The last time the Giants won the World Series, my thumb was in my mouth.

That it was my dad said to me tonight when I called him to talk about the World Series. My dad, who was born and raised in Washington Heights, New York, was a fan of the New York Baseball Giants in his youth. They moved to San Francisco when he was nine years old, but what nine-year-old kid hasn’t already fallen in love with a baseball team?

 

Photo Credit: John G. Mabanglo/European Pressphoto Agency

 

 

So, like millions of little kids, he moved, begrudgingly, on to rooting for the hapless Mets, who in their first year of existence (and best chance to win over millions of fans of support) set the record, still standing to this day, for the worst season ever. He still followed his favorites over on the West Coast. Willie and Willie were doing their Hall-of-Fame thing, but the team never psychologically recovered from leaving their beloved lopsided stadium and prime Manhattan real estate (just north of Central Park), and failed to capture a title in 53 years.

I don’t need to tell you all that the Giants won the World Series, because the picture I put up there was a pretty definitive statement on the major story of tonight’s news cycle. However, the length of time that the Giants of baseball went title-less should be considered serious, top-story news.

It may not be 84 or 86 years like the Red Sox and White Sox, but the Giants and Dodgers, when they moved out West in 1957, were the only teams on that side of the country. If you weren’t a Dodgers fans, you didn’t have the benefit of watching Sandy Koufax with anything other than dread and despair, because you were a Giants fan.

You were watching some of the all-time great players. Mays. McCovey. Marichal. Gaylord Perry. Orlando Cepeda. You never saw them win it all, then go out and see them at a bar later, like so many Yankee fans and so many unfortunate women had the pleasure of doing with Mantle and the boys. Then, you saw decade after decade of mediocre baseball. No all-time great players. Sure, there were the Kevin Mitchells, the Matt Williamses, the Will Clarks.

Then, in 1993, your team traded for Barry Lamar Bonds. You had one of the all-time greats, and then some. You also have one of the most hated and unfriendly baseball players as your hero, on the posters on your wall. You don’t get Cal Ripken, who if you met would buy you a drink if you say you’re from Baltimore. You don’t get Ken Griffey Jr., who, though he may have been an inferior ballplayer, was just so much more fun than Bonds.

It was easier to say Griffey was your favorite player than Bonds, just because you feel like you’d want to hang out with your favorite player all the time and play arcade games and throw snowballs together. Bonds would just cheat at snowballs and pack his with ice. You would hate him.

Fast forward to the present.

Bonds left a couple of years ago, for better or for worse, and the Giants have struggled to stay above water. They’ve had the game’s best pitcher the past few years, despite his maybe-soon-to-be-legal extracurricular activities, but struggled to score for him, even in the Majors’ worst division.

Tonight, and this month, everything came together for the Giants, who, I suppose, were always destined to win in The Year Of The Pitcher, because that was the only way they could win. They didn’t have Alex Rodriguez or Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, or even a Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz. Their punch was Lincecum and Cain. Sanchez and Bumgarner. Wilson and The Machine.

So congratulations to all Giants fans, of all ages, on both coasts. It was a long time coming. The Yankees will win it again next year. Just like old times.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Dave on November 2, 2010 at 1:50 am

    Worst name brand lineup to ever win the world series?

    Reply

  2. Maybe not ever. Don’t forget the deadball era and the decade right before they lowered the mounds. This is definitely the worst lineup to win it since the 2003 Marlins, if not earlier. Their rotation definitely is up there with the best to win in a long, long time.

    Reply

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