An entire city gathered collectively by the beautiful bay in celebration of its first ever baseball championship, waving pom-poms, wearing the fake beards and popping corks in the gorgeous streets of San Francisco.
It’s clearly a myth to refer to the San Francisco Giants as misfits or castoffs, two words that seem irrelevant after the ballclub stunned the world and awakened the Bay Area in the midst of an improbable journey, now rejoicing a memorable moment in a magnificent sporting town. In the twilight of a bona fide team, the Giants rehabilitated in the second decade of the 21st century with excellent talent, from the pitching staff to the brilliancy of Giants shortstop Edgar Renteria.
Are the Giants still misfits? Are they still castoffs? All of that is trivial.
An elated franchise that has more victories than the New York Yankees won their first World Series since 1954 and first since departing New York with a 3-1 win over the Texas Rangers in Game 5 Monday night.
As all great stories eventually come to an end, the Giants redefined their identity and erased the horrid memories of Series droughts, engraving an incredible tale in baseball with a core of humbled and crafty big leaguers.
The turning point in the Giants rebirth happened at this moment. Earlier in the postseason, just as during the regular season, there was a dubious notion that the Giants weren’t mandated as the ideal pick to win the pennant for their oddity and uncertainty in the past.
With the breathless warmth in a city that cherishes its baseball team and shares similar trends, the healing process cemented adoration in a town that ignited parties and rowed their watercrafts in the McCovey Cove, a waterway alongside the gorgeous ballpark near the bay.
The renewal gimmick launched, when Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Buster Posey, all centerpieces in the Giants rebuilding plots, delivered on the biggest platform of their flourishing careers in the big leagues. In reality, as good as the new generation of players has elevated a sense of pride and aspiration for an avid sports community, the Giants can release the agony and torture.
The irony of the ballclub that no one ever imagined is that Lincecum was invincible and unhittable in the championship-clincher and will go down in history for leading the Giants to their first ever World Series title in a beloved town.
The long shaggy-haired ace uplifted his legacy on the mound, once the Giants were crowned champs following a nifty finish to conclude an exhilarating San Francisco Treat. At age 26, he has accomplished more than the ordinary pitcher, winning nine of his final 11 starts and now owns a World Series trophy with two Cy Young awards.
“You know what it is? It’s called being a gamer,” Lincecum’s catcher, Posey said. “Walking into the clubhouse today, the guy’s as loose as can be, joking around. Same old Timmy. You’d have no idea he had the opportunity to go out and win Game 5 of the World Series and win us a World Series championship. You saw it from the get-go. He had swing-and-miss stuff all night. Cruz hit a pretty decent pitch out. And he bounced back and got us out there.”
A startling performance from Lincecum had Willie Mays and Barry Bonds smiling. The Giants had to play for a playoff spot on the last day of the regular-season, but now celebrates a shred of unparalleled history and compelled the wildest fans, roaring from the streets.
Every night, the Giants were well-balanced and featured a different star. From here on out, as long as San Francisco keeps Cain, a resemblance of Larry from the Three Stooges, and Lincecum, the Freak in baseball, then the Giants could be a viable frontrunner in the National League for many years to come.
By the end of the night, Renteria was named the Most Valuable Player of the series, he caressed the ball in his hands, he shed tears of joy and he celebrated with his teammates inside the clubhouse. It took five games, to dispatch the powerless Texas Rangers, a team with the inability of hitting in the World Series. It was telling that the Giants pitching staff was far more superior.
“This is for everybody who has ever worn a Giants uniform,” club president Larry Baer said, “for every fan who ever froze at Candlestick, for every person who ever voted for a new ballpark, for every person who listened to our games on the radio.
“It’s on behalf of 53 years of waiting.”
Thirteen-years ago, Renteria was on decline in the twilight stages of his career, but delivered the game-winning hit in the 1997 World Series for the Florida Marlins. As he continues to thrive in the later point of his proud livelihood in the majors, he smashed a three-run home run into the stands in the seventh-inning Monday night that gave the Giants a 3-0 lead.
By the time Giants closer Brian Wilson retired the ninth on a strikeout of Nelson Cruz, the Giants poured onto the mound from the dugout, filled with tremendous felicity. By the time it ended, Posey hurled his mask and rushed towards Wilson and embraced a touching moment.
“You know, it’s a euphoric feeling that’s so hard to describe,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said after the euphoric moment. “For us to win for our fans, it’s never been done there, and with all those great teams…
“And what was neat through all this is Willie McCovey and Willie Mays, Will Clark, J.T. Snow, Shawon Dunston, all those guys that played on World Series teams, they were in the clubhouse, they were pulling for those guys.”
Well, they weren’t exactly in the clubhouse. In other words, they were rooting for the Giants.
Finally, the Giants erased the horrid, formidable memories of World Series droughts including losses in 1962, 1989 and 2002. This time, it was more empathetic and emotional and the Giants perfectly prevailed in the heaviest turnaround among a storied franchise, coming on a night when the team faced Cliff Lee, a pitcher who had been unhittable until this series.
He succumbed to Renteria in an elimination game, when he drove a cut fastball 397 feet into the left-center field stands and silenced a sellout crowd. Since then, the night turned somber. Since then, the Giants grasped a sense of aspiration.
In the history of the game, he’s the most clutch shortstop, if not the most clutch slugger.
In the past, the Giants were bothered by many imperfections for putting together a bizarre roster after a few erroneous decisions in which they endured mediocrity for keeping Bonds too long and lavishing Barry Zito with a $126 million contract. As a new era emerges, the Giants cast are flawless and have lifted into the spotlight for their surge in the postseason.
From the sensational hitting by Cody Ross, the rodeo clown, to Aubrey Huff, to Andres Torres, to Freddy Sanchez, to Juan Uribe the Giants were built as a championship-caliber team and drove through the postseason as darlings before being labeled champs.
Is it worth noting that Cain had a 0.00 ERA in three postseason starts?
Because of the dominance in the pitching staff, the Giants shut out Texas twice in five games. And much of it happened because of the invincibility of Lincecum and Cain. In the event that you weren’t paying attention, the rookie sensation Madison Bumgarner pitched eight shutout innings in Game 4.
The eight-inning, three-hit, 10 strikeout showpiece defined a breathtaking moment, but more telling, was that Cain proved dominant in the postseason. This team has done something special that McCovey and Mays and Juan Marichal has never, ever accomplished in the pinnacle of their careers.
“A lot of guys have been praying for this day who came up short in the early 2000s,” Lincecum said.
After years of failures, the Giants finally capitalized and transformed into champs. And seemingly, after a team endured futility and failed to win championships with Mays and McCovey or even with Bonds in 2002, which left the town mourning in despair, now they can jubilate and put the misery behind them.
On Election Day, San Francisco is dancing in joy.