In 1956, the then New York Giants moved to San Francisco, four trips to the World Series later, the Giants finally brought home the franchise’s first World Series trophy since moving out West. On Monday, Nov. 1, closer Brian Wilson of the Giants stood on the mound in Arlington Stadium. The count was three balls, two strikes; all he needed was one more strike. Then there it was a 90 mph slider from Wilson and a swinging miss by Texas Ranger right fielder Nelson Cruz. For a moment, time stood still. And it hit every Giants fans watching; as the members of 2010 Giants rushed onto the field, the 54 years of waiting ended.
When I first came to the States in 2000, I had no interest in baseball. I attended my first game in 2001, and, sitting in the bleacher, I saw for the first time number 25 in left field. This outfielder was Barry Bonds; the symbol of the Giants for decades. Powering the Giants offense since his arrival in 1992, the team had been built around him, especially the 2002 National League Champions. I had the opportunity to attend game five of the 2002 World Series. The Giants rocked the Angels pitching staff for a 16-4 victory, the team was coasting for a victory and it seems everything was going San Francisco’s way. Then it happened, Giants up 5-0 with nine outs left in the game. At the end of the night, the Angels had forced a Game 7 and they would go on to steal the World Series Trophy from the Giants. I am still angry with Angels’ first baseman, Scott Spiezio for the three-run homerun that destroyed Giants’ chance of winning.
Fast forward some eight years later to Monday, I sat in front of my laptop, watching game five of the 2010 World Series. With the Giants up 3-1 against the Texas Rangers and Tim Lincecum on the mound, San Francisco was just 27 outs away from their first title. The game was tied until the seventh when the shortstop that was injured for most of the season hit a three run homerun over the centerfield fence. Giants up 3-0, Edgar Renteria just delivered one of the greatest moments in San Francisco history.
From there, the Orange-and-Black (nickname given by the fans due to the team color) cruised. Two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum carried the team on his back, striking out ten Rangers over eight innings. The score was tied at 3-1, the Giants brought in the player with the most fearsome beard in their bullpen, Brian Wilson. He struck out potential AL MVP Josh Hamilton, forced Vladimir Guerrero to ground out, and then struck out Nelson Cruz. Just like that, 1-2-3, Giants became the winner of the 106th World Series. With the so-called “torture” over, the party began in San Francisco.
The Giants won this championship for those players that wore the jersey but never got a chance to hold that World Series trophy. Bunch of castoffs and misfits formed this squad, no more Barry Bonds and the saga that he brought. A team led by four homegrown starting pitchers and a bullpen that instill fear into opponents late into the game. I never got a chance to witness the ’62 and ’89 World Series, but like me, those who watched the 2010 World Series knew one thing, the City by the Bay is now the home of the champions.
The question maybe “will the Giants repeat next season?”, but for all Giants fans out there and me include, we will talk about that later, right now we are enjoying this sweet victory just like the way Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia fans did. 56 years since the last Giants World Series win, 54 years since the move out West, and 8 years since the last trip to the World Series, the Giants have finally done it. Congratulations, San Francisco.
Giants hands the rally to Cleveland Indians. You are next in line; 62 years of waiting is long enough, I hope they end this before the Cubs (102 years) do.