John Steinbeck, Baseball Fan

Wednesday, 27 October 2010 03:32 PM Written by 

San Francisco -- Westin St. Francis Hotel

 John Steinbeck was a big baseball fan.

We know he listened to the Yankees-Pirates World Series on his AM car radio during his "Travels With Charley" trip. What else was there before talk-radio was invented? 

Steinbeck was also wealthier than a left-handed major league starting pitcher, which is why he stayed at palaces like the St. Francis Hotel, where he arrived 50 years ago yesterday. San Francisco city columnist extraordinaire Herb Caen, a friend of Steinbeck's, wrote in his Oct. 28, 1960 column in the San Francisco Chronicle that Steinbeck had "chugged" into town on Wednesday, Oct. 26, "from New York." Actually, Steinbeck and wife Elaine had driven down the coast from Seattle.  

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But would Steinbeck fork over $15,500 for a single ticket to tonight's opening game of the Giants-Rangers series? 

That's the asking price right now for one seat on StubHub! -- Infield Club 215, Row F, to be exact.

Of course, since the U.S. dollar was worth about seven times more in 1960 than what it is today, $15,500 in our inflated currency would have been about $2,000 for Steinbeck out-of-pocket -- about the cost of his new 1960 GMC pickup truck Rocinante, not counting the $750 camper shell.

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