If you looked into a crystal ball that night, after the Giants clinched their first World Championship since moving out here, you didn’t know what it would say other than, “San Francisco will never be the same again.”
That was the best thing about it. No more waiting. No more wondering what it would be like. The only things left to do after the San Francisco Giants won the World Series: celebrate, watch the parade and buy as many pieces of commemorative memorabilia as possible.
Since then we’ve seen the team soar popularity heights most of us never imagined, become stars on a reality show created expressly for Giants fans, play some great baseball, some bad baseball, and then some halfway-decent baseball before bowing out and letting another team and its fans in on the fun.
When nervousness turned to bliss
Last year at this time, I raced home from work and sat by myself in my living room until my soon-to-be-wife (we got married five days later; I’m pretty sure the last stages of wedding planning combined with the Giants postseason took at least five years off my life) got home after the third inning. She watched me at the edge of our couch, as tight and nervous as I’ve ever been, until I couldn’t sit still any longer and started pacing back and forth in the living room.
Finally, after Edgar Renteria hit the home run and those always-present feelings of dread (the whole too-good-to-be-true philosophy all Giants fans subscribed to, either consciously or subconsciously, until exactly a year ago) started to dissipate, my fiance dragged me out of the apartment and down to Bar 821.
According to her, we needed to share the moment with others. I was so tense I didn’t really feel the need to move in fear of missing a pitch, but (as usual, but don’t tell her) she was right. I’m sure everyone else who watched at a sports bar or from the Civic Center lawn feels the same way.
821’s our neighborhood hangout spot (luxury mojitos FTW), and usually there’s somewhere between 2 and 20 people inside. A year ago today there were at least 75 in the little place, all transfixed on the TV and cheering with every pitch. What strikes me now about being there we were all anticipating a win at that point — none of us really felt like the Giants were going to choke this one away. The Rangers looked defeated after Renteria’s homer, and all that was left was to watch the bullpen take over and close it out. Chants of “let’s go Giants” were yelled, drinks were consumed, and next thing you know BRIAN WILSON JUST STRUCK OUT NELSON CRUZ and it was bedlam.
Happy anniversary, everyone. They can take away the catcher, the second baseman, the offense and the feeling that somehow we were watching a team that was somehow different than the others in Major League Baseball, but nobody will ever take away what happened on the night everything changed.