Some Giants fans celebrate life at team's opening day festivities

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- While opening day at AT&T Park was special for everyone with a new season following another Giants World Series Championship, for some, the day was even life-affirming.

Excitement filled the air outside the park. Spring is here, and so is baseball.

"This is what it means to me. Just to see the energy level, and the excitement, it will be a memory I'll never forget," said lifelong fan, Tim Flatt, who now lives in San Diego. He was attending his first ever Giants opening day game.

Dan O'Connell of Folsom, posing for a picture by the Willie Mays statue, had a different perspective.

"This is my 35th year of opening day in a row. You got to do what you got to do. Go Giants!" said O'Connell.

At Momo's Restaurant, we met a fan for whom this day has an even deeper meaning.

"I've been here, got stage 4 Cancer, and I was here last year and I came back again this year," said Bruce Reeves.

The Discovery Bay resident says his colon cancer has spread to his liver. But despite undergoing chemotherapy, he said he wouldn't miss this game.

"Just being here is making me feel better already," said Reeves. "You know, if they win they win; if they lose they lose. It's going to be a tough year, I got a feeling. But just being here, opening day, making it again for another one is fantastic."

Inside the packed Giants Dugout Store, where fans were buying up souvenirs, KTVU met people who could certainly relate to Reeves' struggle. They were members of Team Rozelle Strong.

You may remember Brian Rozelle, who turned 30 in January, while facing terminal cancer.

"It was his favorite day of the year, opening day," said Rozelle's roommate, Todd Campbell.

KTVU interviewed Rozelle numerous times.

"He was such a magnetic enthusiastic, wonderful person. We had his celebration of life here over the weekend," explained Rozelle's fiancee, Sue Novik.

Rozelle died on April 6th, just a week before this day for his favorite team.

"When he got diagnosed, everything he wanted to do was just raise as much money, and raise as much awareness for cancer as he possibly could. And he did that, times a thousand," exclaimed Campbell.

Back among the fans picking up souvenirs, an East Bay woman got an opening day ball and pin to go with all the other pins on her hat.

"It's the start of our season. I mean, come on! Go Giants! Humm baby," said Linda Auerbach of Brentwood.

As the first pitch approached, you could catch some of the pageantry outside, especially the signature flyby of two Navy fighter jets.

Continuing the patriotic theme, one man said he was thrilled he got to help carry the huge American flag onto the field for the National Anthem.

"Opening day is up here already, then you add in World Series Champs, then you add in being able to hold the American flag on the field…oh, it was like ultimate trifecta right there," exclaimed Sam Sales of Daly City.

All fans left the game with a 2014 World Series Championship flag. And despite the day's loss to the Rockies, everyone is hoping to get a 2015 Championship flag next opening day.

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