An thought came to me at 3:00 in the morning a few months ago. Well, two thoughts really. One, of course, was that I really should be sleeping at 3:00 am (a baby at home makes that impossible sometimes), but the other, relevant to our blog, was a new blog category idea. Behold “Student in The City!”
We all know that in addition to the Jesuit education education you receive, another big draw of attending USF is the “SF” part! We are the University of SAN FRANCISCO, or as our new marketing campaign proclaims, we are the “University of the best city ever!” So I thought it would be fun to have students blog about different experiences they have had in The City. Experiences that you only really get by being in This City. As happenstance would have it, something recently happened that fits this category perfectly! What was it? Oh, a little thing called The San Francisco Giants Winning The World Series. I also happen to have a major Giants fan in my class. How major? She wore the same Giants jersey during the entire World Series as a superstition. Who is this major Giants fan? Communication Studies major Ally Spillane. Ally agreed to write our inaugural “Student in the City” blog post about attending the parade in honor of the World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants! Here’s Ally…
“Giants baseball: Torture. It is a phrase that Giants fans have become accustomed to hearing over the past few years. The team we all love has a habit of pushing fans to the point of insanity before coming back to win it big. I have been a Giants fan for as long as I can remember. I have childhood memories of family and friends gathering around the TV after dinner to watch the team play at Candlestick. I went to my first game at AT&T park (then Pac Bell) in May of 2000, just over a month after the ballpark opened in downtown SF. I watched as the Giants won the national league pennant in 2002, and was devastated when we lost in game 7 of the World Series to the Anaheim Angels. I cheered along with tens of thousands of Giants fans as Barry Bonds hit his record setting home run number 756 in 2007. Despite the team’s accomplishments throughout the years, and the torture they would put us through every September, it seemed the Giants always fell short at the end of each season.
San Francisco never stopped believing.
The self-proclaimed “best fans in baseball” continued to don their orange and black and head out to AT&T to cheer on the Giants. Then came 2010, where we watched as the giants won the NL west division title, go on to beat the Braves in the division series, and clinch the pennant against the Phillies in the championship series. They were back in the World Series once again and for the first time since the move to San Francisco in 1958, the Giants became World Champions after defeating Texas in Game 5. I couldn’t make it to the parade in 2010 and made a promise to myself that if the Giants were to win the World Series again, I wouldn’t miss the next one.
I didn’t have to wait long. The 2012 Giants season was one for the record books. For the first time in my life as a Giants fan, I watched as 25 men worked together as one, and as outfielder Hunter Pence said, played “for the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.” I was there for opening nigh on April 7th, I watched all 14 strikeouts in Matt Cain’s perfect game on June 13th, and I cheered on as Melky Carbrera won MVP of the All-Star Game on July 10th. Giants fans could not contain themselves. The Giants once again clinched the NL west division after an incredible September filled with talk of “magic numbers.” They came back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Reds in the Division Series, and went on to torture us once more by losing 3 out of the first 4 games in the Championship Series against the Cardinals. Facing 6 elimination games in the postseason didn’t faze the Giants. They won the NL Pennant and then were slated to face the “unstoppable” Detroit Tigers. Giant’s owner Larry Baer said it best when he noted that, “Detroit didn’t know what they were in for.”
They did it again. With a lot less torture than the previous two playoff series, the Giants swept the Detroit Tigers in 4 Games. Back in San Francisco, as Giants players were boarding their plane home from Detroit, planning had already begun for the 2012 World Series Parade. I kept my promise to myself and cleared my schedule for Wednesday October 31st; I was going to the Parade. I left my house bright and early and made my way down to Civic Center Plaza. The place was already packed that Halloween morning, with thousands of fans donning orange and black for another reason. We were all there to welcome back and cheer on the 2012 World Champion Giants. Those of us in front of the civic center waited patiently for hours as we anticipated the arrival of the team we all love. At last they arrived in their convertible cars and made their way to the stage. One by one the players were introduced: the Freak, the Panda, the Baby Giraffe, MVPosey, the Perfect Cain, El Mechon, Barry Z, the Preacher. At each introduction, the crowd went insane, everyone chanting, screaming, and high fiving each other. Players came up in groups to give speeches, thanking the fans and thanking the city of San Francisco for all of the support they received this season. During a particularly touching speech, some might say they saw tears welling up in Manager Bruce Bochy’s eyes when he spoke of how proud he was of his teams accomplishments this season. It was a day I will never forget.
I must admit that this generation of Giants fans is particularly spoiled, for there were Giants fans who lived their whole lives without witnessing a World Series Championship for their team. In the past three years, we have been blessed enough to witness two, and call it a hunch, but I don’t think that the Giants are finished quite yet. To what can we attribute this success? The players? The coaches? The Fans? Fate? I cannot answer that question, but I would like to believe that everyone had a part in this win. Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow said it best when he closed out his speech in front of the civic center that day. He looked to the players on the stage, looked out over the million screaming fans and said, “We are the Giants, we are San Francisco, and we are the World Champions.”