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Orange Fridays a hit with Giants fans
04/22/2006 3:15 AM ET
SAN FRANCISCO -- When Giants fan Susan Smith heard she could go to a place to watch her team play on the road and wear orange, she knew she had to be there.

"My niece found a flyer and gave it to me, and I said, 'Oh, I have to celebrate,'" Smith said. "I'm really into wearing orange."

Smith was referring to a flyer for "Orange Fridays on the Road," an event that started last season and takes place once a month to gather local Giants fans to watch the team on the road.

The latest installment of Orange Fridays will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, June 16, when the Giants face the Mariners in Seattle. Fans can show their true colors by gathering at the Field Club Lounge at AT&T Park. Admission is free, with more than 15 plasma TV screens along with food and drink specials.

Fans are encouraged to wear orange for a chance to win Giants merchandise and souvenirs, and as Smith found out at the April event there was plenty of orange in the room.

"Everybody is wearing orange, I love it," said Smith, who went to the event with her sister, Gladys Pfeiffer. "And look at all of the TVs and the room."

Smith was talking about the several plasma TVs that were hanging from the ceiling at the Field Club Lounge inside AT&T Park.

Smith, who is called "the orange lady" by many Giants fan, was decked out with orange from head to toe. She was wearing an orange wig, orange pants, orange beaded necklace, orange Giants visor with orange tinsel and even an orange t-shirt that read: "I see orange people."

She even convinced Pfeiffer, who has only lived in San Francisco since December, to wear a gigantic orange and black hair tie.

Orange Friday is set to take place at a different sports bar in the Bay Area once a month.

The event is not scheduled to come back to the ballpark this season, but Bryan Srabian, director of marketing, said this was the biggest turnout he has seen for the event.

"We will definitely have it here again," said Srabian, who was wearing orange corduroys. "There [were] about 200 people here before [game time]."

The party was filled with orange fans making a lot of noise as the Rockies came back to beat the Giants, 9-8, in the ninth inning.

The bartenders wore orange Giants Hawaiian T-shirts and handed out beer with small Giants jersey sleeves. The walls were decorated with paintings of Giants baseball and the lounge erupted when Barry Bonds limped home to score in the fifth inning

Kevin Lemire, a 28 year old from San Francisco, said he especially liked the cheap beers.

"There are not many times that you get to go to the stadium and enjoy a beer for $2.25," said Lemire, who is used to paying $8 for a Bud Light at AT&T Park.

Lemire, who proclaims himself as an "old school Giants fan," said the lounge had a "playoff atmosphere," and he would go again if it was close to where he lived. Lemire said it was a great place to enjoy the game with his buddies.

The event is scheduled to be held in San Francisco four times at sports bars such as WoodyZips and O'Neils. Orange Friday also will travel to Emeryville and McCovey's Restaurant in Walnut Creek.

Smith, 55, and Pfeiffer, 59, said they both enjoyed Orange Friday and would like to go again if it comes back to AT&T Park.

"We don't go to bars," Smith said. "This place has good visibility and is safe. That's important to young ladies like us."

Smith and Pfeiffer only had one complaint about Orange Friday.

"They need to have iced tea," Smith said.

Holly Hartman, 56, of Brentwood, Calif., said she would probably attend the event again if it came back to the stadium.

"This is my first time coming to one of these, and we are having a good time," said Hartman, who was wearing an orange Giants polo, along with the rest of her family. "I don't go out to bars -- it probably would be good for college [students]."

Orange Fridays was promoted via flyers, e-mails, announcements during home games and word of mouth.

Casey Conroy, a 21-year-old concierge for the suite level at AT&T Park, said she didn't even know about Orange Fridays last season.

"They did a better job with promotions [this season]," said Conroy, who lives in Berkeley, Calif.

She said the event made her "feel like [she was] at a baseball game," and she enjoyed spending time with her co-workers away from the job.

During the event, fans enjoyed meals such as chicken wings, nachos, tacos and turkey sandwiches. There also was a free raffle that gave away prizes such as Giants gift bags, autographed baseballs and bats and a Giants official on-field jacket.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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