Photography by Michelle Kilfeather (unless otherwise noted)
Here we go.
Our first episode of Season 5 was recorded out on the water. McCovey Cove is familiar to Giants fans, whether you've been in the water or not. It's that tiny waterway nestled between the ballpark (PacBell Park, SBC Park, AT&T Park, Oracle Park ...) and the strip of human-engineered land across the way. Baseball players sometimes hit baseballs out of the ballpark and into the water. Balls can land in the cove "on the fly" (directly from the air) or on a bounce.
When this happens, much like a group of koi racing for crumbs, humans in kayaks paddle and vie for the floating sports balls. It's a thing. A whole thing.
In Part 1, we first meet our captain on the water that day, Jay Broemmel. Jay introduces us to McCovey Cove Dave, perhaps the most famous of those vying for souvenirs six months a year.
For Part 2, you'll have to bear with us a moment. We're gonna go stats nerd on you.
As of the publication of this episode, the San Francisco Giants have played a total of 1,892 games at the stadium known these days as Oracle Park. Each of those games sees a minimum of 27 at-bats for Giants players. That leaves us with at least 51,057 chances for a hitter to send a home run ball into the waters of McCovey Cove. And it's happened a mere 97 times. That's something like a 0.19 percent chance that any batter will accomplish the feat.
And on the very day this July when we boarded the Canoecycle, lo and behold, we got a splash hit.
Hear all about it from the human in a kayak who got that Lamont Wade, Jr.'s, home run ball and more.
We recorded this podcast in McCovey Cove in July 2022.