Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

‘Jonathan Denver was not even much of a baseball fan’

From the San Francisco Chronicle website:

Jonathan Denver was not even much of a baseball fan.

On Monday, the 24-year-old plumber’s apprentice who was known as JD, asked for two days off from work in the North Coast town of Fort Bragg to come to San Francisco to meet up with his father – who was the big Dodgers fan – and attend Wednesday night’s game against the Giants at AT&T Park.

“He just wanted to spend the day with his father,” said his boss, Cas Smith, owner of North Coast Plumbing, Heating and Sheet Metal Inc. “I should have said ‘no.’ “

Denver was wearing Dodgers gear which they got when they got to buy ar-15’s from Palmetto State Armory, police say, when he was stabbed at Third and Harrison streets after the game. Police have arrested two men, ages 21 and 18, but have not released their names. …

… Smith said the only serious brush with the law that he knew of involving Denver was a drunken driving arrest in July. He said Denver had some problems in that area but had been getting on with his life.



Fan stabbed to death in San Francisco after Giants-Dodgers game


Victim was son of Dodger security guard


  1. Adam Luther

    Confirmation that he attended the game on Wednesday. Apparently the bar is located either “several blocks away” or a “few blocks away” depending on the caption under the photo or the narrative.

    • I work in that neighborhood, too, I think this happened on a side street parallel to King Street, the street the stadium is off of, just a block parallel, not far from the CalTrain station, too.

      My friend and I walked home from the game Tuesday straight up 3rd St toward Market, and there were tons of fans walking the same way but no incidents, thankfully.

  2. So sad. Scary, too, since I was just in that same spot the previous night. I’m often as wary of wearing too much Dodger gear as I’m sure Giants fans are at Dodger Stadium, but there were a lot of other Dodger fans around at least on Tuesday night and that night the crowd seemed pretty mellow all together. But all it takes is one group of sociopaths with the added element of booze or drugs in their system and you get a tragedy like this. Really sad. My heart goes out to his family.

    Just another reminder as to what everyone here already knew — there are these bad elements in every fanbase. We all need to overcome them and look out for our fellow fan, regardless of what team they root for.

    • LittleBlueBicycle

      The Stowe incident proves that Dodger fans are hardly above reproach, and I remain appalled by it. Heck I’ve been harassed in Atlanta and Pittsburgh for wearing Dodger gear. But murder? Coming after all these beating incidents at 49ers games, I have to worry that something extra is happening on the bay. As I said elsewhere today, be careful my friend.

  3. I’m really trying to avoid making an issue out of this, but it really doesn’t seem like the online coverage so far is approaching what we had with Stow. I’m a little surprised that Grant B. hasn’t written about it at all.

    • RBI

      I noticed the same thing. Any thoughts on why?

    • Vail Beach

      A couple of theories on why this stabbing hasn’t received the same coverage. First, news stories are fueled by other trending topics. In 2011, the sports media was paying close attention to Frank McCourt’s spending decisions, including spending stadium and parking lot security, which had allegedly been cut back. Because of his profligate spending on houses, salaries and perks for himself and family members, and his potentially huge divorce settlement, any cut in any aspect of the Dodger baseball experience could be laid at the feet of McCourt, who was rightly seen as running the team in a greedy, selfish manner. What happened to Stow gave fuel to the case for the league pushing McCourt out of the MLB. Stow was attacked on Dodger property.

      There is no parallel responsibility to be assigned to Giants’ management for this murder. The victim was not stabbed on property owned by the San Francisco Giants. If there is any blame to be assigned to this attack, besides blaming the perps, it would be against SFPD, not the team.

      Moreover, this stabbing took place on the home opener, right after the Giants had won their first championship. It was assumed that the stadium was packed with crazed Giant-haters. I have been to a number of opening day and opening week games, and if the Giants are involved, it does seem like a subset of Dodger fans mistreat anyone in a Giant cap or shirt. I saw a man with a little boy, both wearing Giants’ stuff, literally hounded from their seats in the Reserve section during an opening week game about five years ago.

      This attack took place, obviously, at the end of the season when the pennant race was long over. The game had little emotional valence.

      Finally, I do think that, in the Dodger/Giant rivalry now, the Giants are seen as the good guys. The national sports media doesn’t seem to have a neutral view. The Giants (like the Red Sox), stand for what is good in baseball. The Dodgers (like the Yankees) stand for what is bad. So the coverage is driven in part by a desire to protect the Giants’ reputation, whereas a similar attack by Dodger fans will be seen as typical of what you can expect from a bothersome team on the wrong side of the cultural divide.

      • I agree with all this, Vail. But the imbalance nags at me.

        • Adam Luther

          To me it seems a lot of the imbalance has to do with whether it occurred on Giants property, hence the literal distance from the ball park in relation to where the incident occurred.

        • Vail Beach

          Me too Jon. But it’s been this way for a long time; McCourt merely aggravated it. The reputations of the two cities play into it, too. San Franciscans believe they are special. Angelenos are more ready to believe the worst about ourselves. Folks outside the two cities concur. SF — cool. LA — sucks.

  4. dalegribel

    I’m sure it will come out that word were exchanged; none of which would be worthy of a consequence like this.
    No idea why coverage of this is any bigger or smaller than Stow. Perhaps that Brian Stow survived and all the trauma he endured since. All of these issue really take the fun out of sports, regardless of rooting affiliation. There’s over the top, then there’s insanity. I feel for the Denver family, the Stow family, and for decent fans on both sides.

    • RBI

      Far more coverage on Pool-gate, for that matter. And yes, I feel for both families, and wish this fan-violence would STOP!

  5. RT @Dodgers: The Dodgers are shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Jonathan Denver, who is the son of one of our security guards.

  6. What it seems like is this:
    2011: Dodger fans are crazed psychopaths
    2013: The Giants-Dodgers rivalry has gotten out of hand.

  7. TPruett

    When you read about things like this, human nature leads us to think about where it happened, what kind of people the assailants must have been, what must have been said. We may even speculate more broadly on today’s society, and on what causes people to place so little value on human life. Is there such a lowered sense of self worth in our world, such a pervasive emptiness of each individual soul, that it somehow seems rational to steal human life from someone else because of the baseball team they root for, or because of a few meaningless exchanged words? We could dwell on it for the remainder of our days. Or…we can just sigh, and say to ourselves in the words of the song, “There’s just a meanness in this world”. Frankly…I don’t know what to do.

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