Programming note: Tune in to Giants October Quest for complete wrap-around coverage of Game 2 today at 4 p.m. leading up to the first pitch, and again right after the final out, only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!
SAN FRANCISCO -- Rick Alagna's 400 find yielded a priceless experience.
Alagna, the software engineer from Pleasanton who bought Hunter Pence's historic "triple-double" broken bat when it was somehow mistakenly put up for sale in the team's Dugout Store, volunteered to return the bat to the team Wednesday.
In return, the Giants treated Alagna and his wife, Terri, to watch Game 1 of the World Series in a luxury suite -- and not just any suite.
"We have had the BEST giants games of our lives!!!!" Rick Alagna wrote in an email. "(CEO) Larry Baer gave us 2 tix to his suite & Orlando Cepeda & Gaylord Perry were there!!! So, I am pinching myself a bit & fooling myself into believing that maybe that bat DID bring some extra Mojo' to the team!!!"
The bat somehow made contact with the ball three times as it splintered apart, leading to a bizarre, bases-clearing double that loomed large in the Giants' Game 7 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS -- the only Game 7 win of any kind in Giants history.
Now Pence has the relic, which he had named "Fryer," back in his possession. And the Alagnas have a freshly signed Pence bat, along with a promise to meet the right fielder at a later date.
Alagna was randomly selected among 10 fans who wanted the right to purchase the bat. He also beat 15-to-1 odds to win the right to purchase the "triple-double" baseball for 150. Alagna turned them both over, saying they were a matching set that deserved to stay together.
The Alagnas will be guests of the Giants again for Game 2 Thursday night.
Oh yeah, and one more thing: The Giants issued a full refund for 650.
Alagna might go and blow some of it on Lotto tickets.
All photos courtesy Rick Alagna