San Francisco Celebrates Its World Series Champs

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

After a gripping postseason performance, the 2012 San Francisco Giants took to Market Street to thank their fans one last time before the long, cold baseball-less winter. Although comparisons will undoubtedly be made to the 2010 victory parade, the franchise’s first in San Francisco, this year’s parade did not disappoint in its design, execution and in the pure elation of an estimated 1 million fans.

Running down Market Street and turning onto McAllister Street to the Civic Center and City Hall, the players rode in open-top convertibles with their family and loved ones, confetti streaming down from buildings. The parade, held on October 31, also featured past Giants greats (including the undefeatable Willie Mays), the front office staff and their families, and local pols such as Mayor Ed Lee, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom.

Also notable were cameos from San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, who was driving Brandon Belt, and quarterback Alex Smith, who chauffeured Matt Cain and his wife, Chelsea. While Harbaugh looked like he was having a great time playing to the crowds, Alex Smith seemed to want to fly under the radar, pulling his baseball cap over his eyes and ignoring the crowds chanting his name.

Much has been made about the starting lineup of the 2012 Giants, which looked so different from the “misfits and castoffs” of the 2010 World Champions. Although the main cast may have changed, the Giants’ staff of superlative pitchers formed the core of the franchise’s championships in 2010 and 2012, and similarly underpinned both victory parades. Indeed, it was the Giants’ newest closer-extraordinaire Sergio Romo who seemed to carry the parade with his exuberance, humor, and the pointed message on his T-shirt that read, “I Just Look Illegal.”  

At the end of the day, after the witches finished sweeping the roofs of Muni bus stops (the parade had the happy circumstance of coinciding with another orange and black holiday), entrepreneurs packed up their World Series shirts and pennants of questionable provenance, and the last breathing-room-only light rail left the Civic Center station, this fan surely could not have been alone in thinking, “How are they going to top this next year?”