SAN FRANCISCO — Bryan Stow couldn't watch his favorite rivalry Monday night. The Giants fan remains in a medically induced coma, the result of the beating he absorbed outside of Dodger Stadium some 12 nights earlier on opening day.
If Stow were able to see the proceedings, he wouldn't have believed his eyes. The Giants formally presented a World Series ring to Juan Uribe, the turncoat who helped San Francisco win its first baseball championship before jumping to Los Angeles, and his former teammates smothered him with hugs. Then the two teams gathered together at the mound to deliver a sermon of tolerance. San Francisco reliever Jeremy Affeldt and L.A. second baseman Jamey Carroll took turns addressing the crowd.
Affeldt's voice choked, and when he gathered himself he applauded the Giants-Dodgers rivalry.
"We ask that you respect that rivalry, and respect each other as fans ..." he said. "We play with a lot of competitiveness on the field. But when the last out is made, that rivalry ends on the field."
It was a stunning show of solidarity among teams whose fans consistently serenade one another with chants "Beat L.A.!" and "Giants suck!"
And except for the ring ceremony, it all revolved around Stow. The Giants dedicated the game to the San Jose paramedic, and he was a true 10th man, a presence that infused the entire evening, from frequent appearances on the video board to sporadic calls of "Bryan Stow" from the stands, as if he were a rock star.
Especially conspicuous was a swarm of about 80 white-sweatshirt-clad men and women who stood near the AT&T turnstiles before the game and roamed the aisles during. They were representatives of American Medical Response — the largest private ambulance provider in the nation and Stow's employer. Their shirts read "FOR STOW" and included his badge number, P21732.
The AMR staffers carried buckets, rubber boots and plastic gas cans to collect money for Stow's medical bills and his children's education funds, and they seemed to be gathering a lot of it.
Isaac Quevedo, who has worked alongside Stow since 2006, remembered sitting in the same section as Stow at a Giants-Mets game at AT&T last year. He heard about an attack at Dodger Stadium while listening to KNBR on opening night, but didn't know Stow was the victim until another paramedic called with the news. Quevedo described his friend as laid-back and loyal.
"Anything we can do to help him — because it's going to be a long, long road," he said. "And if the tables were turned, Bryan would be the first to do something for us."
That AMR response is not limited to Monday's efforts at AT&T. The company held a fundraiser last Wednesday at its Santa Clara offices and raised $127,000 for Stow and his family. Meanwhile, AMR's Southern California group took drive-up donations at Dodger Stadium on Monday, and reportedly had collected $15,000 by noon.
The Giants have already made a $10,000 contribution to the Bryan Stow Fund, established through the San Francisco Police Credit Union. And the team gathered memorabilia and high-end tickets for a silent auction held in the Giants Community Clubhouse through the first three innings of Monday's game.
Of course, togetherness isn't the only feeling engendered by the Stow incident. Baseball fans everywhere have expressed outrage that his attackers have not been caught and concern over the possibility of copycat crimes.