The San Francisco Giants had not won a world championship since they moved west, in 1958. Their last World Series title was back in New York, in 1954.
The 2010 Giants' team changed all of that and sent the city of San Francisco into a jubilant frenzy. Giants fans rejoiced, as the long wait was over. It was pure bliss, but also relief at the same time. For me, my most important "sports-fan bucket list" item had finally been fulfilled.
The 2010 team, was characterized as a band of misfits and outcasts that somehow came together for a glorious run to the World Series victory. The Giants' victory in five games over the Texas Rangers set off a wild celebration as tears of joy flowed as readily as the champagne.
In 2012, the Giants entered the season believing they could contend, but a rash of obstacles was thrown into their path. Closer Brian Wilson pitched in only two games in April and was lost for the season with his second Tommy John surgery.
Freddy Sanchez, who was expected to be the starter at second base never got healthy and did not play a single game.
Then there were the two DL stints that Pablo Sandoval endured. First was the hand surgery, which kept him out for several weeks. Then, after he returned, he promptly injured his hamstring which landed him on the DL again.
All-Star MVP Melky Cabrera, who was batting .346, was suspended for using PED's.
Melky then made matters worse by not addressing the team before leaving and making up a fictitious story about a bogus website and fake product. He was found to be lying and the Giants had to fight through more distractions.
To cap this off was the ineffectiveness of two-time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum. He struggled with his velocity and command all season and finished the year with a 10-15 record and 5.18 ERA. Lincecum lost more games than any pitcher in the league.
The Giants also steeled themselves against some huge trades the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled off, which were specifically designed to help them win the NL West.
At midseason, the Dodgers acquired Hanley Ramirez, Brandon League, Shane Victorino, Randy Choate, Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Punto and Josh Beckett. Meanwhile, the Giants brought in Hunter Pence to add punch to their lineup.
GM Brian Sabean also traded minor league prospect Charlie Culberson to the Rockies for Marco Scutaro, in a deal that was designed to help the Giants weather the injury to Sandoval. Little did anyone know how vital a role Scutaro would play in the Giants' success.
The Giants did win the NL West, but promptly fell behind the Cincinnati Reds two games to none. Faced with the daunting task of winning three straight elimination games on the road, the Giants did just that.
They also trailed the St. Louis Cardinals three games to one in the NLCS, again facing three elimination games. Somehow, the Giants staved off elimination each time to advance to the World Series.
In all, the Giants came out victorious in six straight elimination games, a feat that hadn't been accomplished in baseball since the 1985 Kansas City Royals.
The Giants went on to surprise the baseball world by sweeping the Detroit Tigers, a team that most so-called experts picked to destroy the Giants. The Giants won their second world championship in three years.
Any one of the obstacles the 2012 Giants team faced could have easily been the blow that knocked them out. However, each hurdle placed in their path only seemed to bring this team closer together and give them more resolve. The one word that best describes this years' team is resilience.
Both of the Giants' championship teams featured outstanding pitching.
Even though seven of the eight players on the field we different, most of the pitching staff remained the same. The pitching carried the Giants to the promised land in both seasons and the offense did just enough to seal the deal.
Which of these two teams was better?
For the answer, let's take a detailed, position-by-position look at both teams.