It was an event at which the Governor of California made reference to an S&M acquaintance of Giants’ closer Brian Wilson, and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom offered a quote from Grateful Dead icon Jerry Garcia to best describe the 2010 World Series champion Giants.
This amidst a surreal combination of the wildest Mardi Gras and a dozen New Years Eves rolled into one uninhibited celebration to honor the 2010 San Francico Giants winning the World Series.
On Wednesday the city of San Francisco hosted a victory parade for it’s beloved Giants which quickly became the biggest public event in the city’s 160 year history. City officials and Giant executives estimated the crowd at well over one million people, as the World Series champs followed a 1 1/2 mile parade route first traveled in 1958 when the Giants moved to San Francisco from New York City.
Hundreds of thousands of people converged in the early morning hours along Montgomery Street and Market Street to claim a spot along the parade route, while over a half million more fans crowded into Civil Center plaza to await the arrival of the team and watch the official ceremony. It was a distinctly family affair– the massive crowds made up of everyday fans from throughout Northern California, but an amazingly large number of parents and kids of all ages with a rare chance to experience a truly historic moment.
Apparently there was a regional epidemic of sore throats and runnny noses which forced thousands of Bay Area school children to miss classes Wednesday. But they didn’t miss this.
The parade consisted of cable cars on wheels, vintage cars, and floats pulled by everything from electric cars to a UPS truck. Giant greats Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda, and Willie McCovey joined the Series champions, coaches, Giants radio and TV broadcasters and front office executives as the parade slowly moved up Market Street to City Hall. Also marching in the parade were the team’s employees: ticket takers, security people, front office staff, and seat attendants. The Giants’ sassy mascot, Lou Seal, cavorted along the route.
The City Hall ceremony was an opportunity for fans to see their 2010 team one more time before the post-season party ended. The world champions were introduced one by one and took a seat on the huge stage in front of City Hall facing hundreds of thousands of energized fans who cheered and chanted at the top of their lungs.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger congratulated the team and the city, then looked over at Brian Wilson, sporting his trademark mohawk haircut and dark-dyed beard. During a televised media interview at Wilson’s apartment conducted before the Series, a scantily clad, leather-hooded individual appeared briefly in the background, who Wilson later mysteriously identified as “The Machine”. Governor Schwarzenegger ended his remarks by saying, “I thought I was the only machine as the Terminator, but now you also have a machine on your team…” “…so congratulations also to The Machine…”.
Mayor Gavin Newsom succinctly summed up the uniqueness of this championship team by paraphrasing Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia. “They are not the best at what they do, they are the only ones who do what they do.”
Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff alternatively waved, and wore, his trademark red thong throughout the parade. At the podium during the ceremonies Huff dramatically pulled the thong out from inside the front of his jeans and triumphantly waved it to the crowd. Wilson addressed the rally by saying, “I’m kinda having a mini-heart attack, I don’t really know the cause… …maybe the electricity in the crowd, or maybe the smell of Prop 19”, in reference to California’s failed marijuana ballot referendum.
In a wave of good feelings a host of Giant players addressed the rally, Tim Lincecum, Buster Posey, Juan Uribe and others expressing their love for their teammates and appreciation for the fans amid cheers and applause. Giants Manager Bruce Bochy summed up the selfless attitude that defined the achievements of this San Francisco Giants team: “They wanted to win it for you as bad as they wanted to win it for themselves.”