A Day To Remember: Giants Fan Take To Streets To Celebrate World Series Championship
Hundreds of thousands of people celebrated the San Francisco Giants World Series championship Wednesday, thronging to a parade on Market Street and a ceremony at City Hall
Mayor Ed Lee handed Giants CEO Larry Baer a key to the city. And then, a special tongue in cheek honor: "The broom to the city...for the Giants! The first ever! Yes! Congratulations on sweeping the world championship."
Giants players and managers thanked fans repeatedly for keeping up team morale through a tough season, and the cliffhangers of the post-season.
Hundreds of thousands of adults and kids played hooky to attend. But Annika Wildenradt from University High School petitioned her principal for permission.
"A bunch of students sent emails to the head of school, to try to convince him to let us have the day off. And he finally relented...So everyone started cheering during lunchtime."
The most dedicated fans camped out 12, even 20 hours to see their team on stage at City Hall. Many said the victory was a testament to teamwork.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy agreed, and thanked his players for buying into a strategy that constantly changed their roles. "What makes this team so special really was their unselfish play. There's no heights that you can't rise to when you have service trumping self interest."
Ben Duong from San Jose was there for his two favorite players: Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval. "Posey's just like he's 14 but he hits like a big dude you know, he makes big plays. And Pablo just because I like chunky loveable dudes who can smack the ball all over the place."
Duong says he missed the party in 2010, after the Giants won the World Series in five games against Texas, because he was deployed in Iraq.
Longtime fan Kerry Silverstone was there two years ago, and has been a Giants fan since Willie Mays and Willie McCovey played at Candlestick Park. " I was at the 2010 parade, and never thought I would see another parade again. it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and here we are, and it's a twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity!"
Giants broadcasters Jon Miller and Dave Flemming kicked off the celebration on stage
"Really, now just keep your eyes on Dave," joked Miller. "Watch what happens when I say, 'Oppan Gangnam style." Doing the trendy Korean club dance, the two men looked like they were riding a horse.
Giants players gave the crowd a fashion show. Like an Armani model, Angel Pagan rocked in a brown leather jacket and sunglasses. Sergio Romo went political in a t-shirt that read "I just look illegal" and slipped a message for the federal DREAM Act into his thank you's.
"We all had one goal in mind. We all had one job at mind. We all had, how do you say, one DREAM at mind. And that's to become World Series champions as a group."
And it was left to singer Tony Bennett to close the celebration with, what else, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco. "