SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 05: Barry Zito #75 of the San Francisco Giants pitches the first pitch of their home opener to Jon Jay #19 of the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on April 5, 2013 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
The 2014 baseball season is just around the corner, as the San Francisco Giants will be heading to Scottsdale soon to prepare for the grind of 162 games.
This upcoming season has some great matchups and events that Giants fans will not want to miss. From Dodger games to bobblehead giveaways, fans will be optimistic once the squad in orange and black begins their quest to recapture the glory of the 2010 and 2012 championship seasons.
Here are some key dates to circle on your calender for the San Francisco Giants' 2014 season.
Feb. 1: Fanfest
Fans can welcome the San Francisco Giants to 2014 at the 21st-annual KNBR 680 Giants FanFest. The free event will take place at AT&T Park and will include ballpark food, chances to get autographs from players, and dugout tours. There will also be interviews with players and coaches.
Feb. 14: Pitchers and Catchers Report
Spring training officially begins for teams when pitchers and catchers report to camp. Matt Cain and company will be the first players to report to Scottsdale, Ariz. because pitchers generally need more time to prepare for the season. For fans, pitchers and catchers reporting to camp signifies that baseball is almost back.
Feb. 18: Full Squad Reports
The position players flock to Scottsdale on Feb. 18. Newcomer Michael Morse and the rest of the infielders and outfielders will begin practicing on this day. Now that the squad is together, they can build that chemistry and get ready for the first spring training game later in the month. Baseball is getting closer.
Feb. 26: First Spring Training Game
The Giants will finally take the field in their first preseason game on Feb. 26 against their cross-town rivals the Oakland Athletics. The first pitch is at 12:05 p.m. at Scottsdale Stadium. For fans that cannot make the trip to Arizona, the game will be broadcasted on KNBR-680. Even though the game does not count, the Giants will still want to play well against the American League West champions in their Cactus League opener.
March 27-29: Final Spring Training Games in Bay Area
Before the Giants head back to Arizona for opening day against the Diamondbacks, the Giants will return home to play their traditional Bay Bridge Series against the A's to end spring training. Fans will be able to welcome the orange and black back to the Bay Area before they start a seven-game road trip to start the 2014 season. The March 27-28 night games will be at AT&T Park, while the Cactus League finale on March 29 will be at the O.co Coliseum at 1:05 p.m. This is the last tune-up before the bell officially rings.
March 31: 2014 Opening Day
After all the anticipation and preparation, the Giants will start the 2014 campaign near where spring training began--in Phoenix, Ariz. The game will start at 6:40 p.m., as San Francisco faces off against the division-rival Arizona Diamondbacks. Giants' ace Matt Cain will likely take the hill in the desert, as San Francisco will try to start 2014 on the right foot. The opening series against the D-backs is a four-game set from March 31-Apr. 3.
April 4-6: First Giants/Dodgers Matchup of 2014
The rivalry will be renewed once again as the Giants take on the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 4 at Dodger Stadium. The Giants will try to beat LA in their home opener, which will start at 1:10 p.m. The series will conclude on Sunday Night Baseball at 5 p.m. 2014 will be the 132nd season the two division foes will be squaring off, and both teams will want to get off to a great start against each other early in the season.
April 8: Giants Home Opener
At last, baseball that counts returns to the Bay Area. The Giants will face the division-rival Arizona Diamondbacks, who they started the season against just one week earlier, at AT&T Park. The game will start at 1:35 p.m., and the first 40,000 fans will receive a Giants Opening Day Calendar. To welcome fans to the 2014 season, the Giants will have many promotions during opening week. They include:
April 15-17: First Home Series vs. Dodgers
The Dodgers will be coming to AT&T Park for a three-game series to end the Giants' first homestand of 2014. This will be the second meeting of the year between the two teams, who previously met in Los Angeles earlier in the month. This will be the first opportunity for Giants fans to chant, "Beat LA!"
April 25-27: First Interleague Series vs. Indians
For the first time since 2011, the Giants will play the Cleveland Indians at AT&T Park. This is the first interleague series against mostly American League Central division teams. The weekend-series will feature three-straight giveaways, including a bobblehead of a certain broadcaster Giants fans know and love. The promotions include:
May 16: Tim Lincecum Orange Friday T-Shirt
Every Orange Friday at AT&T Park is an exciting time to come to the ballpark, but on May 16, the Giants will be giving away a Tim Lincecum Orange Friday T-Shirt to the first 20,000 fans. The game will be against the Miami Marlins starting at 7:15 p.m.
May 17: Genentech Strike Out Cancer Day, Giants Fedora
The Giants won't just be trying to strike out Marlins on May 17. They will also be trying to strike out cancer. The first 20,000 fans will get a Genentech Giants Fedora, as the Giants will take on the Marlins in Game 2 of the three-game series. Game time is TBD.
May 18 will be a special day at AT&T Park--two promotions, both for the kids. The first 7,500 fans ages 10 & under to cross the turnstiles will receive a Buster Posey Kids T-Shirt. The second promotion is the annual Junior Giants Glove Drive. Fans who donate a baseball glove or $10 will receive a special giveaway item. Remember, children cannot play baseball without a glove. The series finale against the Marlins will start at 1:05 p.m.
May 26: Giants BBQ Apron, Interleague Game vs. Minnesota Twins
With Memorial Day weekend comes barbecue season. To prepare, the Giants will be giving away Giants BBQ Aprons to the first 20,000 fans. There is also a great interleague matchup to look forward to. The Giants and Twins, who before this year last played each other in 2011, will square off at 1:05 p.m. in the third and final game of the weekend series.
June 7: Sergio Romo Super Hero Socks
There's Superman, Batman, Batkid, and Sergio Romo? Bay Area kids will have a new hero to embrace, as the Giants are giving away Sergio Romo Super Hero Socks to the first 7,500 fans 14 & under. The game will be on a Saturday against the New York Mets, who will be making their only visit to AT&T Park. Time of the game is TBD.
June 13: Fireworks Night
The Giants will host their second fireworks night of 2014 following Game 1 of a three-game series against the division-rival Colorado Rockies. The Friday-night game will start at 7:15, and the fireworks show will take place afterwards.
June 28-29: All Brandon Weekend
The Giants will pay tribute to the two Brandons (1B Belt and SS Crawford) during Games 3 and 4 of a weekend-series against the Cincinnati Reds. On Saturday (game time TBD), the first 40,000 fans will receive either a Brandon Belt or Brandon Crawford Bobblehead. The Brandons' celebration continues on Sunday (1:05 p.m. game time) with the first 7,500 fans ages 14 & under receiving a Giants Growth Chart Banner featuring Belt and Crawford.
July 7-10: Bay Bridge Series
The two Bay Area teams will rekindle their rivalry in a four-game series. The first two games of the Battle of the Bay will be played in Oakland at the O.co Coliseum. The Monday and Tuesday games will both start at 7:05 p.m. The series will then shift across the Bay Bridge to AT&T Park for Games 3 and 4. The Wednesday game will start at 7:15 p.m., while the series finale will be a 12:45 p.m. matinee game. These games may not mean much in the standings, but the team that wins the series will have bragging rights in the Bay.
July 13: Angel Pagan Bobblehead
The first half of the season will conclude with an All-Star giveaway. The first 40,000 fans will receive an Angel Pagan bobblehead. The Giants will take on the Diamondbacks at 1:05 p.m. before heading into the All-Star break.
July 15: All-Star Game
The 85th Midsummer Classic will take place at Target Field in Minnesota for the first time. Baseball's biggest stars will square off, as the National League will take on the American League. The winner of the All-Star game will have home field advantage in the World Series. In 2013, four Giants players journeyed to New York for the All-Star game, and San Francisco will hope it also well-represented in 2014.
July 25-27: Dodgers Come to Town
The rival Dodgers will come back to San Francisco for a three-game weekend series. It's the Giants and the Dodgers--enough said. But there are a couple promotions to look forward to during the series. Beat L.A.!
July 30: Giants Slumber Party:
What better place is there to spend the night than at AT&T Park? After their 12:45 matinee game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Giants will host a slumber party. A special ticket will be required with online reservations coming soon. Fans will have a chance to camp out on the field after the game.
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August and September events to come!