Two years ago this month, my favorite team of my favorite sport won the World Series of baseball for the first time in FIFTY SIX years! Now, our team is in the playoffs, hoping to have a chance at the World Series two years later. Some of my earliest memories involve going to watch the San Francisco Giants play at “The Stick” (Candlestick Park) I grew up going to games at The Stick with my mom, brother, best friend, his older brother, younger sister and mom. We would get all bundled up (because Candlestick park was a friggin windtunnel) and decked out in our Giants gear and go watch the team that we all loved.
Then we moved to Pac Bell/ATT park. Every season, we would help fill our stadium, rooting for our team, even though they often lost, we still loved & supported them. The bleachers are the best seats in the house in my opinion. Everyone is rowdy, there’s lot of chanting and yelling, stomping on the metal bleachers, heckling the outfielders, peanut and beer throwing and often fights (especially if it’s a Dodger’s game).
The 2010 season was extraordinarily special. The “Bonds” days were over; now all the players had chances to shine and develop their talent as a team. Everyone seemed legitimately happy and excited to be playing for the team and as the season ended, the possibility of our team making it to the playoffs seemed more and more real.
Sweeping the Dodgers was a huge to-do. I was there the game where we beat them, 10-2! The announcer broke the news that the Padres had also lost their game that night, putting us in FIRST PLACE!! They raised the Giants flag on the flagpole above all the other teams in the National League West with the bay shimmering in the background. Tony Bennet’s “I left my heart in San Francisco” played as we all left the stadium (as it always does when we win a game) and everyone had huge smiles on their faces, chanted down the ramp and gave high fives to eachother.
I was in Hawaii at a gathering for my fraternity the last game of the playoffs. The gathering was in a one bedroom hotel suite and a couple of us snuck into the bedroom to watch the game. When the game was over, we were all cheering and jumping on the bed.
I came back from Hawaii and watched a couple of the playoff games with one of my friends who is a huge Giants fan at a bar about a block from ATT park. It was really like an extension of the bleachers in there, everyone chanting and cheering, booing and whooping. I had to work the night we clinched the World Series. I asked a regular customer to update me every minute or so and was receiving alerts from ESPN on my cell phone. I was closing, but raced home, almost hydroplaning, making it in time for the last inning. My mom and I stood in the living room, with our hands clasped together counting down every last strike. The last one made up jump up and down screaming and yelling “WE’RE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES!!!” over and over again.
Then the World Series came. I did the same thing, tried to schedule work around it. We rocked the first game, though it was nerveracking as we let them score 7 runs to our 11. “Timmay” was obviously a little nervous and wasn’t on his game (but we forgive him and still love him :)) I watched it at a bar in downtown San Jose. It was magical to see the city be all about Giants baseball rather than the San Jose Sharks for once. Everyone had their gear and everyone was into it. The next game, Matt Cain ROCKED it, not allowing a single run in 7 2/3 innings. SO PROUD!! Everytime we scored a run, I was incredulous that the Rangers allowed ANOTHER one! We then went to Texas, where we lost 4-2, but it was still a very close game. We won Game 4, I think because I asked them to win to spite George W., who was there watching 🙂
Then Game 5, I just had a feeling, I asked my friend, D, who has been to probably the most games with me, always getting rowdy in the bleachers, heckling the other teams. I told her that I wanted to watch the Giants win the World Series with her. So we watched it together at a bar in San Carlos. There was a patio with a flatscreen TV that everyone was glued to, not an empty seat in the house. That game was INTENSE. Finally, though, it was the 9th inning, and we only needed 3 more strikes to win the world series! Brian Wilson (of course) was on the mount. He hadn’t let a single run and we were all on the edge of our seats, counting down. When he struck out the last Ranger, the crowd went NUTS! I took a video on my cell phone where everyone was screaming and yelling. The crowd sounded like an extension of the bleachers, chanting “Let’s go Giants” “Fear the Beard” and “What’s a matta with (insert Rangers player name) He’s a BUM!” Random people were hugging me, there was not an unsmiling face in the whole place, it was as if we, as a crowd had accomplished a great feat together and that made us part of something. People were honking and yelling out their windows down El Camino Real. Words cannot even describe the pride, this is something I’d essentially been waiting for since I was a kid. D and I had a celebratory dinner of steak with blue cheese melted in it, roasted potatoes with spices and rosemary, and an expensive delicious bottle of celebratory wine. Success never tasted better =D
Of course, I was going to the World Series parade with hundreds of other fans. I took the train up, met at my brother’s shop in SOMA, by the ball park. He drove us as close to Mongomery and Market as he could, where we were planning on watching the Giants come down Mongomery and turn onto Market Street. My brother has a CB radio with speakers on the outside of the truck, so of course, we were screaming Let’s Go Giants out the window. We also had beers that we brought in coffee cups hehe.
D and I got separated because the crowd was SO thick! I couldn’t get through to her phone either because everyone and their mother was using their phones! It took us about half an hour just to get one block! The mood was electric! People were hanging off lightpoles, cars, buildings. There were signs and Orange EVERYWHERE. Confetti was falling from skyscrapers, it was INSANE! This guy was nice enough to offer me to sit on his shoulders, so when the players came by, I was able to see them clearly and get a fantastic video and some great pictures. Freddy Sanchez was videotaping with a Flip video and I’m almost positive I’m on it, because he scanned past me. The players were SO excited with HUGE grins on their faces, they looked like little boys, so happy!
After the parade passed, I was able to get a hold of D. We walked back to SOMA and went to Tres Agaves, where we watched the ceremony at City Hall. Everyone there was glued to the TV as well. I had worn a Giants shirt every game that I was working, so I got a lot of conversations about them and people still talk to me about them months later! Words cannot describe how amazing this whole experience was! I had friends who had moved to Boston, Tampa and Chicago all calling me because they were so excited. I was in a daze for the next week or so. Winning the World Series really brought the entire Bay Area together, forgetting all their differences for the love of our team, at least for the duration of the Series 😉 This is truly one of the best moments of my life and will never forget it. I love you GIANTS!