Giants go orange, black in parade
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Halloween treat came hours early for San Francisco Giants baseball fans who turned out by the thousand — many climbing trees and rooftops — to cheer on the World Series champions during a confetti-drenched parade through the heart of town.
Fans in the team’s holiday-appropriate orange and black stood 30 deep Wednesday for a chance to see their favorite players wave from convertibles and get serenaded by Tony Bennett singing “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”
Series MVP Pablo Sandoval, who swatted three home runs in his first three at bats in Game 1, and second baseman Marco Scutaro, who batted in the winning run of the game that clinched the title, addressed the throngs at the rally in Spanish.
“This is the second, but there are going to be a lot more,” Sandoval said, expressing special thanks to the Bay Area’s Latino community. “You should enjoy this and feel this in your hearts.”
Clouds of black, orange and white confetti were shot from cannons positioned on roofs and along the canyon-like, skyscraper-lined street. Spectators and parade participants, who included legendary Giants alumni Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal and politicians such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, reveled in the showers.
The unifying energy of the Giants’ latest victory was evident as San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith drove the car carrying Giants pitcher Matt Cain and his family, while 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh did the honors for first baseman Brandon Belt.
The convertibles gave fans clean views along the parade route that began at the foot of Market Street near San Francisco Bay and ended on the steps of City Hall, across from the overflowing plaza.
“Since I was a kid, I wanted to play on the Giants and win a World Series. So it’s fun to be here,” said shortstop Brandon Crawford, who grew up in the Bay Area.
Giants Manager Bruce Bochy, who hoisted the World Series trophy from the back of a gold Rolls Royce during most of the 1 1/2-mile procession, credited fans and his players’ “unselfish play” for helping to lift San Francisco to its second World Series victory in three years, an improbable double play for a franchise that had not won the title since 1954.
“In 2010, we characterized the club as misfits that came together and got it done,” Bochy told the roaring hordes gathered for the rally in Civic Center Plaza. He said the tagline of the 2012 Giants was “never say die,” a reference to the team’s come-from-behind, post-season dominance.
“I thank you for always being there, for never giving up,” he said. “Thank you for showing up wherever we’ve been and making this one of the greatest moments of my life.”
As with the 2010 parade, this year’s two-hour edition drew a cross-section of the region’s diversity. Children who were allowed to skip school squeezed cap-to-glove alongside older couples who had been Giants fans since the team arrived in San Francisco from New York in 1958.