Appreciating the Fans

 

Bob Howry.jpg

In 10 years in the majors, pitcher Bob Howry said, he has never heard a team owner address the players the way Bill Neukom did at a breakfast meeting this morning. Howry was with the Cubs, Indians, Red Sox and White Sox before signing with the Giants this season.

“They basically welcome you and wish you luck,” Howry said of other executives.

Neukom was more direct, talking to the players as professional colleagues, articulating the Giants’ expectation that players are civic leaders and businessmen as well as athletes. In particular, he emphasized the importance of connecting with fans at tomorrow’s Fanfest.

Neukom and Players.jpg 

“People are coming out and spending their hard-earned money with us – and it is hard-earned. As we all know, most people have less money in their pockets this year than last year,” Neukom told the players in a large meeting room on the suite level of AT&T Park. The fans need to know, Neukom said, that the players – and the entire organization – don’t take their support for granted.

“I think the veterans know that,” Howry said, “but there are so many younger guys on this team, so it’s good to have that kind of message from the man at the top.”

Later in the morning, the players met for nearly two hours with members of the media. Then, the team joined Giants employees for lunch – each player sitting at a different table so everyone had a chance to talk and get to know each other.

Jeremy Affledt and his wife, Larisa, are having dinner tonight with David Batstone, an ethics professor at USF and the director Not For Sale, a non-profit group that fights human trafficking. Affeldt called the organization two months ago after reading about it. Affeldt began his own foundation six years ago that focuses mostly on youth issues. He spoke at 18 high schools in Spokane, where he lives, and hopes to get to as many high schools in the Bay Area as he can during the season. 

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Check out Andy Baggarly’s blog (http://blogs.mercurynews.com/extrabaggs/). He had a great interview with Tim Lincecum in San Jose last night. Lincecum was a rock star at the Sharks game, where he dropped the first puck. The crowd – and the entire Sharks team – gave him a standing ovation.

I’m off to go shopping with Pablo Sandoval for a piece I’m writing for Giants Magazine. Look for it on Opening Day.

I hope you can make it to FanFest tomorrow! Get here early and pray for clear skies.

3 Comments

It’s great to see an organization so concerned about the community. I hope the Giants have a great season.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Love to hear about the inside stuff with the Giatns. Great pics! =) I will be at Fan Fest tomorrow. It would be nice to meet you.

~King of Cali
http://kingofcali.mlblogs.com/

Hey Joan did you make it to Fan Fest? I was hoping to meet you. I did get a lot of good pictures. I need to write a blog and add some. I did get a chance to talk to Damon Bruce in person. I had Will Clark bump into me and Bengie was really cool the couple times he passed me. A couple of the players were talking to me. I leaned up aginst the fence where the players were walking from the clubhouse area to the KNBR stage. So all the players were going by me all day.

~King of Cali
http://kingofcali.mlblogs.com/

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