i don’t care if i ever get back

Posted: October 29, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Image Credit: SF Chronicle

So, the San Francisco Giants won the World Series last night.

Which makes this their second win in three years.

After spending nearly half a century without a World Series win.

I’m pretty damn happy about this.

But I don’t want to share with you guys how incredible the Giants played this postseason, or all year, for that matter. This isn’t a sportsball blog.

Instead, I want to talk about some of my memories of baseball, and of the Giants.

***

If someone were to say that I bleed orange and black, they wouldn’t be entirely wrong, even though that sounds like a horrible blood disease that I have to get checked out immediately.

My first Giants game was probably around 1993 or 1994, when the Giants were still playing in Candlestick Park. I was a wee little nipper of a thing then. In fact, somewhere in my parents’ photo archives is a picture of me sitting at Candlestick Park, looking as innocent and cute as a little bunny rabbit. It’s a sweet picture, especially when you take into account that I may be many things today, but “innocent” and “cute” are neither one of them.

Witness:

Number of Pictures on Axolotl Ceviche With Ian Photographing Himself While Wearing Hats: 3

When I was a nine-year-old kid, before I wanted to be a writer, I wanted to play third base for the San Francisco Giants. I only played two years of Little League, and my teams both times were always the best at sucking. And I wasn’t the best player, either. I wasn’t bad, mind you. I could hit and run and field and throw pretty okay. But I wasn’t one of the stars of the team. I was more of the “team oddball”. You know the type, if you ever played in a peewee sports league: the kid with so many mental health issues that he can barely hold a conversation without either imploding into anxious tears or punching you in the face, but who you still feel a sort of odd affection towards, because he’s your kind of weird. Even so, it was my dream to play professional baseball one day, even if my chances at ever doing that were about as low as you can get while still keeping your chances a positive number.

When the Giants got to the World Series in 2002, it was a cause for celebration around my cohousing. We all piled into our common house living room and watched the Giants rise up to the precipice of victory, and then have that all shattered by the Anaheim Angels (WHICH IS CORRECT NAME FOR THAT TEAM, I DON’T CARE IF THEIR OWNER WANTS TO CALL THE TEAM THE “LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM”, THAT IS RIDICULOUS ANAHEIM IS NOWHERE NEAR LOS ANGELES WHAAAAARGARBLE) in the last three games. Then came the long slump of the mid-oughties under Felipe Alou, when the Giants sunk towards the crappier end of the NL West, when the team was mired by scandal (mostly because of that egotistical fucker Barry Bonds… but that’s a completely different story).

In high school, I decided baseball was no longer “cool”. Sports were for dumb jocks. I was too busy going off and memorizing Pink Floyd lyrics and reading Discworld novels to be bothered by jockish nonsense. It was only when I got into college that I rediscovered my love of the game. And it was the perfect time for it, too: that year, 2010, was the year the Giants finally took home the Commissioner’s Trophy, when a gang of freaks and misfits thumbed their noses at the odds and stole it all away. I fell in love with the 2010 Giants, with the fact that none of the players were great as individuals, but were incredible as a unit. In fact, there was no good reason that they should have worked as a unit. The SF Giants in 2010 were like a V12 engine made from rubber bands and spit. And somehow they won.

In 2012, I was there all throughout the season. I watched Matt Cain pitch his perfect game on June 13, 2012 (which might have been the best game ever played in Giants franchise history). I saw them come close to the breaking point when they were down 2-0 in the division series against the Reds, hang on by the skin of their teeth, go 6-0 in elimination games, and steamroll over the Tigers in four games to win it again. I wouldn’t have thought it possible, at times… but the Giants are all about the impossible, somehow. They take statistics and they beat them to death with shovels and they hide the remains in Brian Wilson’s beard. Most of all, they’re my team, and to them, I have only one thing to say:

Well played, sirs. Well played.

~ Ian

PS: I’ll try to find some pictures of me from the periods of Darkest History that I’ve described. You might get some amusement out of them.

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