Revisiting Seals Stadium – WSU COM 561 Final Audio story

This is the revised version of my audio story, chronicling my trip back to the site of Seals Stadium and trying to see if anyone remembered or even knew of what happened there many years ago.

A few weeks ago, I decided to interview San Francisco Giants fans who were walking into shops at the Potrero Center on Bryant Street. The complex, home to a Safeway, an Office Depot and other stores, was on the site where the San Francisco Giants played in their first years in the west coast. Before that, the baseball park known as Seals Stadium was home to the San Francisco Seals, a popular minor league club. Willie Mays and Joe DiMaggio, two of the biggest stars in baseball history, called that stadium home. Now people park on the spot where center field was and even die hard baseball fans do not know the grounds they are standing on.

I arrived at the site and looked for people wearing lots of Giants and World Series gear. They were plentiful. I used my cell phone’s voice memo app as a recorder and asked several people. Some gave me dull responses. Some were interested. The sound of cars were always in the background.

I went into a bagel shop, Safeway and across the street to a baseball themed bar and grill to get people’s take. At the bar, I recorded my conversation with a colorful San Francisco character.

The piece was concluded with a trip to the Office Depot store where home plate once sat. I had an employee show me the way.

Needing an opening, while driving home, I stopped by the remains of Candlestick Park. That was the park where the Giants moved to after leaving Seals Stadium. It is now almost completely demolished. I thought that being at the ruins of Candlestick, whose memories are much fresher in the minds of Giants fans, would be a good jumping off point to examine the fate of the previous ghost of a park.

I edited it and submitted the piece to my class.

I took the advice and criticism from my fellow students and did some reshuffling and a little bit of re-recording. A common critique was that the part of the original piece that took place in the bar and grill across the street from the stadium site felt out of place. It was the one time after arriving on the spot that I walked away, the noise was too loud and, while John was a good character, he added little to the story.

Also I condensed some of the interview subjects and put a sound layer underneath the street sequences to give them a more consistent sound.

The one element that John provided in the original post was he was the one who told me the site of home plate. So removing John meant I had no one telling me to go to Office Depot.

I re-recorded me filling in the missing exposition. Now I just found out that piece of information. My source is not important. I inserted that into the Audition Timeline. When I was at Office Depot making the original recordings, I stood still at one point and recorded 3 minutes of ambient sound. I put that track underneath my new narration to make it sound like the re-recording was done in the same location.

Another criticism I received was the ending was too abrupt. I wrote a quick wrap up expressing my thoughts on memories and finding a connection to forgotten moments of  the past.

As I did with the other new recording, I put a bed of ambient sounds from the store to provide a consistent background.

I mixed the levels, created an MP3 and uploaded to Soundcloud, and that finished my final draft.