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Mario Alioto: On 40 Years with the Giants

Mario's life with the San Francisco Giants.


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©2012 S.F. Giants

Mario Alioto has spent most of his life working for the San Francisco Giants. As a teen, Alioto was a batboy. Later, he joined the Giants’ executive ranks. Currently senior vice president of business operations, the Alamo resident shared some thoughts on the World Series champs.


 

Being a batboy was the greatest possible job as a kid. Willie Mays’ last game at Candlestick was in 1973. When he came onto the field, there was a huge cheer. Then, Mays asked me to help him warm up. There I was, playing catch with the great Willie Mays.

After the 1989 earthquake, I went into an area where we had invited special guests and saw Joe DiMaggio sitting by himself. We were hearing stories of fire and destruction, and dealing with uncertainty. It was humbling. I thought, “There’s one of the greatest players in baseball history, but in this moment, we’re the same.”

During the 1999 season, we were the first team to have a promotional bobblehead giveaway. It was of Willie Mays. Now, everyone does specialized bobbleheads. I was on vacation with my family in Rome, and outside of the Vatican, I saw bobbleheads of the Pope.

When Matt Cain threw his perfect game last year, I was at a meeting away from the park. I heard he had a no-hitter going in the fourth or fifth inning. When you get to a certain point in the game, you get that feeling: “This could be the night.” I drove straight back.

Two of my sons were batboys during the 2010 season. When we won the World Series in Texas, I went down to the clubhouse and couldn’t get in for a while. But
I knew my son was in there. It was great to know he was a part of that; we were able to share the experience from different perspectives. It’s a very special thing for a father and son to share.

Winning again last year was wonderful, especially after waiting so long for the first one. It seemed like it might never happen, and then two in three years. It’s time to clean the slate and try again. That’s the beauty of baseball: There are peaks and valleys, but you get a fresh start every year.

My mom is the fist-pump grandma. She’s 87 and from Sicily, and she comes to a lot of the games. She started doing the fist pump, and they caught her doing it on camera—not knowing that she’s my mom. During the playoffs and the World Series, they kept showing her, and the fans went nuts.


 

The S.F. Giants’ home opener is April 5. sfgiants.com.

 

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