Baseball returns to AT&T Park with Battle of the Bay

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - AT&T Park was alive with the sights and sounds of a spring ritual as Giants baseball returned.

Thursday night was game one in a three game series between the Giants and their rival from across the Bay - the A's.

"It's the new beginning. It's the new start. It's spring. It's the renewal of life, the renewal of baseball… finally," said Andy Hicks, a Giants fan.

It was the first game at AT&T Park after a long off season. It drew fans from near and far, including places where there are no live major league baseball games such as Crescent City.

"We'll drive the seven hours. It's worth it, " said Tabatha Davis.

"I want to meet all of them and get a signature on my hat," said Francisco Chavez, who's eight years old.

His father, Pancho Chavez has high expectations for the Giants after three championships in five years, "I hope we go back-to-back, that would be awesome."

One fan brought along his replica world championship trophy to share with others. He allowed them to pose for photos with it as a gesture of good will .

Inside AT&T Park, the bright lights seemed to lift the spirit of fans enjoying a favorite past-time: a game with a new clock being tested by Major League Baseball. It's a new rule for spring training to quicken the pace of games.

But some things don't change. From fans with hot dogs in the stand to the ones armed with mitts.

"I want to catch one of these foul balls," said Bob Estrella of Benicia. Or the parent who passes on the love of the game, "From my dad, to me, to my girls now. I'm a single mom to three of them," said Angelica Arvaya.

As always, there's the split loyalty of friends - fans of the Giants and the A's attending the game together.

A's fans say a championship victory is long overdue for their beloved team, and Giants fans say they're anticipating a fourth championship win.

It's only the beginning for a season that's about to start.