Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fresno - Dodgers Have Their Fair Share of Fans in Giant Country

Driving through Old Town Clovis, California
So I’m in Fresno today of all places, due to a work assignment.  And I had some time yesterday morning to drive around. So I eventually end up steering myself towards downtown Clovis because I know this is the hometown of former Dodger great McKay Christensen.   
Low and behold, what do I find?   A baseball card shop.  I didn’t give it much thought, but I was wearing a Dodger road jersey because I often wear it since it is rather comfy and hides my overweight torso well.  As soon as I entered the greeting came, “Dodger fan! How are you doing?  Man, you should be happy after this weekend.”

Clovis Cards & Coins, Store front

“Yeah,” I said.  “I’d be a lot happier if the games weren’t handed to us.”  To which Brad, the owner of the store responded a number of truths regarding Aubrey Huff in right field.  So I asked, “what is the breakdown more or less, of Giant fans to Dodger fans?  What is it about a 70-30 breakdown?”

He said that it was closer to a 60-40 split, “and that’s a bit higher this year because of the Giants winning the World Series, a lot of closet fans are coming out of the woodwork.”  I had kind of expected the breakdown to be higher in the Giants favor, since this is the home of their Triple A farm club.  “The latino community pulls mainly for the Dodgers, that pull of Fernando Valenzuela from years ago set up a well rooted fan base,” said another guy in the store. 
I find it interesting that Fresno has as many Dodger fans as they do.  As a teenager, back in the 70s, my Boy Scout Troop regularly came up to a camp in the High Sierras near Fresno each summer, (a place called Camp Chawanakee on Shaver Lake).  Most of the other troops were from this region and we had our share of arguments with the Giant fans among them, but there was always a group of Dodger fans there too.  When you consider that the Giants had their Single A team here from 1958 to 1988 and then the Grizzlies Triple A club from 1998 to present, they must have a strong following here, right?
Well, when ESPN Deportes surveyed the Spanish speaking community in the region this off-season to see what games their listeners wanted to receive the results were surprising.  General Manager Bob Eurich, of KSLK (FM 96.1) based south about 40 miles in Visalia, said “it wasn’t even close.”  The hispanic community wanted Jaime Jarrin, Pepe Iñiguez, Fernando Valenzuela and 162 games of the Dodgers.
So based on all that information, it wasn’t surprising that Brad’s card shop had a lot of cool Dodger stuff, and he started showing it to me.
I apologize for this blurry image.  Here are a number of Dodger collectibles found at the Clovis store, signed photos from Koufax, Sutton, Ethier, Billingsley, Snider
First was a ticket stub from the 1958 Coliseum Roy Campanella charity game. “Wow,” I said, “How much did that set you back?”  I should have known better, “Quite a bit,” he said, since this was something I could be potentially be negotiating for, it would be in his best interest to tell me what he paid for it, (slapping my forehead!), as I was a potential buyer. Then he showed me an authentic game used Clem Labine home jersey and glove.  How did they catch with those old mitts?  There was a Koufax 8x10 photo, a Duke Snider autographed bat and a section of the store that was all Dodger memorabilia with stuff from Garvey, Sutton, Drysdale.  Additionally I saw some real cool Laker stuff and a priceless large photo of the Fearsome Foursome Rams, signed by Jones, Olsen, Grier and Lundy.
I returned later to the store and mentioned the blog to Brad and asked if he minded me mentioning it.  No problem he said.  So if you ever head up to Yosemite, stop by Brad’s store.  It is: CLOVIS CARDS & COINS, located at 442 Pollasky Ave, Clovis CA 93612 (Tel: 559-325-1961).  It is located in a very nice area of Downtown Clovis, surrounded by antique shops, restaurants, coffee shops and a lot of shade.  He seems to be buying cool Dodger paraphernalia constantly, I’m sure if you drop by, he’ll share with you some of his recent treasures.

No comments:

Post a Comment