Baseball time is here once again Go see our Giants score again. Keep hitting the ball down the field. Look at those Giants and the bases they steal. We hope that the pennant will be in sight again. you Giants to the end. (Lyrics from a memory recording of Art Mineo Combo, song written by Joe Jordan}.

Anyone out there remember that little tune? It was “Go Giants Go”, introduced by Joe Jordan in 1963. It was available on 45 RPM and was part of the merchandise sold at the Tacoma Giants souvenir shop at Cheney Stadium. I couldn’t have been the only kid in T-town who swindled his dad out of his weekly allowance. It only cost four bits (50 cents) and I didn’t even have to clean out our basement to get it. What a deal!

“Go Giants Go” was performed one day during the intermission of a double bill (double header day and night). Joe Jordan was joined by the 80-member Lincoln High School Band, the school’s 50-member male choir, and the Tacoma Giants Booster Club led by baritone Jack Sonntag. And other times it blared over the stadium’s public address system, drowning out the foghorn of the home run, the sound of cowbells, and the hum of the organ in the stands. To this day, I have “Go Giants Go” in my personal hall of fame and keepsake box. I’ve even gone so far as to duplicate it on CD.

The following story is about my love of baseball when I was young and the passion I have for the sport today. My hometown is in Tacoma, Washington. This story takes place back in the 60’s.

He was just seven years old when the San Francisco Giants franchised their farm club to Tacoma’s beautiful Cheney Stadium in 1960. Cheney Stadium had just been built and finished by local logger Ben Cheney. Who would have imagined that the next six years would be the most impressionable years of my life? I often wondered what meant more to me during the hot summer days of the early to mid-’60s: watching my older brothers win a playoff during the Kiwanis Soap Box Derby days or watching the Tacoma Giants high kick. pitcher Juan Marichal on the mound and the outfield excellence of shortstop Gil Garrido, my hero then, the No. 17. If he was anywhere near Bantz Boulevard, he had the best of both worlds. Let’s not forget the Cheney Studs playing hard at nearby Heidelberg Field. I always chose the land of the “Giants”.

With these memories so intricately turned back, I remember the sports entertainment battle where Tightwad Hill made his barrier between the Soap Box Derby race track and Cheney Stadium. I can almost feel the yellow-flowered Scotch broom as I puff up the hill from the soapbox track to the high left-field fence at Cheney Stadium. I equipped myself with binoculars as I mischievously walked away from the watchful eyes of my parents. I can even feel my mom’s pinch on my right arm from missing the dusty derby hill. Wow, she had an ounce of obedience! I didn’t care. I endured all the pain. It was worth it.

But it all paid off back then, because wherever I showed up, I wore my old black baseball cap with the capital orange “T” that represented the Tacoma Giants. He was simply a die-hard Giants fan and would rather hear the snap of a Louisville slugger than the thud of the starting line boards and the waving of the checkered flag at the end of the derby.

If people thought I was a Giants fan, then I should introduce them to my dad. It was just “like father, like son” with us and the Giants. After all, Dad was the one who took us to the first game at Cheney Stadium forty-seven years ago. I remember the many nights my dad worked in his garage out back. He would be listening to his tube radio late at night, tuned to “Mr. Voice of the Giants,” Don Hill. “Giants win, Giants win! How about that, Giants fans?” Hill would absolve. Hill would then close with “goodbye and be a good sports fan.”

Another winning game was over. I couldn’t get enough. My brothers couldn’t get enough. And most of all, my dad couldn’t get enough. However, my mom had had enough. She was too busy putting old newspapers on the kitchen floor. Dad would come running from the garage and leave trails of grease and dirt all over the clean floor, only to repeat step by step countless times to us children. I can still see him smiling, his lips serving him gallantly. He almost sounded like Don Hill.

My dad was one of us when he came to the Tacoma Giants. He would be so excited. I wonder if my mother was happy with the Giants. I don’t think there was any love lost. From April to September she always had the pile of old newspapers in the hall near the kitchen. Specifically for the Tacoma Giants, Don Hill and my dad. It took a lot of newspapers to roll out that unwanted mat. The newspapers would disappear after September, only to return the following spring.

Dad did his best to get Mom interested in the Giants, but he took all of us to cheer her on. Especially when it came to the double headers on Mother’s Day Sunday. That was a nine-inning game plus a seven-inning postgame. I was up for 16 entrees of delicious fun. If it were up to me, there would always be extra tickets. I begged and begged for more baseball until there were holes in the knees of my jeans.

But now more than 47 years have passed and that April thrill keeps coming back every spring. Cheney Stadium has seen seven professional baseball teams hit its walls and, at times, break the hearts of its fans. And we shouldn’t forget the days when Cheney Stadium played host to the land of the Giants, Cubs, Twins, Yankees, Tugs and Tigers. And now, for the past twelve years, they’ve been proud to be the Tacoma Rainiers, the farm club of the Seattle Mariners.

I’m not looking over the scotch broom at Tightwad Hill these days, and the Soap Box Derby is long gone. The Tacoma Giants are long gone too. But the memories are still there today between Cheney Stadium and its Tacoma Rainiers. I have discovered boxes and stands now. As long as I and a few thousand others are fans, Tacoma baseball and Ben Cheney Stadium will never die.

I sincerely hope that future generations will always catch this spirit of fun and hold on to these memories as I did and always will. I’ll see you all in the seats at Cheney Stadium when I’m 77 because that 7-year-old will surely be there tomorrow.

For all the die-hard fans of the Tacoma Giant of yesteryear, a great book to read is titled, Six Seasons: A History of the Tacoma Giants 1960-1965, written by Jacob Jordan. This book covers it all. I highly recommend it. It is available on the Internet.

If Joe Jordan were alive today, he would need to review his song, “Go Giants Go.” The new version of him would have to be “Go ahead, Rainiers, go ahead, and win today. We’re with you, Rainiers, to the end.”

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