Baseball

World Series sights and sounds: Easy-to-spot Royals fan scores ticket to Game 4

Steve Graves of Firestone, Colo., traveled to San Francisco for Game 4 of the World Series, even though he didn’t have a ticket to Saturday’s game at AT&T Park. He got a ticket just before the game started.
Steve Graves of Firestone, Colo., traveled to San Francisco for Game 4 of the World Series, even though he didn’t have a ticket to Saturday’s game at AT&T Park. He got a ticket just before the game started. vcontreras@sacbee.com

Easy-to-spot Royals fan takes gamble, scores ticket

Among a sea of fans clad in black and orange outside AT&T Park on Saturday afternoon, it wasn’t hard to spot Steve Graves of Firestone, Colo.

He was the guy dressed in a flowing blue robe, trimmed in white, with a blue paper crown. He wore a blue Royals jersey, blue jeans, white boots and a friendly smile.

Giants and Royals fans crowded around Graves, 59, who flew to San Francisco on Saturday morning without a ticket to Game 4 of the World Series but was determined to get inside the park.

“A few people screamed at me while driving by, ‘The Royals suck!’ or whatever,” Graves said. “But other than that, the people here have been very friendly. Everybody wants to take a picture with me.”

Graves, who was unable to attend Games 1 and 2 in Kansas City, Mo., because of work, said he attended Game 2 of the 1985 World Series at Kauffman Stadium, a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

“But we won the Series, so it was OK,” Graves said. “My son was also born in 1985 – a great year.”

It took Graves most of Saturday afternoon to find a ticket, but just before first pitch he scored upper-reserve seats in section 312 – just behind home plate looking down the third-base line – two rows from the very top.

The $205 face-value ticket cost Graves $400 – a bargain considering standing-room-only tickets were priced at $500 on StubHub.com.

“I’m in,” he said. “That’s all that matters.”

They saw three – for free

Two Giants fans from Modesto also arrived at AT&T Park without tickets, but they came to San Francisco determined to see the game – at least three innings of it – for free.

Peter Stoner, 36, and Austin Shovelski, 20, Fastenal warehouse employees, were the first in line at 1 a.m. Saturday to watch the game through the viewing portals behind the right-field cyclone fence.

A passer-by said their dedication was awesome.

“I don’t know that it’s awesome considering the next person didn’t arrive until 6,” Stoner said.

Stoner and Shovelski slept on the concrete walkway between the park and McCovey Cove, enduring rain, wind and cold.

“But with tickets $500 a pop, we just couldn’t afford to get seats, but we wanted to see at least one game,” Stoner said. “You never know when the next (World Series) will come around.”

She’s on the mound

Mo’ne Davis, the 13-year-old Little League pitcher from the Taney Dragons of Philadelpia who gained national fame during the Little League World Series and also appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, fired a strike to Giants backup catcher and Jesuit High School graduate Andrew Susac with the ceremonial first pitch of Game 4.

Davis ignored instructions to throw in front of the mound by climbing up to the rubber and delivering what looked like a cut fastball.

Stow gets things started

Bryan Stow, the Giants fan from Santa Cruz who was badly beaten outside Dodgers Stadium in April 2011, yelled out “Play Ball!” using a microphone while sitting in a wheelchair along the third-base line before the start of Game 4.

He was accompanied by relief pitcher Jeremy Affeldt and third-base coach Tim Flannery, who both have raised money to help pay for Stow’s medical expenses.

“We are so thrilled to be here tonight,” Stow’s mother, Ann, said in a statement. “This is the first World Series game that Bryan will be able to remember since his accident. Bryan attended Game 2 of the 2012 World Series. He is so appreciative of all the support Giants’ fans have shown him throughout this journey. He feels like he is part of the team.”

Call The Bee’s Victor Contreras, (916) 326-5527.

Editor’s note: This story was updated on Oct. 26 to correct Mo’ne Davis’ Little League team and city.

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