So, let’s get down the string of events that seemed to lead to the introduction of Rally Lights.
• The Giants installed new stadium lights which better focused light onto the field, as opposed to the stands. The side effect was that the stands got much darker.
• During Friday night’s game, the Colorado Rockies brought in Jake McGee, a pitcher who worked very, very slowly.
• After walking Denard Span, Brandon Belt came up and began working a very long at-bat, with a lot of foul balls, which let fans get restless.
• Around the 6th or 7th pitch of the at-bat, someone in either the left field bleachers or the lower reserved deck behind the visitor’s dugout turned on their flashlight. With it being noticeable in the darkened stands, fans in the opposite area turned on theirs.
• As the at-bat continued, fans got restless and noticed the flashlights on. Others began to do it as well.
• By the 10th pitch, the crowd began cheering the fans with the lights, even though many could not see the full effect. The broadcasters noticed it. Dave Flemming on the radio was unsure if it was planned or not.
• As the lights shined, Belt hit a ball to center field that was misplayed (not likely due to the lights, more of a bad hop). Denard Span scored and started what would be a 2-out, 4-run rally. It was the Giants’ only win in the 4-game series.
So…yeah. On one hand, this came from fans who were getting bored with slow action on the field…kind of like the wave. On the other hand, it looked amazing!
— Nightcrawler 🌃 (@ogladihoiram) April 15, 2017
This sort of behavior by fans is not unique. Rock concerts see it, as Jon Miller noted on the air. In WWE, one wrestler named Bray Wyatt, who has a back-swamp character and walks into a darkened arena carrying a lantern, found the fans turning on their flashlights. It was embraced by him, calling them his “Fireflies” and is generally one of the most popular entrances in professional wrestling.
Will this continue? If any team can make it happen, the usually sold-out Giants have the fans in the stands to do it. Plus, the mid-8th inning anthem (if the Giants are leading) is a song called “Lights,” an ode to San Francisco. It’s not perfect, as a #RallyLights would be more useful to energize the crowd while behind.
But, hell, I love it. Even if it goes corporately-prompted, it looks cool. And we’ll always have the reality that it was fan created, an organic fan behavior. Hey, once that’s how we saw the wave, too.