The last time Ashley and Jimmy Bruce attended a Giants game together was 1999, the year before the opening of what is known now as AT&T Park.
The sister and her little brother would bundle up for a typical blustery summer game back then, in the Barry Bonds generation. They were taught the love of orange and black by their father, Randy, who followed the franchise from its days at New York's Polo Grounds to the West Coast, by parents whose second date was a Giants game in 1984 and by grandparents who were serious Giants fans.
"It's in our blood," Jamie said.
Now the Bruces are Giants season-ticket holders from Petaluma, Calif. She is a 27-year-old special education teacher and he is 23 and a tattoo artist. They savored the whole experience on Monday at Game 2 of this National League Championship Series, watching the Giants sail to a 7-1 victory over the Cardinals, and included was the opportunity to lean on each other and represent Giants fans on episode 23 of the hit MLB.com game show "Bucks on the Pond."
"It's our first game we've been together since Candlestick, since we were little itty-bitties," Ashley said on an AT&T Park concourse amid the postseason din. "We [usually] bring friends. You know, time-frames -- I'm a teacher, he's a tattoo artist, different schedules. But it worked out. I had today off at school, so it worked out perfect."
"Bucks on the Pond" is hosted by Jeremy Brisiel, and you might be a part of it when you least expect it. Fans at the ballpark interact with MLB.com's studio through the magic of technology in conjunction with game action inside. In creating a new experience for fans, MLB.com is giving people a chance to earn bucks while they spend bucks at the ballpark.
Contestants are asked a trivia question -- general knowledge and baseball -- on each pitch during a half-inning of baseball. Get the question correct and win money. Get the question wrong and it's a strike. Three strikes and you're out.
The questions' difficulty and value increase with the number of outs in the on-field action: $5 easy questions to start, $10 medium-difficulty questions after one out, $20 hard questions after two outs. If the contestants last longer than the team's at-bat, they win the bucks in their bank.
Fans are chosen randomly by the "Bucks" crew, and new episodes are being released every Tuesday and Thursday this season. This marks the 12th different ballpark to be visited. It is the fourth special postseason episode, following shows at Yankee Stadium, Busch Stadium and Comerica Park.
What did the Bruces think of being approached?
"I had no idea," she said. "I was like, 'We're at the Giants game!' It was awesome."
"I thought it was going to be a waste of time, but it turned out good," he said. "Tons of fun, man. Quite an experience."
Their father "basically inherited" his season tickets from his oldest brother, Ken, who passed away suddenly in May 2010. "Winning the World Series was extra special for that reason," Ashley said.
"My dad came out to California for a change in '83/'84 and stayed with my Uncle Ken in San Francisco, where he met our mom, Sharon, in '84. Their second date was a Giants game."
Ashley attended Matt Cain's perfect game, and you'll have to watch the video to see whether they could finish off one themselves. Perfectos are rare among the first 23 episodes. This was the opposite of sibling rivalry. They fed off each other, bailed each other out, and after he answered a correct geography question, she said, "That's my little brother."
In addition to the Giants, teams visited by the "Bucks" crew in 2012 include the Astros, Cardinals, Cubs, Marlins, Red Sox, Reds, Royals, Orioles, Tigers, White Sox and Yankees. Bookmark MLB.com/bucks and be on the lookout for the "Bucks" crew at your ballpark.