Thousands swarm AT&T Park for Giants Fan Fest


More than 42,500 people showed up for the event. Dozens camped out to be the first to walk through the gates at 10 a.m.

The World Series champions met with the fans and signed autographs for them.

One fan told ABC7 News, "[I'm a] regular kayaker, I go to most of the Giants games, and I wait out at McCovey Cove for these guys, these are home run balls that I got last year. And this one is from Brandon Belt, first baseman."

There was also a chance for fans to go behind the scenes to look at places like the Giants clubhouse, which is normally off limits to the public.

But Fan Fest isn't just for the fans. Closer Sergio Romo admitted Friday that he gets something out of all of this too. "I still feel like a little kid," he said. "I still really don't believe all this is really happening to myself, personally in my life. To get the reception that I've got in San Francisco since I've been in the city, since I've been able to put on a Giants jersey, it's very motivating really, very fulfilling because I walk out to go warm up and it's like wow, I'm getting a big old cheer."

During Fan Fest 2011, the Giants had won the World Series and the crowds were unbelievable. At one point, some fans who couldn't get in rushed the Second Street gate out of frustration and tried to force their way in. Organizers say they learned from the experience and made better plans this time.

Giants Senior VP of Communications Staci Slaughter says they took efforts to relieve some of the pressure on the building itself, "We put the World Series trophy, the National League Trophy, the World Baseball Classic trophy, the America's Cup trophy, they're going to be all house at Pier 48, which we're calling the 'Trophy Pavilion,'" she said. "So, we're encouraging fans to stop there on their way into Fan Fest or on their way out, and they can get their pictures taken with the trophy. So, we've kind of spread out the footprint."

Organizers hoped the changes would allow everyone to spread out and enjoy the entire event, rather than simply making a beeline for the players.

The Giants start spring training in Arizona on Tuesday.

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