ROBERT SIEGEL, host: Here's a question that's bothering members of the San Francisco Giants family: What happened to Billy? Billy Chamberlain is not a starting pitcher who can't find the strike zone or a high-priced free agent slugger who's batting .230. He is a fan, a regular in the parking lot of AT&T Park. How close was he to the Giants? Well, joining us from San Diego where they play the Padres today is Giants manager Bruce Bochy. Mr. Bochy, welcome.
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, thank you, and I'm glad to be with you.
SIEGEL: Tell us about Billy and your team.
BOCHY: Well, I'll start with Billy. You know, when I came up to San Francisco five years ago, I got to know a fan that was there every day. He was every day - both before and after the game where he would wait outside, you know, the ballpark, and we became friends. And, yeah, it wasn't the case where we went out and had dinner or anything. We would - I just stop and talk to Billy and...
SIEGEL: What would he say to you when you came out?
BOCHY: And he - oh, he usually, you know, say something positive. If we lost, hey, we'll get them tomorrow. And, you know, we're going to win. We're going to win the championship. You know, he was always very positive and would come down and watch his boys play.
SIEGEL: Now, I've read about this in the San Francisco Chronicle, and I read that Billy was receiving disability benefits. He was taking some - or supposed to be taking some psychiatric meds and - but for the kindness of a security guard at AT&T Park, Orlando Green, he would be living on the streets. Green gave him some place to stay. And you haven't seen him for a while. You haven't seen him since the end of July, I guess.
BOCHY: Yeah. And that's correct. And ironically, that's when we really hit our struggles, you know, at the end of July and August. And about the same time, we couldn't or didn't know what happened to Billy. And he hasn't been around. And, you know, it's just - it's amazing how, you know, a person can just disappear. And we - I mean, they've checked everywhere, from hospitals and, he even say, even morgues. You know, I, to be honest, I don't know where Billy grew up. And, you know, I don't know if he went home or - we have no idea.
SIEGEL: Mr. Bochy, I, you know, I've never heard a story like this. And I just wonder, is it - are there other examples of this in Major League Baseball of, you know, people so attached to the team at the parking lot, at the gates of the ballpark that they become a part of the franchise family?
BOCHY: Well, there are - yes, there are fans that they wait outside the clubhouse or in the parking lot, but Billy was a little different. I mean, he was our friend and, you know, he was a guy we thought would be there every day. And now, we look back, we took it for granted that he'd always be there. And the guys thought a lot of him and, you know, they would chip in and help him take a train ride down to L.A. or San Diego. And I remember getting Billy a jacket, a Giant jacket. He was so proud of it. And Billy just kind of became our, you know, our go-to guy, I guess, when, you know, we want to feel a little better about ourselves.
SIEGEL: Just before you go, you mentioned that by coincidence, the last time Billy was at AT&T Park in San Francisco, July 31st, also marked a turn in the fortunes of the club. You're in second place in your division behind Arizona now. You're - was it six games back or so? It's going to be a tough shot at the postseason. Have the two things merged in your mind at some level that bad things began happening to the Giants at the end of July?
BOCHY: Well, we, you know, we did talk about it, how ironic it was that since Billy started, you know, was missing, that we had our struggles. And, you know, we're all superstitious in our own ways. But, you know, for us to have such a tough month is unusual, as good as we've been. I mean, we are the world champions.
SIEGEL: You are the world champions.
And now, all of a sudden, we couldn't find a way to win a ballgame. Our hitters couldn't hit. And so we all said, we got to get Billy back. We got to find him. He was, you know, a good luck charm for us.
Well, good luck to you. And I hope that somebody turns up something about the whereabouts of Billy Chamberlain.
BOCHY: Well, thanks. And I appreciate your time, and let's find Billy.
SIEGEL: ..COST: $00.00
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