Some might tell you that Jonathan Sanchez's good luck charm was his father watching him pitch for the first time as a pro. Those people are about to learn of the Power of the Panda.
Reader Ryan shares a tale of four friends and one panda suit who decided to take in a game at AT&T Park. Did we mention a struggling young lefty was making a spot start that night?
Ryan, take it away:
My friend Scott had the clever idea of renting a Panda costume to bring to the game in support of Pablo getting the shaft for the All Star Game. We cabbed down to the park, Scott in full Panda mode, scalped 4 tickets in the bleachers and never saw the seats. We were bombarded by people from the get go, taking pictures, shaking hands, kissing babies, the panda costume was a hit in the rightfield arcade, even Krukow on air called it "genius". Together we must have received hundreds of calls and texts saying we were on TV, it was hilarious. We were holding signs up that read "Pablo is My Homie", "Panda Loves Kruk and Kuip", and "LA SUCKS" in right center when Pablo crushed the first pitch he saw into the arcade. It flew over Scott the Panda, ricocheted off our friend Amy, bounced off my leg, and into the hand of our friend Matt! We caught the Pablo home run ball!!!
We were so thrilled after that and being preoccupied with the Panda being so popular, it took a text from my brother reading "Sanchez is Dealing, Check the Scoreboard" in the 7th for me to realize the moment. I immediately huddled the group and explained that the "Panda-monium" must take a back seat to possible Giants History, so from the 7th on we soaked in every pitch. After the called 3rd strike, we realized that we've all just experienced our greatest sporting event moment, ever.
But the icing on this cake was complete when we ventured post game to Momo's. Scott the Panda was getting free drinks, all night, even tending bar, when who of all people appear, but Jonathon Sanchez himself! He was there maybe ten minutes, but still enough time for us to congratulate and personally thank him for the incredible night he helped give to my friends and I. He was humble and happy to let us snap off what could be my all time favorite photo....The Panda, Amy, Sanchez, and myself. So Scott the Panda was famous, Matt caught the Sandoval ball, Amy got her picture with her Giants crush, Sanchez,
and we all got to see a piece of San Francisco Giants History!