10/23/2002 8:40 pm ET
Star-gazing at Pacific Bell Park
By Alyson Footer / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- It's no secret that celebrities enjoy being seen at World Series games. Nothing like a little publicity -- a quick shot on the Jumbotron, a mention by the television announcers, a plug of a new movie or sitcom.
But when you think of celebs at sporting events, it's normal to picture Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium or Staples Center, where stars in Hollywood come out in droves more for the purpose of being seen than for the admiration of the game. But surprisingly enough, San Francisco has been a hot bed for celebrity sightings, including a number of people who actually make their permanent homes in the City by the Bay.
Take Danny Glover, for one. Despite having starred in the hit Disney movie "Angels in the Outfield," he is actually a die-hard Giants fan, a season-ticket holder, and a familiar face at Pacific Bell Park.
In addition to his many duties as Giants executive vice president and chief operating officer, Larry Baer is also a sort of "talent scout," serving as the informal liaison between celebs who want to attend Giants games and the employees who facilitate the tickets.
"We like the ones who are homegrown, born and raised in San Francisco," Baer said. "Not to be critical, but the ones who are just here because it's the World Series are not as exciting to us as people that are from San Francisco and follow the Giants."
Baer targeted Don Johnson, Glover, Robin Williams and producer/director Chris Columbus as celebs who fit that bill. Oftentimes, they will call Baer directly throughout the season, looking for tickets.
"And you know what? It's fun," Baer said. "We save a few seats for celebs. San Francisco is a little bit Hollywood North. We have a tremendous amount of big names. The stars we have here are big and we celebrate them."
Plus, it's good for business.
"When somebody sees celebrities sitting at the ballgame, it makes the viewer at home feel like (Pacific Bell Park) is a hot property," Baer added.
Fans will attest to that. Take for example, Christine, a Giants supporter who arrived at the ballpark two hours prior to game time on Wednesday to watch batting practice. The day before, she ran into San Francisco 49ers wide receiver J.J. Stokes in the right-field stands.
"I said hi to him, and he said hi back," she gushed. "It was a consolation for the Giants losing yesterday."
A local beat reporter recalled a few humorous celebrity sightings of his own.
"Huey Lewis sang anthem before NLCS game," the scribe recalled. "I wanted to tell him that the '80s called and said they wanted their hair back and their wanted their clothes back, too."
Another unforgettable moment? The night first daughter Chelsea Clinton made an appearance at Pacific Bell Park: "We couldn't get on the elevator for an hour and a half because of the secret service."
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.