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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

November 5, 2011 at 2:25 PM

What a great location for a baseball press box . . .

Unfortunately (from that perspective), we’re playing football here Saturday at AT&T Park, Cal against Washington State. This, of course, is the one-year home of the Bears as their Memorial Stadium complex in Berkeley is underdoing a massive renovation.

It’s going to take a little getting used to. For those who know the AT&T Park layout, we’ll try to paint the picture. We’re directly behind what would be home plate (if this were August). Stretching from the rightfield line to centerfield is a large grandstand seating maybe 8-10,000, making for the rectangle in front of it that is the playing field. WSU’s bench is in front of that grandstand — sort of what would be short right-centerfield.

The Bears haven’t been extravagantly supported in their home away from home. The Fresno State opener drew only 31,000-plus. The USC game in October attracted 44,000-plus and the Utah game two weeks ago was good for 35,000-plus. But that happens when you’re slogging through a 4-4 season, just 1-4 in the Pac-12.

It’s a cool and overcast day and rain is possible sometime after the 3:30 p.m. kickoff. There’s a little breeze off the bay, naturally.

The game at this site has naturally given rise to stories among the WSU traveling party of baseball games people have attended at Candlestick Park. I recall my wife and I catching one back in the ’80s in late July and simply freezing high above the rightfield line.

AT&T Park is warmer for baseball, but it’s not necessarily St. Louis, either. We came here a couple of years ago in mid-May and had choice seats — like $55 each — back behind the first-base line. Unfortunately, that was also out of the sun, and with a Sunday breeze blowing, we were starting down the barrel of a teeth-chattering day.

The solution: We moved out to a spot high above the leftfield foul line. They were probably $12 seats, but they were warm.

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