I know that many have had the pleasure to see "their" team win the championship so my experience is not unique. I write this to get it off of my mind and in case you are a Giants fan, can share in the joy. Last night the San Francisco Giants won the 2012 World Series. My team is the champion of baseball!
I think that more than any other team, in any other sport the Giants are so closely ingrained into my life. Candlestick Park was where I got to see my very first professional sports event. It was at a time when the outfield wasn't enclosed, Willie Mays was heading into the twilight of his brilliant career and I was an impressionable child who saw the magical game of baseball. I remember seeing the green grass and larger than life stars of the day. I still can picture in my mind's eye Mays at the plate, McCovey's long stretch for the putout, the flamboyant Tito Fuentes flipping hit bat before stepping in the box. That sort of bond can last a lifetime. The players have changed, the stadium changed, but the game and the team are the same.
I remember being a fan when it wasn't cool. Those lean years of the Stoneham family trading off its stars (May, McCovey, Perry, Maracial, Maddox, Foster, Sarge Matthews) was such a trying time. There were some bright spots, Vida Blue became my favorite pitcher, Joe Morgan's home run kept the hated Dodgers out of the playoffs in 1982. After the horrible 1985 (100 loss) year, Roger Craig and Will Clark brought on a great period of prosperity. I was just out of college, had season tickets and my team was winning:
1987 NL West Champions
1989 NL Pennant (my first playoff games, and my only World Series experience: the earthquake game).
1993 brought on the Bonds era with the last great division race, after that a baseball labor dispute and some up and down years. 2002 brought another pennant and a nightmare game 6.
I see that through all those years, I grew up, went to college, got a job, went to Cooperstown, got married, had kids and even bought a campground. The one thing that was missing: a championship.
2010 fixed that:
Fast forward to 2012: