Sox and Yankees. Bookmark MLB.com/bucks and be on the lookout for the "Bucks" crew at your ballpark.