With the conclusion of today’s Championship Parade, the final curtain has drawn on not only the San Francisco Giants’ season, but baseball as well. For those of us who love and adore this beautiful game (and this team), it’s a melancholy day – the sadness of the season coming to a close, but the joy of watching your team at the pinnacle of the game.
October 31, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence (middle) and teammates celebrate by throwing cracker jacks in the air during the World Series victory celebration at City Hall. The Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers in a four-game sweep to win the 2012 World Series. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
Make no mistake, despite the Giants’ fantastic run, winning two of the last three World Championships is a rare treat – moments from the regular season to the Championship parade should be soaked in like a sponge – there’s a chance you’ll never see this again in your lifetime.
What the San Francisco Giants’ twenty-five man roster did was more than just winning the National League West. What they did was more than winning a Division series or the National League Championship. What they did was far greater than winning a World Series title. This cast of characters etched their way into the hearts of millions, forever.
October 31, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum pumps his fist during the World Series victory parade at Market Street. The Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers in a four-game sweep to win the 2012 World Series. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE
Eighty-nine times this season, 42,000+ people packed every square inch of AT&T Park to root on their Giants – the Giants who did far more than just play a game. These guys put their heart and soul into every out, every night. There were no ego’s – there was no special treatment. Their play created bonds outside of the game, not only between themselves, but between others – others they’ll never know or know of, but who they’ll have touched for a lifetime.
Mothers bonding with their sons over a baseball game – fathers bonding with their daughters. People, laying in a hospital bed, sick, yearning for those three hours every night where for a small moment, they can clear their mind and watch their team. Not only the people of San Francisco and the surrounding areas, but across the country (and even parts of the globe) Giant fans bonded over a cold one at a local bar, forming relationships all because of two simple colors – orange and black.
The San Francisco Giants of 2012 were a special team – much like the beloved 2010 squad, but they were so much more than just a collection of men playing a simple game on a pristine field. They were and are, our friends. They were somebody who we happily spent 600 to 700 hours of our year watching and spent so many more hours spent debating and talking about them. More than that though, they were bond builders.
So to them I say thank you. Thank for all of the excitement. Thank you for all of the heart – the passion. Thank you for all of the things you did this year for people across the globe, people you’ve touched, who you’ll never meet.
And last of all, congratulations – to you, Giants, to you, San Francisco and to you, fans.
So if I could borrow a small moment from Mike Krukow today…
We are Giants. We are San Francisco. We are the Champions.
…and that can never be taken away.