The Fantasy Flight

north_pole_snc_feature.jpg

The Fantasy Flight

Christmas came early in San Francisco for a handful of special kids and their families. The Make-A-Wish Foundation partnered with United Airlines for the fourth year to put on its Fantasy Flight to the North Pole for children from four local hospitals.

Right when families checked in at the elaborate Christmas-themed ticket counter, the kids received big teddy bears from Build-A-Bear, Santa hats, reindeer antlers and other festive accessories. Seeing the children’s eyes light up as they eagerly approached the decked out terminal and rushed towards their departure gate was such a special sight.

While waiting to board the flight the kids got their faces painted, had the chance to hang out with Olympic Gold Medalists Kristi Yamaguchi and Michael Johnson, play catch with Oakland A’s great Vida Blue, and take pictures with their favorite bay area mascots.

This unique holiday experience gave these children and their families a stress free day to fly around the Bay Area in a Christmas 747 aircraft and land in a winter wonderland. Once everyone was on the plane you could hear everything from nervous first time flyers to excited Fantasy Flight patrons as we took off towards the “North Pole”. Unfortunately about halfway through the flight the Captain announced that due to some ice storms we wouldn’t be able to land, luckily his quick contact with the big man Santa himself arranged to meet us in mid air and come visit the kids on the plane. Christmas cheers were heard loud and clear along with caroling as Santa came through the aisles to meet the kids.

Our plane landed at a different gate that was transformed to look like the North Pole, complete with giant sleighs, nutcrackers, red and green balloon arches and a snow machine! The kids were greeted with more gifts and the parents a 200-dollar gift card to Target to buy Christmas presents. Everyone lined up to sit on Santa’s lap, make one more Christmas wish and take a holiday portrait to make this unique holiday memory last a lifetime.

Giants minor leaguer, Walnut Creek native pitches perfect game

Giants minor leaguer, Walnut Creek native pitches perfect game

BOX SCORE

A Giants minor leaguer made history on Tuesday night in Kentucky.

Left-handed pitcher Domenic Mazza pitched a perfect game for the Augusta GreenJackets against the Lexington Legends.

It is the first nine-inning perfect game in the history of the Class-A South Atlanta League.

Mazza needed just 85 pitches to complete the feat and struck out nine Legends batters in the effort. The last three outs were all flyball outs and the final out set off a wild celebration by GreenJackets players, who mobbed Mazza.

Including Tuesday's performance, the 22-year-old Mazza owns a 3.48 ERA in four starts for Augusta this season. In 2016, he made 14 starts for Augusta and compiled a 3.93 ERA.

Born in Walnut Creek, Mazza attended Clayton Valley High School and played his college ball at UC Santa Barbara. The Giants drafted him in the 22nd round of the 2015 MLB Draft.

Dodgers call up top prospect day after Giants promote Arroyo

Dodgers call up top prospect day after Giants promote Arroyo

Anything you can do, I can do better.

A day after the Giants called up top prospect Christian Arroyo, the Dodgers have summoned their top prospect Cody Bellinger.

Like Arroyo, Bellinger is 21 years old. But the Dodgers' first base prospect is more highly touted.

Entering the 2017 season, Baseball America had Bellinger ranked as the No. 7 overall prospect in baseball while ESPN's Keith Law had him at No. 6. Since the beginning of the season, with prospects ahead of him graduating to the major leagues, Bellinger moved up to No. 3 on Law's list.

Arroyo and Bellinger are getting a taste of the Giants-Dodgers rivalry right away. Arroyo made his debut Monday and batted sixth. On Tuesday, Bellinger is batting eighth against Ty Blach and playing left field.

In 18 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City, Bellinger hit .343/.429/.627 with four doubles, five home runs, 15 RBI and seven stolen bases.

To make room on the 25-man roster, the Dodgers optioned outfielder Brett Eibner to Triple-A. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Joe Gunkel was designated for assignment.