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A notable Giants fan has vanished

Sep 6, 2011, 11:34 AM EDT

ATT Park

Gwen Knapp has a troubling story in the Chronicle today. A Giants fan named Billy Chamberlain who has been a fixture outside of the team’s clubhouse for five years has vanished.

Chamberlain — who was intermittently homeless but who had occasionally crashed with a stadium security guard — would talk to Giants players, Bruce Bochy and some of the writers who covered the team. The team would often take up modest collections for him so he could get south to where he reportedly had some family or friends.

He stopped showing up at the end of July and no one is sure of his whereabouts now.  He’s been on government assistance for some time and took medication for behavioral and/or mental issues, but the exact nature of his disability isn’t known.

A photo of the man can be seen with Knapp’s story. I suppose there’s a chance someone reading could know him or have seen him.  But barring that, I see this story as a reminder that there are an awful lot of people who fill up a small part of our day. We usually take them for granted but are affected when we notice their absence.

  1. halladaysbiceps - Sep 6, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    I hope the guy is alright. Maybe he’s with family and friends somewhere in the south like you suggested..

    On a lighter note, the way the Giants have been playing, could you really blame him for not being there?

    • cur68 - Sep 6, 2011 at 12:21 PM

      You know ballplayers HB. That guy was their good luck charm. Worked last season and now that he’s gone, their luck has run out. I hope he’s ok. I’ve known more than a few people like him over the years; not bad people just unwell in way that makes other’s uncomfortable and obsessive over things that catch their fancy. Everyone who treated him like a normal person and took the time to be kind to him was helping him. I hope he’s ok.

      • halladaysbiceps - Sep 6, 2011 at 12:28 PM

        Yeah. I do too. I think it was a classy thing what the security guard and the Giant’s players/organization did for Billy. It was like they view him as one of their own. 5 years is a long time to be around the guy and one day he disappears. My guess is that he went somewhere else. With homeless people who have mental problems, they are unpredictable. He may have just decided one late July day to go somewhere else with no explanation. A normal thinking person would have let someone know what their plans were to leave as to not worry people that care about them. But, in Billy’s case, it was probably a last minute decision. I hope they do find out where he went for their own piece of mind.

  2. dailyrev - Sep 6, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    We are fast becoming a nation of “grifters” (an old west term that I last heard used regularly in the 1970’s TV series Kung Fu — you young ones, get thee to youtube and familiarize yourself with this classic, which tried something that no show on the zombie box had before or since attempted, which is to teach the Tao). And that kid in the White House and the dome-full of squalling infants down the street from him are all utterly helpless before this great fall of night on the land. It is as if we have all become characters in a Steinbeck novel come to life (you young ones, get thee to amazon and familiarize yourself with East of Eden and The Grapes of Wrath).

    • halladaysbiceps - Sep 6, 2011 at 1:12 PM


      The only thing I understand in your comment is the Steinbeck “Grapes of Wrath” book. It has and still remains my favorite book of all times. John Steinbeck was a great writer.

    • zakharovsa - Sep 6, 2011 at 1:38 PM


    • cleverbob - Sep 6, 2011 at 2:10 PM


      You damned kids! Get off my lawn!

    • kellyb9 - Sep 6, 2011 at 2:48 PM

      Since I have no idea what you’re talking about, I have no other options but to agree.

  3. nocryinginbaseball07 - Sep 6, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    This is all getting quite weird!

  4. steve keane - Sep 7, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    I would get Det. Jimmy McNulty on this case

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