If the San Francisco Giants are going to be this good I may need to rekindle my devotion as a fan.
About this time two years ago I wrote a column on the Giants when they won the 2010 World Series over the Texas Rangers. It was the first time the team had won a World Series since 1954.
In that column I looked back and chronicled my die-hard allegiance to the Giants as early as 1970. I recounted listening to Giant games on the radio when they faced rival Los Angeles. I loved to listen to Dodger games on their home station KFI and was mesmerized by the descriptive account of the action by announcer Vin Scully, who just wrapped up his 63rd year as their play-by-play man.
I liked the Dodgers OK, but when they faced the San Francisco Giants it was another story. The Giants were my team. I knew their starting lineup and which players I could count on to come through with a clutch hit, pound a game-winning home run or handcuff opposing hitters from the mound.
I grew out of that phase for a couple of decades so I suppose I’m not truly an authentic Giants’ fan now, but maybe I should become a kid again and follow them more closely. Winning the World Series is rare, and they’ve done it twice in three years.
The New York Yankees have won the most at 27, but they’ve been around for 110 years and have played in 40 World Series. The Giants have been around for a long time too, but prior to 2010 they had only won it five times. Suddenly they’ve upped that championship mark to seven.
Watching the final game of the 2010 World Series, the TV commentators mentioned that the Giant players described themselves as castoffs and misfits with a few starters joining the team in mid-season. That’s how I felt about the Giants back in the 1970s when I listened to them playing against the popular LA Dodgers. They seemed talented, but not quite enough to dominate. Perhaps it is also the lure of cheering for the underdog that won my Giant allegiance. The Giants were always an underdog, now they seem like a top dog in Major League Baseball.
I didn’t follow Major League Baseball much again this year, and then I heard the Giants were in the playoffs. However, they were down 0-2 to the Cincinnati Reds after losing twice in San Francisco. Another good showing, I thought.
That’s went the recent Giant magic started to happen. San Francisco won three straight games from the Reds to reach the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Giants dropped behind the Cardinals 3-1 in the best-of-seven series on Oct. 18. Looks like they’re going down, I thought, but a real good showing reaching the National League Championship.
That Oct. 18 game was the last loss for the Giants this year. They came back to win three straight from the Cardinals to win the National League pennant and then swept Detroit in four games to win the World Series.
I’ll start paying attention a lot earlier next season.