Sunday, June 15, 2014

What the SF Giants Mean to One Cancer Stricken Fan

Jim Broedlow has been a San Francisco Giants season ticket holder for 43 years. Though he is a four-time cancer survivor, his love of the  Giants never wavered.

Jim is no ordinary fan. He has attended every home opener for the Giants since 1972. As far as he’s concerned, Opening Day is a national holiday; in fact, his oncologist has several times delayed chemo treatments so Jim can attend baseball games.

One of the memories that Jim will never forget is the so-called “World Series Earthquake” of 1989, during the World Series between the Giants and their crosstown rivals, the Oakland As. Minutes before Game 3 was scheduled to begin, an earthquake struck, with thousands of people inside Candlestick Park. It was the first major earthquake in the U.S. to be televised on live T.V.
“When the earthquake hit,” Jim remembers, “we didn’t know it was an earthquake. I was holding onto a railing next to my seat. The rail was swaying so much, we thought it was really fun. We then realized it was an earthquake when we saw several dignitaries at the game being rushed off the field.”

Will Clark, Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow, Buster Posey, and Dave Dravecky are a few of Jim’s favorite players. In the late 1980s, Jim mailed a letter to the San Francisco Giants requesting an autograph from Dave Dravecky, a pitcher. Dravecky’s signature arrived back in June of 1988 and has been a treasured piece in the Broedlow household.
As it turns out, Dravecky is also a cancer survivor. A few years ago, Dravecky surprised Jim at his home to talk cancer and the San Francisco Giants. “We spent two hours together,” says Jim, “and it was such a great memory.”
“I was fighting for my life in 2010,” he continues. “It felt like the Giants were fighting for me. They wanted me to live and watch them win a World Series championship. While I was in the hospital, representatives from the Giants visited to wish me well. Additionally, they presented me with a letter from team President Larry Baer.”

For the Giants, Opening Day of 2013 was a culmination and celebration of their triumph in the 2012 World Series. World Series rings were presented to the winning 2012 team. To cap things off, Jim was chosen to carry the World Series flag onto the field and then present it to manager Bruce Bochy. “I heard 41,000 fans yelling and cheering,” he says. “It was such a thrill. When I handed the flag to Bochy, I told him to bunt the ball more. I don’t know if he heard me, but we beat the Cardinals 1-0 on a bunt hit. I love baseball—can you tell?”
My sincere gratitude to Jim for sharing a life of passion and inspiration. You are an important part of baseball history—still in the making.

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