Tuesday, November 2, 2010

On the Shoulders of Giants

Posted on November 2, 2010, 11:32 AM

On Sept. 1, 2010, Giants infielder Aubrey Huff walked through the San Francisco clubhouse wearing nothing but a red thong. ---That got his fellow Giants’ attention, then he proclaimed “We have 30 games left. Here’s 20 wins right here. We’re going to win the NL West, then we’re going to win the World Series.”

He wore it every game since then. And on Nov. 1, the Giants beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 and won the 2010 World Series.

There are plenty more story angles to cull from besides the “rally thong.” Plenty of rehashed sports idioms to “reword” and call your own.

The history angle: The Giants winning their first World Series since moving to San Francisco in 1958. The pitching angle: The Giants beat the best, highest paid pitchers in all of baseball, some twice. The Records: The Giants broke, tied and set records for scoreless innings pitched, strikeouts and so on.

Some people love stats, some love players, and some just love baseball. I don’t know how Yankees or St. Louis fans feel when this happens multiple times. I do know that I have been a Giants fan since I first heard the name “Willie Mays” and my brother, Tiger taught me about baseball, and more importantly, Giants baseball.

For me, after living in San Francisco the Giants winning the World Series is a life-changing event. Not sports hyperbole, but an actual game changer. When you love something your entire life, and it finally happens, it matters.

Living in San Francisco for over a decade, you inevitably fall in love with many parts of the city. No shortage of art, culture, sports, amazing food, homeless teens and the irony of those things existing on the same street. My mother once gave me a card that read, “There may be no heaven, but somewhere there is San Francisco.” There is magic in that city, no doubt.

One of the things I fell in love with was the feeling of the city that surrounds the Giants. They are not playing to win just for themselves. They are playing for every Giant that played before them. They are resting on the shoulders of ex-Giants like Mays, McCovey, Marichal, Cepeda and so on. They are playing for the victims of the earthquake that halted the 1989 series. They are playing for the city, and the people who love the city, who they carry on their shoulders. This 2010 Giants team put their personal agendas aside and played for all those things, and came out as World Champions.

Aubrey Huff in all his red thong bravado couldn’t answer a post game interview because he was overcome with emotion. Ex-Giant Will Clark had to step away from a camera to wipe his tears, and the great Willie Mays, had to leave the room to compose himself, “I’m just not used to getting emotional like this. I love this place.”

So when the phone calls came last night from my close friends who know my love for the Giants, I couldn’t talk. Not because I was hoarse from screaming, but because I could not stop the tears from coming down my face. Nor did I want to.

I was in the company of Giants.

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