As the San Francisco Giants were in the midst of winning their second World Series title in the last three years, I began to wonder who among my friends and family were actually fans of the team that used to call New York City its home.
Other than my grandfather, former City of Dunkirk mayor Gilbert W. Snyder Sr., and my cousin Teddy, whom I'm not 100-percent certain is even still a fan, I couldn't think of a single person I knew that was a Giants fan. Then, one day while I was at my parents', my father, Gib Snyder Jr., who covers Dunkirk City Hall for the OBSERVER, reminded me that Mayor Anthony Dolce was a fan. And not only that, he mentioned that the mayor, and his wife Jordan, made the trip to Detroit in the hopes that his Giants would clinch the title.
I've known the mayor at least since our time together playing Babe Ruth League baseball for Boorady Optical, but I had forgot that he was an avid Giants fan, which I must say is a much better selection than his brother Nate, who, for whatever reason, follows the Boston Red Sox.
Pictured is City of Dunkirk Mayor Anthony J. Dolce and his wife Jordan, during Game 4 of Major League Baseball’s World Series, in?Detroit. The mayor is an avid San Francisco Giants fan, and was on hand to watch the team win its second World Series title in the last three seasons.
On Friday, I had a chance to stop by my friend the mayor's office to chat about his experience on a cold, rainy night October night in Detroit.
"That would have to be, most definitely, top five," Dolce said of where seeing the Giants win the World Series in person ranks on his list of greatest things he's witnessed in his life. "Obviously, birth of children would have to rank higher, but this would no doubt be top five."
The plan to make the trip to Detroit was hatched early during the Fall Classic.
"I was looking early on to go," Dolce said. "I was looking at tickets pretty early on and making plans early on. I was really close to going to Game 3, but it didn't happen and after they won Game 3, prices really plummeted on the tickets, because Tigers' fans were looking to dump them. They were down three games to none and after they won Game 3, I said, 'that's it, we're going.'"
Given his duties as father, husband and mayor, Dolce's time to do things to help him unwind is limited. But he wasn't about to miss his chance to see his team go for its seventh World Series title in franchise history.
"We didn't leave the park until almost 2 a.m.," Dolce said. "Players kept coming back out. The general manager (Brian Sabean) brings the trophy back out, (there were) tons of interviews and there was still a couple hundred Giants fans celebrating in the park.
"After the game we got down to the second row behind the Giants' dugout," Dolce continued. "Our seats were in row 23 behind the Giants' dugout, so after the game we had the chance to get down there right away and after a couple of people left, I actually got the chance to get in the first row and on top of the dugout, so I got a good look at the people coming out."
Game 4 went extra innings, giving Dolce plenty of chances to pick out a few memorable moments.
"(Matt) Cain pitched another wonderful game," Dolce said. "I think (Marco) Scutaro's base hit was nice to see. (That) scores (Ryan) Theriot. They played small ball all year, they manufactured runs, so that was exciting. And watching the Triple Crown winner (Miguel Cabrera) strikeout looking to end the game was definitely a nice moment."
Sharing in the celebration with the players, who came out to greet the fans, was also something that Dolce won't soon forget.
"They didn't do any of that," Dolce said of whether or not the remaining fans were showered with champagne. "But the players did bring the trophy out and I know my wife really liked that all of the players came out with their wives and girlfriends and kids and family and stuff like that. So that was neat."
Some people are born into families that follow certain teams. For instance, and thankfully I might add, I was born into a house that followed the New York Yankees. Other people pick their teams because of certain players and never look back, even after the player has moved on or retired.
"I only know a few (Giants' fans)," Dolce said. "Growing up, Will Clark was my idol for whatever reason. He was a lefty, I'm a lefty, and I really enjoyed watching him play. I like the position. He played first base, but unfortunately I could not hit, or play defense like Will Clark."
With his schedule as tight as it is, and given the Giants play on the West coast, Dolce has had to find other ways to follow the team.
"It very hard to watch them during the year," Dolce said. "I was joking with Jordan and I said I saw more playoff games than I was able to watch (regular season games). They're on so late that I probably caught five games during the regular season. They're just on too late to watch them all the way through. Obviously I made sure I watched all the post season games, but as far as the regular season, no, I didn't watch that many."
Having the memory of the Giants' 2010 title still fresh in his memory, Dolce mentioned how sweet the 2012 title was as well.
"I remember a few years back when they were five or six outs from closing it out," Dolce said referring to the Giants losing the 2002 World Series to the Anaheim Angels. "I remember them blowing it to the Angels and losing Game 7, but (beating) Texas was great to see, because there was that long drought from the last time they won one. But this had to be more exciting because of being there and watching (Miguel) Cabrera strikeout to end it ... And it was a sweep. It was awesome."
Despite their lack of hitting the Giants don't hit for enormous power numbers - Dolce thinks with the pitching and defense that they have and will hopefully be bringing back, they should compete for another National League West title in 2013.
"Obviously they don't hit much," Dolce said. "They don't have a lot of players that can hit the ball consistently and (AT&T Park) doesn't allow for many home runs. But the style that they play and with that pitching and the defense that they have, I think they can definitely win the (NL) West and as long as they finish ahead of the (Los Angeles) Dodgers, I'll be happy."
Even though he was on the road and away from the city, like a mother, the mayor's work was not put on hold.
"It was a Sunday afternoon, we flew up there real quick, it was a nice quick drive and we were back Monday by 5 p.m.," Dolce said. "But Monday morning I had a conference call with a bunch of folks in (Chautauqua County) in regards to hurricane Sandy. So by 9:30 the next morning, I was back to work, still keeping an eye on things."
Despite the time away from his duties as mayor, the cold, rainy weather, and the heat he will undoubtedly take from those in the city who like to complain about pretty much every decision he makes, Dolce noted that he had no second thoughts about making the trip.
"It was 44 degrees," Dolce said. "When the game started it got down to 40 degrees and it was a cold rain from the third inning on. I said to Jordan that I think I've watched football games in better weather than this. By the time we left, we were frozen.
"It was (worth it)," Dolce continued. "The price of tickets went down significantly and it was a nice quick trip. It's something I'm glad we did."