2010 SF Giants World Series Parade
San Francisco, CA – November 3, 2010
I’ve been a San Francisco Giants fan for many years. I recall at an early age in the late 1980’s going over to my Grandmother’s house and she would have the games on KNBR. She would even call into the radio station and stick up for her favorite players when one of the daytime sports radio hosts would make an unkind remark. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world that my Grandma would cheer so hard for the Giants to win. By 1993, I was checking the newspaper everyday (remember kids, this was before the internet was popular) to see if Pittsburgh Pirates star outfielder Barry Bonds would sign with his hometown team. Barry ended up with the Giants and hit a HR in his first at bat in S.F. in ’93 and I was hooked for life.
As I got older, the games meant more and I became more of a fan. By 2002, things were looking great. Bonds was all pumped up on you-know-what (so was half the team for that matter) and I found myself watching game 6 of the World Series, with the Giants up in the series 3-2, with a 5 run lead, in the bottom of the 7th inning. I felt it. In all my years watching sports, I’d never had that feeling. As a huge Lakers fan since the 1980’s, I’d seen championships. But I never had that feeling, that blessed feeling, like I had when the Giants had that 5-0 lead in that game and it looked like for all the world the Giants would win. Whatever happened that night, the Rally Monkey, the Baseball Gods, it just wasn’t meant to be for the Giants. I was crushed. In large part, because I watched the game with my Mother and Father, and I wondered if I’d ever have that feeling again. That chance to celebrate a Giants World Series win with my parents who have become such huge fans and attend more games then I do. I am not shy to say I’ve shed a few tears about 2002. My Grandmother passed away in early 2003 and I longed for the day the Giants would get back to the World Series and that shot to celebrate a championship with my family by my side.
The years since 2002……….. have been torture for Giants fans. The last few years of Barry’s career saw the team get older and less productive. I started really researching the Giants farm system around 2006 and checked Baseball America and the SF Giants message board for information on up and coming players to make the losing seasons bearable.
By 2009, the Giants minor league system was looking good and I had to go witness it first hand. So in April 2009 I headed down the street to see the San Jose Giants vs. the Stockton Ports in a Single-A minor league game. On the mound that night for the S.J. Giants was 2007 1st round pick Madison Bumgarner and behind the plate was 2008 1st round pick Buster Posey. Here is a picture of Bumgarner and Posey from that night.
Things were still not looking so great for the MLB Giants in 2009. They struggled to score runs and had huge money tied up into the contracts of players: Barry Zito, Aaron Rowand and Edgar Renteria. 2010 started with all kinds of question marks for the team, but one thing remained in tact, the wonderful starting pitching (including Zito at times), that was the backbone of the team. The Giants were able to scratch across runs most games, but many of the battles ended in 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 type scores. Popular Giants announcer Duane Kuiper early on in the season gave his now trademark line of: “2010 Giants Baseball – Torture!”
By September the team was coming around and the pitching was lights out. Historically lights out. On the final day of the regular season, Jonathan Sanchez finally finished off the San Diego Padres and the Giants were off to the playoffs for the first time since 2003. I was pumped. The Atlanta Braves came to town, battered and bruised, and they were quickly finished off. The National Leagues version of the Yankees, the Philadelphia Phillies, were supposedly going to provide a bigger challenge, but they were in fact no match for the scrappy Giants who disposed of the two-time NL champs in 6 games.
The Texas Rangers were going to come into town and run, and hit and Cliff Lee was going to throw a no-hitter every night and the Giants were going to go home losers again. But the roles were reversed the first two games of the series, the Giants scored 20 runs and behind the pitching of Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain – they shut down the Ranger bats. You knew the Rangers were going to go for broke in game 3 and they pulled within 1 game of tying the series that night. Game 4 was huge. HUGE. And who was on the mound that night? The now 21 year old kid I saw just a year and half earlier in my own backyard, Madison Bumgarner, throwing to the same 23 year old catcher he had that night I saw them both. And they both came through, BIG TIME, especially Bumgarner who threw 8 scoreless innings. Posey added a late HR for insurance and that was the ballgame. Giants now lead the series 3-1. I had watched every game by myself up to that point, but after the win I called my Mom and Dad to say I was coming over for Game 5.
Cliff Lee was dealing in Game 5 and thankfully, so was Tim Lincecum. Nobody was getting on base for either team and I knew if the Giants scored first, it was probably over. Cody Ross provided a lead off single in the bottom of the 7th inning. Juan Uribe follows with another. And up steps Aubrey Huff, a man who has never laid down a sac bunt in his entire 10 year career, and he dropped a beauty down the first base line that Lee had to dive and make a wonderful play on to get the out. Pat Burrell had a chance to be a hero but couldn’t get it done. It all was left up to Edgar Renteria with 2 outs. Edgar had become known as ‘Rent-A-Wreck’ by some Giants “fans”. He was hurt a lot of the season and struggled when he did play. In the playoffs, Renteria had found the fountain of youth. The glove was gold-glove-ish, the bat was alive, and I had hope he could come through one more time…….. When Renteria hit that homerun I screamed like a little girl, the adrenaline was flowing, my parents were dancing, I felt it again. The rest of the game was a blur, or were those tears in my eyes? Thinking of my Grandmother watching from above………. all these years later………… the Giants had won the World Series. Yes, for the first time since moving to San Francisco in 1958, the Giants had won the World Series. And all the ghosts from years past……… 1962, 1989, 2002…….. like a flash, were gone out of sight……… I KNEW, I had to get to this parade……..
I stayed up all night to be on-time to catch a 4 a.m. train to San Francisco. The lack of sleep was not a problem at all with the juices flowing and the thought of seeing this parade dancing in my head. Here are some of my early shots before the parade started.
The Warfield is one of San Francisco’s historic concert venues – anyone who is anyone in music has played there (including Pearl Jam). The sign outside proudly displays what became a Giants rally cry because of Tim Lincecum saying “F*CK Yeah” on camera after the Giants made it into the playoffs.
Over 1 million people attended the event. The crowd was so massive, all I could see was people lining the streets of downtown San Francisco. They were hanging off of buildings and tree tops. The atmosphere was electric, chants of “Let’s Go Giants” and “UUUUUUU—– RIIIIIIBE” could be heard 2 hours before the start of the parade. One of the cities unique traits, the historic cable cars, rode down Market Street and all the people inside looked out at the crowds with amazement, many with camera phones in hand taking video and pictures. Here are a few of the cable cars riding down Market Street before it was closed for the parade route.
The Crowd Was Massive!
Police officer gets involved and throws beach ball back into the crowd.
T-Shirt Reads “Let Timmy (Lincecum) Smoke”.
The Parade Begins!
Giants Broadcasters Jon Miller and Dave Flemming
Giants Broadcaster Duane Kuiper
Giants Ace Tim LincecumGiants CF Andres Torres has that Latin Rock Star look.
Doubles machine Freddy Sanchez
Giants 1B Travis Ishikawa
Aubrey Huff with his red rally thong.
The entire parade can be summed up as the greatest sporting related event of my entire life. I’ve seen tons of games in person, including a Lakers Playoff Game win where I saw LeBron James walking the streets after the game just weeks before he was picked #1 by the Cavs. I’ve sat in luxury boxes, been to Wrigley Field, sat 2nd row at an NBA game, 1st row at SF Giants games where I even caught a foul ball one time back in 2002. Nothing compares to seeing the looks on the faces of Giants fans in the beautiful city of San Francisco as the World Series trophy was brought home for the first time in the teams’ 52 year history in S.F.
One bit of advice: if your team ever wins the championship. Go to the parade.
I had a couple hours to kill after the parade and I saw NBA star Rudy Gay and his Memphis Grizzlies teammate Greivis Vasquez. There were so many people around I didn’t want to blow off any privacy those guys had (and they don’t play for the Lakers’ so I wasn’t all that excited :). I quick took this picture before both players walked into the team hotel across the street.
From left to right in the photo (all wearing Addidas pants) are: Rudy Gay; the other guy in gray was a Grizzly employee, and the guy in black, cut off in the photo is Greivis Vasquez. The team was in town to take on the Golden State Warriors who play in nearby Oakland.
2010 MLB World Series Champions: San Francisco Giants