You could hear the roars from the patrons at in Santa Cruz to in Milpitas.
The in Palo Alto was jammed from door-to-door with bearded fans draped in orange and black as was Stubby’s in Gilroy.
After San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson reared back and threw a cutter by Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, the celebration was finally upon us—they finally did it. The Giants were the 2010 World Series champions.
The band of bearded misfits is back today, opening the 2011 season in the home of their most hated rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The actuality that the Giants really won it all last season still hasn’t fully sunk in.
Life as a Giants fan will never be the same.
Two years ago, the Giants opened the season with a 10-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers backed by a bases-clearing triple by Travis Ishikawa. As I left the field that day, I thought about the mishmash lineup that took the field and all the pressure on the young arms of Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain.
The lineup sure has changed over the span of two seasons. A stunning transformation has taken place from a promising pitching-rich roster with a major void in the hitting department since the departure of Barry Bonds, toward a team that’s ripe with young talent in the middle of the order.
Lincecum has been spectacular in the big leagues since being called up in May 2007.
The Freak headlined a cast including Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, Madison Bumgarner and the suddenly very reliable closer, Wilson. Giants pitching carried them to a National League West crown, the pennant and an eventual World Series title.
I've been a Giants fan ever since I bought my first left-handed first baseman’s glove when I was 7, and Will Clark was the main attraction for me growing up. The former Giants first bagger routinely scooped up low throws in the dirt with ease, hooking me in with his solid defense and smooth hitting stroke.
Now Giants fans have a new homegrown everyday player to idolize, second-year catcher Buster Posey.
Despite the pitching brilliance displayed over the past few seasons, this is Posey’s team now.
No one earned a bigger cheer than Posey did on Monday night during an exhibition game against the A’s.
Posey is in firm control of the pitching staff, an ability some questioned that he had when the team traded away Bengie Molina last summer.
The young catcher hit .305 with 18 home runs and 67 RBIs in 105 games en route to being named the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year.
With Posey and the sudden news on Wednesday that Brandon Belt, the possible 2011 version of Posey, had made the Opening Day roster and would start at first base in the opener, suddenly the Giants now have not one, but two projected offensive cornerstones to build around in the next decade: a stark difference from a 2008 Opening Day starting lineup that was unveiled with such names as Dave Roberts, Jose Castillo, Ray Durham and Brian Bocock.
There are no John Bowkers in this team’s future anymore.
It’s the first game of 162, Giants fans. You enjoyed the days of Will the Thrill. Now the stick is in Mr. Posey’s hands.