Believe it: The Giants won the World Series
Monday, Nov. 1/Tuesday, Nov. 2
ARLINGTON — Because the Giants hadn’t won a World Series in 56 years, including their entire tenure in San Francisco, their conquest of the Texas Rangers in the 106th Fall Classic meant a lot to many people.
It fulfilled dreams that had been conjured by Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda, Ruben Gomez, Johnny Antonelli, Willie McCovey, Mike McCormick, Juan Marichal, Jack Sanford, Alvin Dark, Billy Pierce, the Alou brothers, Billy O’Dell, Jim Davenport, Gaylord Perry, Herman Franks, Bob Bolin, Jim Ray Hart, Bobby Bonds, Ken Henderson, Dick Dietz, Charlie Fox, Chris Speier, Tito Fuentes, Dave Kingman, Jim Barr, Gary Matthews, Garry Maddox, John D’Acquisto, Pete Falcone, Bobby Murcer, John Montefusco, Ed Halicki, Joe Altobelli, Bill Madlock, Darrell Evans, Jack Clark, Johnnie LeMaster, Greg Minton, Gary Lavelle, Randy Moffitt, Larry Herndon, Bob Knepper, Vida Blue, Mike Ivie, Joe Morgan, Dan Gladden, Frank Robinson, Atlee Hammaker, Chili Davis, Bill Laskey, Jeffrey Leonard, Bob Brenly, Roger Craig, Will Clark, Kevin Mitchell, Matt Williams, Robby Thompson, Brett Butler, Willie McGee, Dusty Baker, Barry Bonds, Jeff Brantley, Rod Beck, J.T. Snow, Rich Aurilia, Jeff Kent, Robb Nen, David Bell, Benito Santiago, Jason Schmidt, Shawn Estes, Ray Durham, Kirk Rueter, Moises Alou, Mike Matheny, Randy Winn, Dave Roberts, Kevin Frandsen, Aaron Rowand, Fred Lewis, Matt Cain, Barry Zito, Tim Lincecum, Edgar Renteria, Pablo Sandoval, Brian Wilson, Mark DeRosa, Aubrey Huff and Buster Posey.
Not to mention Andre Rodgers, Willie Kirkland, Leon Wagner, Hal Lanier, Cap Peterson, John Pregenzer, Ray Sadecki, Ron Herbel, Bob Burda, Don Mason, Don Carrithers, Jim Willoughby, Steve Ontiveros, Bruce Miller, Joe Strain, Gary Alexander, John Curtis, Allen Ripley, Phil Nastu, Joel Youngblood, Tom O’Malley, Al Holland, Fred Breining, Crazy Crab (Ha! Just wanted to see if you were paying attention), Scott Garrelts, Todd Benzinger, Mark Carreon, Mark Leiter, William VanLandingham, Mark Gardner, Osvaldo Fernandez, Stan Javier, Marvin Benard, Andres Galarraga, Jason Minor, Jim Brower, Matt Herges, Brett Tomko, Scott Eyre, Dan Ortmeier, Jason Ellison, Eliezer Alfonzo, Kevin Correia, Brad Hennessey, Tyler Walker, Eli Whiteside, Jack Taschner, Rajai Davis, Nate Schierholtz, John Bowker, Sergio Romo, Freddy Sanchez, Juan Uribe and Cody Ross.
All brought to you by Russ and Lon, Al Michaels, Hank Greenwald, Ron Fairly, Ted Robinson, Kruk & Kuip, Dave Flemming and Jon Miller.
Who did I leave out?
This is a triumph for Giants fans of all ages and locales. You’ve expressed yourselves from across the globe. It’s fascinating to know that Giants fans exist in far-flung places such as Africa, France and Egypt, besides all 50 states.
Now’s the time to salute the 2010 Giants for bringing San Francisco its first World Series triumph. But save some applause for yourselves. You, the fan, deserve credit for hanging in there (that was the unfortunate 1983 ad campaign slogan, remember?) through all these years.
If you’re at or around retirement age, you remember the end of the 1959 season, including the ill-fated day/night doubleheader against the Dodgers and George Altman’s game-winning homer at Chicago. This is for your enduring more than a half-century of heartache.
This is for those who accepted Candlestick Park when it opened in 1960 — and afterward.
This is for the fans who survived that roller-coaster ride of a 1962 season. But how exciting it must have been!
This is for those of you who stuck with the team through the Cepeda-Sadecki trade. How dismayed you must have felt!
This is for anybody who put up with those five consecutive second-place finishes from 1965 through 1969.
This is for those who endured the declines of Mays, McCovey and Marichal and withstood the shock when they were traded. Traded. My God, I don’t care how old he was, how little he had left in the tank or how much money he was owed. How can you trade Willie Mays?
This is for those who managed to derive enjoyment from the rest of the 1970s. The 1973 season was promising and the 1978 season was rousing. Otherwise …
This is for the fans who wondered what the heck they were going to do with themselves during the 1981 work stoppage.
This is for you optimists whose hopes soared with the 1982 season — and whose hopes were shattered by the following three years.
This is for those of you whose faith was restored by Al Rosen, Roger Craig, Will Clark and Robby Thompson.
This is for anybody who experienced pure, unadulterated euphoria when the 1987 team ended a 16-year postseason drought — and whose souls were crushed by Jose Bleepin’ Oquendo.
This is for those who never gave up when it looked like the team was moving to Toronto (1976), Denver (1986) and, worst of all, Tampa Bay (1992).
This is for all of you who never budged from your seat at Candlestick or AT&T or in front of the television when Barry Bonds came to bat.
This is for those who felt glory was imminent in 1993 and dealt with the deep disappointment afterward.
This is for those who maintained hope from 1994-96, and who received their reward in 1997 — which seems to remain general manager Brian Sabean’s favorite year.
This is for the thousands who kept coming back for more during the 1997-2004 renaissance.
This is for you folks who felt, even though it was such an inadequate, unpleasant place, you just had to go to the last game at Candlestick.
This is for the many who stuck it out through Bonds’ waning days from 2005-07 and the transition that had begun.
This is for those whose inner pilot light was re-lit the instant Tim Lincecum took the mound for the first time. He brought so much hope, didn’t he?
This is for the attentive ones who knew that 2009 was a harbinger of bigger and better things.
This is for those of you who yelled, screamed, cheered and came to the park so often this year. J.T. Snow called you the “Candlestick people.” And this is for anyone who realizes that’s a compliment.
Most of all, this World Series is for you tough yet sensitive, hardy yet idealistic souls who NEVER, EVER gave up — not even when your biggest heroes grew old or were traded, not when your favorite team looked like it was going to leave, not when you wondered whether the Giants would ever win it all.
You knew it was worth it no matter what. Just being a Giants fan was enough. You saw Marichal’s kick, Will Clark’s swing, Bonds’ Splash Hits and Mays’ magic.
Now that the Giants are World Champions — no, this isn’t a dream — make sure to savor it.
— Chris Haft