SF State students and alumni receive blankets at the opening of the SF Giants game on Monday, April 29, 2019. (SYLVIE STURM/ Special to Golden Gate Xpress)
As the San Francisco Giants battled the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday, April 29, a class of SF State students visited Oracle Park to celebrate ‘San Francisco State University Night’ at the ballpark.
“I’ve always wanted to learn about baseball and get into it,” said junior SF State marketing major and class enrollee Henry Huang. “This class gives me a golden opportunity to learn the rules and history of the game to determine if I truly enjoyed the sport.”
While some students joined the class to learn more about baseball, some joined it for professor Mark Sigmon.
“I took [Professor] Sigmon’s history class last semester,” said junior art major Samantha MacDonald. “He mentioned that he was going to be teaching the History of Baseball class this semester and I thought it would be fun class.” MacDonald and many of her classmates had a unique opportunity to attend the ball game. The students paid just $16 for the game tickets.
Despite being sold out this time around, $16 is still more than the deal Sigmon had before AT&T Park was renamed Oracle Park. Before this year, Sigmon’s classes could
attend one Giants ball game a season, for free.
A reporter and photographer from the San Francisco Chronicle covered a story on the class six years ago when the class was revived by Sigmon. What started the years of free Giants tickets for the class was a picture of a fingerless glove on a student, according to Sigmon.
“The glove had a big San Francisco Giants logo, but also AT&T,” he said. “The woman in charge of that promotion, Denise Ebright. She saw that on the front page of the Chronicle, and she got in touch with me and was able to get us free tickets to one game a year.”
Oracle Corporation agreed to a 20-year naming rights deal in early January 2019 and with that, the ticket deal was off. However, the park has held a “San Francisco State Night” promotion for five years now.
Over the couple of years, Sigmon’s History of Baseball class has continued its tradition of live spring ball games. Sigmon looks to continue this tradition, but his is aware that some students can’t afford the ticket price.
“Next year, I am going to see if I can get some funding,” Sigmon said.
After all, a class about baseball should let its students experience the crowds screaming and bats cracking on contact.
Correction: In the Tuesday, April 30, 2019 (Vol. 109, Issue 13) print issue and previous online version the photographer was referred to as Sylvie Sturum. The correct spelling is Sylvie Sturm. Xpress regrets this error. (Wednesday, May 1, 2019/ 9:35 a.m.)