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Raley Field Sellout Crowd Joyously Greets the Giants

San Francisco Giants fans know one thing — 2016 is an “even” year.

With World Series titles coming San Francisco’s way in 2010, 2012, and 2014 — and not even a playoff appearance in the other “odd” years — the anticipation for the coming season has been at a fever pitch. That excitement came to Raley Field in a big way Wednesday night, when the Giants faced their top minor league squad in an exhibition that saw the 16-year-old ballpark as packed as it could be.

That the Giants ended up prevailing 8-4 was not the important part, though Giants fans saw favorites such as Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford power home runs, and new free-agent signing Johnny Cueto earn the pitching win.

2016 will be the second year the River Cats are part of the Giants organization, and as successful as the team was under the Oakland A’s ownership, this current move has seemed to pay off in a big way.

The River Cats will open their regular season April 7 when they travel to Salt Lake to face the Bees, and then open at home, also against the Bees, on April 15. It should be a banner year at Raley Field, with 2015 favorites such as Jarrett Parker and and Mac Williamson making a return with an eye towards joining the Giants at some point during the season.

Brandon Crawford and Jose Pagan talk shop during batting practice before the game.
Brandon Crawford and Angel Pagan talk shop during batting practice before the game.
The free-agent signee Johnny Cueto started and picked up the victory, giving up three runs in six innings
The free-agent signee Johnny Cueto started and picked up the victory, giving up three runs in six innings
Buster Posey meets with a group of young fans in the dugout before the game.
Buster Posey meets with a group of young fans in the dugout before the game.
The Giants' catcher, a longtime fan favorite, signs for fans along the right field line before the game
The Giants’ catcher, a longtime fan favorite, signs for fans along the right field line before the game
Brandon Crawford homered in the third inning with this swing, joining Buster Posey and Brandon Belt with home runs.
Brandon Crawford homered in the third inning with this swing, joining Buster Posey and Brandon Belt with home runs.

Sellout crowd surges before the game

Hunter Pence made several appearances at Raley Field during the 2015 season rehabilitating injuries.
Hunter Pence made several appearances at Raley Field during the 2015 season rehabilitating injuries.
Right-hander Chris Stratton got the starting nod for the "Sactown" River Cats, striking out eight in six innings of work.
Right-hander Chris Stratton got the starting nod for the “Sactown” River Cats, striking out eight in six innings of work.
Sellout at Raley Field!
Sellout at Raley Field!

Photos by Steve Martarano

 

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About the author

Steve Martarano

Steve Martarano

A resident of Sacramento since graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, Steve spent the 1980s at The Sacramento Union, working as a sports writer, music reviewer and crime reporter, among other assignments. He's spent the last 25+ years working in government public affairs for both state and federal agencies and currently is with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Bay-Delta office in Sacramento. He has shot just about every local sports team for the Sacramento Press, including local colleges, the Sacramento River Cats and Sacramento Republic FC. He resides in Curtis Park with his wife Sharon.

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