As a native of the Northeast, Tim DeCapua has always had a hard time explaining his passion for a team that frequently finishes its games long after midnight on the East Coast. As a youth, DeCapua frequently wore his black and orange hat with the interlocking "SF" logo to school, only to be ridiculed by classmates whose allegiances were inextricably linked to either the New York Yankees or the New York Mets.
DeCapua attempted to explain how his father grew up in New York during a time when the Giants were still one of the local teams, pointing out that the Mets uniform included the color orange as a nod to the Giants after they departed for San Francisco. The explanation did not satisfy his classmates then, as it was not enough to explain why he was the only one who did not root for the Mets or the Yankees.
It was then that DeCapua appealed to something that all of his classmates could relate: bedtime. Tim DeCapua explained that his father allowed him to stay up late to watch the Giants games, and that they often shared junk food as they watched the West Coast baseball feed. This was something that most of his classmates understood, but there was one Mets fan in particular who refused to back off and continued to try to get DeCapua to join him in rooting for the Mets. That classmate was Jody Rookstool, and he attempted to be persuasive in the nicest way possible.
Jody Rookstool told Tim DeCapua that his father had also grown up rooting for the Giants, but began rooting for the Mets after the team left New York for San Francisco. It was further noted to DeCapua that his father should be rooting for the "home" team, not for some team that abandoned the city so many years ago. It was at this point that DeCapua realized he had to produce something tangible that would explain to Rookstool why both he and his father continued to root for the San Francisco Giants.
It took some time to find the dusty old photo, but Tim DeCapua's father found the battered and cracked frame among a box of other baseball memorabilia. The photo inside the frame was black and white, showing a group of young men playing stickball in the streets of New York. With the bat in his hands was Willie Mays, surrounded by his neighbors and his teammates.
The pitcher that day was none other than Tim DeCapua's father, as he and Willie lived in the same housing complex. After bringing in the photo, Tim DeCapua told his classmates that when Mays came back to New York in the twilight of his career as a member of the Mets, he saw Tim's father in the stands and told him that in his mind he would always be a member of the Giants. Tim DeCapua's father knew then that he would always root for the team of his youth, even if they played on the other side of the country. Jody Rookstool was undeniably impressed, and he would soon be asking DeCapua if his father could get him Willie's autograph.