A Dream Day for a Fellow Shark

It was so great to arrive home Sunday night. On the off day Monday I just wanted to sleep in and spend the day in bed with my family watching movies. And that’s what I did.

That was a really, really long road trip. Two of the best moments came on the final day, Sunday.

          First, we got to witness the tribute to Mariano Rivera at Yankee Stadium. I couldn’t believe I was right there to see it up close. I filmed the whole thing on my phone. I grew up watching Mariano Rivera. He has been so inspiring, especially for Latin players. Watching the pregame ceremony, I felt like I was in the middle of history. I didn’t get to meet Mariano, but I could tell he is a really humble man. Before his speech, he thanked God for all he had accomplished. I liked that.

I had never been to Yankee Stadium, so that was fun in itself. Everybody was telling me I should go see this or that at the field. But to tell you the truth I didn’t go see any of it. I was there to play baseball, not to be a tourist. I didn’t want to get all caught up in seeing everything and then not be ready for the game. So I’ll have to go back another time.

          The second great moment was Adrianza hitting that home run to break up Andy Pettitte’s no-hitter. I couldn’t believe it. Everybody was really excited for him, but especially me because I’ve known him since he was 14 or 15 years old. That’s when the Tiburones – the winter-ball team in Venezuela I play for – brought Adrianza to the field for a workout. They said, “This guy is really young, but he’s going to be a Major Leaguer.’’ I thought, “OK, I want to watch him.’’ He was amazing in the field. So I thought, “OK, let’s watch him hit.’’ He was terrible! Yes, he was using a wood bat instead of aluminum, which he was used to. But he was so bad he looked like he was using a bat made of paper. He couldn’t hit it out of the infield.

At 16 he signed with the Tiburones then signed with the Giants shortly afterward. So I’ve been watching him and working with him ever since. We’ve spent a lot of time together during winter ball. I said this before but he reminds me a lot of myself. He has a great work ethic and really, really loves the game. All he’s focused on is being a Major Leaguer and taking care of his family.

If ever there was evidence of how far his hitting has come it was that home run in New York. I know him so well, so I could tell that when he got back to the dugout he didn’t even understand what had just happened. A home run in Yankee Stadium against an almost-perfect Andy Pettitte! He didn’t comprehend it. The next day, I think he kind of said to himself, “Did I do that? I think I did that.’’

          There will definitely be more great moments that like for him.

          Thank you so much for filling the seats last night against the Dodgers. I am so grateful to be playing here in San Francisco. No other fans are like you. You give us energy in this last week when it seems there’s nothing to play for. But everyone in this clubhouse feels there is a lot to play for: You. And next year.

23 Comments

Thank you, Gregor, for exhibiting true professionalism and giving two hundred percent every time you are on the field. I look forward to watching you perform with that magic glove of yours. You always play with such enthusiasm and gusto, and you never give up! Thank you also for setting a good example of what a true champion is made of. I am looking forward to seeing you back out in the field next season…I am counting the days. God bless you and your family.

Forgot to mention in the previous post! Glad to here that you’ll OK for the beginning of the season next year. I was at the last game of the season and it was magical. So much energy and love flowed. It was so much fun! Thank you for a wonderful game to end the season with! Yeah!!!

Gregor! Just wanted to say thank you! Thank you for keeping up this blog. Thank you for always giving everything out there on the field. And thank you for telling us fans that you guys in the clubhouse notice and appreciate us the fans. Love you guys! We filled the stadium all year because though the results were not what any of us wanted, players and fans alike, you guys never gave up trying, never made any excuses for poor play and never devolved into name calling and blaming. You guys hung together as a family and I think us fans saw that appreciated the efforts. You may not have always been easy to watch at times this season but you were always easy to love! Thank you and have a wonderful off season.

First of all, I hope you’re okay and that all you have is a sprained right ankle, which you’ll have all off-season to take care of. I was there at the last game of the season and I have to say that it was one of the most exciting comeback wins I’ve been lucky to witness, with the exception of your injury of course. It was also a very emotionally charged day knowing that it was Zito’s last game as a Giant. So many highs and lows in one game, but the highs definitely exceeded the lows – like Peguero’s first career home run and Pence’s walk-off hit. Towards the end of the season, you all played like the World Champions that we remembered from last year, and we have faith that you will come back next year, better and stronger than ever! Enjoy this break, this time with your families, and know that your fans will be here waiting to cheer you onward. Special thanks to you, Gregor Blanco, for sharing your thoughts, concerns and your honesty on and off the field.

Thanks for the season, and can’t wait for next year.

Really enjoyed your blog this year Gregor, thank you. Have a great off-season,

Thanks for blogging this year Gregor, I really enjoyed it. God bless you, and have a great off-season.

Thank you for all the memorable moments you have given us in this great game of baseball. You are such a unique and talented individual, and I hope and pray that you remain a Giant for your entire career. I enjoy watching you play because you do so with such enthusiasm…and the incredible plays you have made in the outfield are short of miraculous! There is magic in your glove and incredible speed in your legs…you make base stealing look easy! You are a true professional and we are so privileged to have you. Please stay with us. I watched the game today where you collided with Angel Pagan and injured your ankle. The news about your injury indicated that the ankle is badly sprained. I’m sorry you are going through a lot of pain, but thank God it wasn’t worse.. I will pray for your speedy recovery. I am saddened that I will not be able to watch you and the Giants in action for another seven months. I guess that means I’ll be in a bad mood until spring training…hahaha. I wish you and your familia the very best. God bless you.

Thank you so much for blogging. I know you play winter ball and would love it if you continued blogging over the winter. What ever you do I know you will do it 110%. You have been so much fun to watch in the outfield and at bat it has made the game ever more fun to watch. Have a great off season, stay safe, have fun and enjoy your family time. See ya next year for the run for the ring.

Thanks for playing hard this season, have a great off season and we’ll see you next year.

your writing this year has been like being in your head and heart. you have written with such honesty and emotion, that we feel like we are hearing and old friend talk. your playing inspires us fans. here’s to loyalty, and for a year hard played.

Hey Gregor!
Great story! No matter what will be always go giants and white shark!!!!

Hey White Shark, thank you for your wonderful, insightful blogs this year! I really enjoy reading about the team, the parts we don’t see or hear about on television. Hopefully, we will get another blog or two before the season ends. As a fan of baseball, the end of every season is bittersweet. I love the sport very much that the last game of World Series is heartbreaking because I then have to wait until the spring to see the sport again! With a long season, it is wonderful to see sportsmanship and camaraderie between teammates, as the SF Giants have, which really makes watching baseball so fantastic! Love you guys and will miss you when the last out happens on Sunday. Take care.

you know i really love baseball & am totally bummed the season didn’t turn out as we all hoped. still…one of the greatest things about sports is how much you love your team, win or lose, and that’s the thing about the sf giants…they are so easy to love & you are one of my favorites. thanks for your blogposts, they are always insightful and sweet. i really appreciate you (and your teammates!)

Love the blogs, thank you! Win or lose Go Giants!

I’ve enjoyed watching you give it your all on the field this season. I can tell that you truly enjoy the game. What a great story about Adrianza, thank you for sharing that! Good luck to you next year and enjoy the off season with your family!

Thank You for your thoughts this year and for being an inspiration to others on your team and in life! Spring Training can’t come too soon!

Win or lose…love you guys!!! Thanks for sharing your perspective and giving us the “inside scoop.” Hope to see some off season blog posts, too!

I don’t see a post that I left earlier, but I just want to thank you for posting and for playing hard every game. The fans like myself always want to see you play your best and I think you inspire young and old to be their best after seeing major league play. Thanks again and Go Giants!

It is all of you on the team that we need to thank! You make every game fun to be at and are a WONDERFUL team to be cheering for! Last nights game was no different than any other even though it is the end of the season! You gave it your all as you always do! Even though we happened to be sitting in the section with a ton of Dodger fans, each and every time they started chanting, “Let’s go Dodgers”, we would do our best to drown them out by screaming, “Let’s go Giants! Giant’s fans are Giant faithful! Win or lose, we are always there for all of you as each of you give your all for us! I will be at Sunday’s final season game, cheering all of you on as always! It is always sad for the end of baseball season to come!

I love this team and the heart you all put into each game. Thank you for the behind-the-scenes info about Adrianza’s big hit. Go White Shark!

Thank you for your post Mr. Blanco. I attended the first game against the Mets. I had been looking forward to the game for a couple of months, and I traveled from Washington, D.C. to be there. So I’m glad to hear that for these last few games you guys are going to continue to go out there and show how it should be done. You never know there may be another young Adrianza in attendance who can pick up a little something that will drive him to make it as you have as a ballplayer. Thanks again for posting. Go Giants!!

Gregor, I was lucky to be there as a fan. I traveled from California as well. The whole tribute to Mariano was history. That home run off Pettitte was a great time for him to hit his first HR.

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