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California dreamin'

By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times
published October 27, 2002

WHAT'S THAT?: So just what is it like to sit through a game at Edison Field when the crowd is roaring and the ThunderStix are in full use? "It was as if we had landed on another planet, where people who looked like humans communicated only with 2-foot-long red plastic tubes they slapped together furiously to create the sound of metal drums," Sean Mitchell recounted in the Los Angeles Times. "There were more than 40,000 pairs of them flapping foul pole to foul pole. Of all the gimmicks and marketing ideas that have changed the faced of major-league baseball in the last 25 years -- the wild card, interleague play, retro uniform days, even the Angels' big-screen Rally Monkey -- nothing has so altered the experience of a game as much as these ThunderStix."

THE RALLY POSSUM? When groundskeepers had to roll out the seldom-used tarp because of rain showers Friday night, a possum jumped out to greet them. "It scared the living daylights out of me," crew member Mike Clark said. "But when you haven't pulled the tarp out since April, you know something's probably living in there."

STAR POWER: Comedian/actor Robin Williams was in the Giants dugout before the game, carrying on until he noticed a large crowd of reporters had formed behind him. "Two-drink minimum," he said. ... Hall of Famer Rod Carew threw out the ceremonial first pitch. ... Brian McKnight performed the national anthem.

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