World Series: Everything We Ever Wanted -- and More
|Detroit, all your base are belong to us!|
A Parking Control officer sped past in his three-wheeled vehicle; the euphoric crowd had, in its enthusiasm, smashed his front windshield. He was, however, grinning ear to ear. "I'm not too worried about this," he said. "This is replaceable."
The relief and joy from watching your team cap off one of the most improbable, surreal, and satisfying playoff runs in the history of the game -- is not replaceable.
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Giants fans, who agonized as their team twice battled back from the brink of postseason oblivion, were treated to one of the most thorough World Series victories of recent memory. San Francisco defeated a favored Detroit squad in every imaginable way. Sunday's 10-inning, 4-3 victory was the coup de grâce -- a soul-crushing, emotionally draining, extra-innings loss to clinch a series sweep in which the Tigers were out-pitched, out-hit, out-fielded, out-managed, out-hustled, and just flat-out out-played.
Giants fans, meanwhile, must now confront a most unfamiliar set of questions: What do you do when you have it all? What happens when all of your aspirations are met and you have everything you ever wanted? Because, other than the fans toting cardboard signs proposing marriage to various players, it's difficult to imagine what desires of the fanbase the team hasn't fulfilled. After years of heavy losses, Giants fandom is paying emotional dividends of early Apple investor magnitude.
Two years ago, the Giants blasted through the postseason and claimed a narrative-altering first championship for a team defined by a legacy of agonizing near-misses and amassing the greatest assemblage of elite talent to never break through for a title.
From a fan's perspective, the 2010 World Series championship was, more than anything, a tremendous relief. Finally, the decades-long curse of cumulative failure was broken. Sunday's thrilling (yet agonizing) victory marks the dawn of a new paradigm no one would have dreamed possible: cumulative success.
The Giants' comebacks versus Cincinnati and St. Louis -- the latter marked by the cinematic spectacle of a Game 7 victory in a torrential rainstorm -- provided a cathartic burst of joy for fans all too used to rain on our parades. But it pales in comparison to the utter satisfaction of watching San Francisco put together four consecutive baseball masterpieces in the World Series. The team did all the small things and all the big things. The Giants succeeded to a degree a team seldom can in a cruel game in which failure is the norm. This was a magisterial victory. It was more than anyone could have hoped for.
The revelers who gathered at 24 Willie Mays Plaza clambered over the larger-than-life sculpture of the Say Hey Kid, undoubtedly the greatest of all Giants -- but a man who could not provide to the fans a moment like the one now gifted to them by his successors. There may not be a single player on today's championship squad who will ever be memorialized via a monument like those in the vicinity of AT&T Park.
The fans, instead, will remember this day.