true-sf-giants-new-era-cap.jpgRelated: SF Giants Home Opener Today: Here’s What You Need To Know

Tens of thousands of San Francisco Giants fans streamed into AT&T Park this morning ahead of the team’s highly anticipated home opener today.

A human tide of orange and black was ebbing and flowing around the stadium well before the gates opened at 10:35 a.m., with the sea of fans eagerly awaiting the Giants’ first home game of the 2011 season.

Fans young and old, decked out in all manner of Giants’ gear, were getting to the ballpark early after being advised by the team that they should plan to be in their seats by 12:45 p.m. for the start of the opening day ceremonies.

Mike Travers of Fairfield, who was near the front of the line at the main gates before they opened, arrived at the park with his daughter at 9 a.m.

The longtime Giants fan, wearing a new gold-lettered jersey of the team’s star pitcher Tim Lincecum, was looking forward to the start of his first year as a season ticket holder.
“Plus it’s our first opening day ever, so we’re really excited,” Travers said.

Next to the Willie Mays statue in front of the stadium, Paul Stavros of San Francisco was waiting to meet a friend before heading into the park.

“I’ve been a life long Giants fan – ever since they came out in ’58 and started playing at Seals Stadium.”

Last year’s World Series victory was especially sweet for Stavros, who added, “I was in the stands in 1962 when they lost to the Yankees in Game 7.”

Pointing to his World Series champs sweatshirt and hat, he said, “These don’t come along too often!”

The highlight of today’s festivities, according to Giants officials, will be the raising of the World Series championship flag, commemorating last year’s World Series win, the first for the team since 1954, and the first since the Giants moved to San Francisco.

After the completion of the pre-game pageantry, which will also include the team being introduced on the field, a performance from the band Train, and a host of other promised surprises, the game’s first pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m.

Sean McCourt, Bay City News

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