Entering golden gates

Giants earn 1st title since move to San Francisco

November 02, 2010|By Bill Shaikin, Tribune newspapers

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Giants landed on the shores of San Francisco 53 years ago, their colors worn by greats identified solely by their last name,

Mays and Cepeda graced Seals Stadium. McCovey and Marichal christened Candlestick Park. Bonds lorded over AT&T Park.

The statues and the records are theirs. The first World Series championship parade in San Francisco history will be led by a cast lovingly described by its manager as castoffs and misfits.

Russ Hodges, rest in peace. Your old team has a new favorite broadcasting call: The Giants win the World Series! The Giants win the World Series!

The Giants won in five games, dispatching the favored Rangers on Monday with a 3-1 victory. On the first day of November, at 7:31 p.m. back in California, the San Francisco baseball team finally had a title to call its own.

"This is for everybody who has ever worn the Giants' uniform," club President Larry Baer said, "for every fan who ever froze at Candlestick, for every person who ever voted for a new ballpark, for every person who listened to our games on the radio.

"It's on behalf of 53 years of waiting."

Edgar Renteria, the World Series Most Valuable Player, won the Series by hitting a three-run home run, 13 years after he delivered the Series-winning hit for the Marlins. Tim Lincecum silenced the Rangers on three hits over eight innings, striking out 10.

Brian Wilson, the closer whose jet-black beard became a folk icon in San Francisco, secured the final three outs, setting off delirium in San Francisco.

"It means everything," Wilson said. "San Francisco is going nuts. We're going nuts."

After the final out — a strikeout of Nelson Cruz — catcher Buster Posey tossed aside his mask, threw his arms in the air and leaped skyward, then raced toward Wilson, and the mob rapidly forming around him.

"It was mass chaos," Wilson said. "Hysteria."

The Giants stormed through the postseason without playing an elimination game. They became the first West Coast team to win the World Series since 2002, when the Angels beat the Giants.

The Fall Classic concluded with a classic pitching duel between Lincecum and Cliff Lee, the kind anticipated in Game 1.

Cody Ross, who languished on the Giants' bench for most of September before donning his Superman cape in October, started the seventh inning with a single. Juan Uribe singled, and Aubrey Huff followed with the first sacrifice bunt of his career.

The Rangers brought the infield in; the Giants could have broken the scoreless tie with a sacrifice fly. But Pat Burrell struck out; he finished the World Series with 11 strikeouts in 13 at-bats.

Renteria came to the plate. The infield returned to normal depth. One more out, and Lee would be out of the jam.

On a 2-0 pitch, Renteria homered — the second home run of the World Series for a player who had three in the regular season.

"I got lucky," Renteria said. "He threw a cutter inside. The ball stayed in the middle."

Cruz broke up Lincecum's shutout with a one-out home run in the eighth inning, but that would be too little, too late.

wshaikin@tribune.com

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