Metal dudes and wooden bats by the Bay

Metallica were after hits of a different sort when they visited AT&T Park last week for batting practice before a San Francisco Giants game. The band threw a few pitches, took a few swings and generally had a good time hanging out at their hometown ballpark. (As all good headbangers know, Metallica traces its early roots to the San Francisco Bay Area, having moved there from Los Angeles at the request of their late, great bassist, Cliff Burton.)

Pioneering thrash metal band and baseball might seem like an odd combination, but Metallica and the Giants have a history together. The team hosted the band at "Metallica Night" last season and they did it up right -- drummer Lars Ulrich threw out the first pitch and Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield played a searing guitar duet of "The Star-Spangled Banner." It was so much fun that they're doing it again on Friday, May 16.