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I’m Feeling Like I Want To Rage Right Now – Brian Wilson after winning the World Series

It has been just over a month since the Giants won San Francisco’s first ever World Series.  Having lived through 5 Super Bowl victories and an NBA Championship this one seems the most special.    Maybe when you take longer to love something it just becomes that more beautiful.  Last week my son and I just sat outside the empty stadium on a sunny Sunny afternoon and stared at the stadium.  We got a couple of hot dogs and sat on some rocks across from McCovey Cove, reading about all the teams from 1958-2000.  There is a plaque for every team that existed before the team moved to AT&T Park (nee Pacific Bell Park).  It all seemed so peaceful, but you could almost hear the cheers still echoing across the cove.

Willie Mays statue at 24 Willie Mays Plaza

On this day the park just glowed.  We recalled all the great memories we shared . Not just for this year but years gone by as well.  Reading about the great teams and players, we never would have imagined on Opening Day 2010 that this team would win it all.  Well it really wasn’t the same team that won the World Series.  That team in April was the core.  It grew into the beautiful story it became in October (and November).  Every month was something new.  You cringed at the team’s obvious flaws.  Like the beautiful girl with the gap-toothed smile and snorting laugh, it had character.  You loved her with all those flaws.  Some days you saw her potential.  Some days she was clutzy and broke your heart when she didn’t look all that special.  At the 2010 home opener, the Giants PR Department had the team enter the stadium through the centerfield fence like coming out from the corn in the movie “Field of Dreams”.  Although my favorite movie, it was a bit corny to do this for the Giants.  Little did we all know. 

Statue of Orlando Cepeda

AT&T Park was a special place in 2010.  It was a real Field of Dreams.  It turned a city into believers.  It made them wear fake beards and long haired wigs.  It made grown men wear silly looking panda hats on their heads that were so hideous their dogs would want to attack them out of embarrassment.

Like the team, AT&T Park has it’s many flaws although it has widely been considered the most beautiful stadium in baseball.  To me it just gets better with time.  Like Wrigley in Chicago and Fenway in Boston, it is the stories that go with the park that give it it’s beauty marks.  Many say the park was the park that Barry Bonds built just like Yankee stadium was the one that Ruth built.

Juan Marichal Statue on 3rd St.

Only 10 years old, AT&T Park does not have the memories of Juan Marichal and his crazy high leg kick or Gaylord Perry’s spitter, but in 2010 the team gave them more than enough memories.  Timmy “the Freak” Lincecum with yoga-esque delivery wowed crowds and even gave them a month-long scare when he basically showed he was normal and lost 5 straight games.  Overweight fan favorites, Pablo Sandoval and Bengie Molina  (Little Money and Big Money) failed to perform to expectations and were subsequently relegated to part-time player and trade bait.
Key players, Renteria, Sanchez, DeRosa and Uribe all spent time on the disabled list, reminding us that this was just a fact of life.  People get hurt.  People miss work….and unfortunately people move on.  Uribe and Renteria are already gone with Uribe heading to the rival Dodgers.
Willie Mac looking over McCovey Cove

The city has changed.  When you wear your Giants cap these days, people give you a smile or a thumbs up.    Permanent smiles are pasted on people’s faces and the sports talk radio shows still are filled more with talk about baseball than football, hockey or basketball. 

A couple weeks ago I ran into a friend of my dads at the driving range.  He was wearing his Giants cap.  I hadn’t seen him in a couple years and the conversation revolved around my dad and then moved to baseball.  At one point he asked me if I went out and partied or if I sat home and shed a tear when the Giants won.  He knew I had shed the tear for my dad.  It was my story.  Long time fans celebrated peacefully for those who never got to see this day while younger fans partied into the night.

The beauty of a Championship is looking back and enjoying the journey.  Even better is that the 2010 Giants had so many stories.  If they had won in 2002, it would have been all about Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent.  End of story.  With 70 days til Spring Training San Francisco fans will have many stories to relive and keep them busy.  If the Giants never win another World Series, this team gave us a lifetime’s worth in one season