In the grand scheme of things a championship in sports means nothing, and the life of one person is also rendered insignificant when placed in the context of the world. But I gotta tell you, in this corner of the sphere that we all inhabit, there have been few things that can rival what has occurred over the last 24 hours.
I’ve never been married or ever welcomed a child into this world, so I don’t have that frame of reference to draw upon, but I can tell you this – in the pantheon of events that have shaped my life, this event ranks near the top of the list.
Willie May, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, Barry Bonds – some of the greatest players ever to done a uniform – were never able to bring a World Championship to San Francisco. In more recent years players such as Jeff Leonard, Will Clark, Kevin Mitchell, John Burkett, John Beck and Jeff Kent were also unable to bring the World Series trophy home to San Francisco.
On Monday night, November 1st, 2010, that all changed.
The names will likely be forgotten in a few years if you aren’t a Giants fan. Honestly, some of the players might not even be at the forefront of your mind right now (Sergio Romo, Travis Ishikawa, Javier Lopez, Jeremy Affeldt, Mike Fontenot, Nate Schierholtz), but isn’t that the wonder of baseball? The sport is more than one great player leading a team to victory through sheer will and determination. The grind of six months of a regular season an another month for the playoffs offers the chance for numerous players to make history or to step to the fore at a moments notice. Cody Ross? I mean seriously, unless you were a Marlins’ fan or a fantasy baseball addict, did you even know who he was prior to the postseason? Edgar Renteria? Wasn’t he washed up and heading off into retirement after the worst season of his career (.276-3-22)? My goodness, he didn’t even start the first five games of the playoffs for the Giants. But that was the beauty of the 2010 Giants. They may not have been a team filled with “names,” but they had timely hitting, excellent work behind the bench by Bruce Bochy, and some of the best pitching the game has seen in this century.
As for me, the day after is surreal. For every year of my life that I have consciously been aware of the game of baseball, I have lived and died with the Giants. I’ve lost sleep worrying about games, I’ve skipped out on dates with pretty ladies to watch games, and I’ve nearly given myself an ulcer with each gut wrenching failure I have endured along with the club. So when Brian Wilson threw that final strike last night, what was my response? Did I jump up and down? Did I scream at the top of my lungs? Did I get plowed to the point that I forgot my own name? The truth is I didn’t do any of those things. Instead, I looked over to my parents, both of whom who have been there right with me nearly every step of the way, and simply smiled and said “wow.”
It may not have been a celebration for the ages in the Flowers’ household, but I can tell you this – other than those major life events, like my parents wedding, my brother and I being born, my brother having two wonderful children of his own, it was one of the happiest moments of our lives.
Thank you San Francisco Giants. It was a long time in coming, but as I’ve written before, it was all worth it as I can now walk down the street, #1 finger held high in the air, with a huge smile on my face. We, and yes I’m including myself and all the Giants’ fans in the world, WE are World Champions.
By Ray Flowers