I stand anxiously about 20 feet away from the TV. My wife intensely watches as she ties to multi-task feeding our almost nine month old baby. We know its close. It is actually going to happen. Is this real? It can't be. This is too easy. We should be there. And then it happens. All of a sudden, decades of waiting are over. Brian Wilson threw the pitch right by the helpless Texas Ranger and the San Francisco Giants can finally call themselves World Champions.
Chills run up and down my spine. My wife jumps up and down. We yell together, embrace, kiss. Our daughter looks at us with fear in her eyes. She doesn't know what is going on. I mute myself, go to pick her up and she begins her inevitable cry. I hug her. She is our little good luck charm. She had been waiting over 8 months for this! Holding her brings about so many emotions. All of a sudden, amidst all this joy, thousands of flashbacks race through my head.
I remember the first game that (I remember) going to. It was a doubleheader against Houston and Mike Aldrete hit a home run in the first game. Will Clark homers in the second game. I am an instant fan. I remember staying with my grandmother in the summer of '89 with the radio and Giants baseball to keep my occupied. That was really the year I learned baseball from Hank Greenwald and fell in love with the Giants.
But then I remember all the torturous moments. The Maldonado slide, the Earthquake series, the 103 wins and no playoffs, Paul O'Neil breaking up Garrelts no-hit bid with 2 outs in the ninth, Rod Beck beating us in the wildcard playoff game, Agbayani, Timo Perez, Jay Payton, the Marlins...twice, Jose Cruz dropping the ball, no pinch runner for Snow, Game 6. OOO gawd, game 6. But this moment, all of that doesn't get erased, but it makes this moment sweeter. I think about all those times where someone said, how many rings do you have? F U All, SF has one ring and damnit, it might as well be 20. I just know it is no longer zero.
Even more, I think about the friendships I have made, the bonds that have grown stronger through this great sport. I remember how excited I was to take Ava to her first game. Mary Anne goes to text people while I hold the little one. I needed a moment. I just sat on the couch, watched the tv and tears rolled from my eyes. Ava looked at me quizzically. I cannot help it. All the pain is over. It will never be this good again. Even if we win the next ten championships, it won't be this good. Ave then proceeds to slap the tears away from my face. I chuckle and she does it again.
I was able to share this moment with my wife and my child and I will never forget it. And we start planning going to the parade together. We finally, wisely, made the decision not to take Ava was with us. It was sad but it would be too long, too crowded and too smokey.
The scene at the parade was wild. Hundreds of thousands of people finding a way to be in the city. With so many people, you would think there would be fights. But everyone was so happy. It was an amazing feeling. Camping out at the Civic Center for hours was all worth it. The pictures in the paper are beautiful, but that feeling of being there. The feeling of joy. The accomplishment that this team made us all feel. The Giants captured all of our hearts. It was probably the greatest times I have ever had as a sports fan. At one point, I guess, I will have to move on, but I hope that time doesn't come soon.