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Inspirational Tuesday: From Misfits To Champions

November 2, 2010

San Francisco Giants: World Champions

Last night, the Giants won their first championship in 56 years, and first ever for the franchise in San Francisco. It’s amazing that this particular Giants team, featuring no huge superstars (aside from Tim Lincecum, maybe) brought the title home, after so many Giants teams in the past with great Hall of Famers could never win it all. The team was just a collection of players that loved playing ball. I followed them all season long, and I sensed a tremendous sense of looseness and camaraderie in this team.

Manager Bruce Bochy called his team of players “a bunch of misfits.” No Giants batter ranked in the top ten in any significant statistical category during the regular season.

The team was carried to the title by a succession of unlikely postseason heroes:

  • Their cleanup hitter, rookie starting catcher Buster Posey was in the minor leagues when the season started. His battery mate, 21-year-old starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner was there too.
  • Pat Burrell was released by his team midseason and was picked up by his hometown Giants. He had some huge hits down the stretch to return the favor.
  • Andres Torres, a 32-year-old lifelong journeyman came out of nowhere to spark the team with his bat in the leadoff spot and his glove in the field.
  • Cody Ross was claimed through waivers, only to homer his way to the NLCS MVP award.
  • Aubrey Huff, who had a reputation as a snarky guy who played for losers, led the team in hitting during much of the season and kept the clubhouse loose by wearing his lucky red thong since the beginning of September.
  • Freddy Sanchez, known for being injury-prone, played amazing defense all series.
  • Unwanted by other clubs in free agency, Juan Uribe came back and cracked clutch homers when the Giants needed it most.
  • And last but not least, veteran shortstop Edgar Renteria was thought to be on the downside of his career. He turned out to be the World Series MVP, surprise surprise.

With an amazing pitching staff led by hippie ace Tim Lincecum and wacky closer Brian Wilson, they could and did compete with anyone. How could you not love this team.

Underdogs in every playoff series, the Giants defied all the pundits and just won as a team. They woke up a city that was just waiting for a team of destiny. They were a team of misfits, but they were our team of misfits. As they hoisted the World Series trophy, the Giants made us proud.

San Francisco was blanketed in orange and black all September and the Giants win last night set off a crazy celebration.

The Giants turned people into believers. We expected the unexpected. They inspired a city, a fan base, and many others in the Bay Area and nation as a whole to join in on the fun. The whole city of San Francisco belted out “Don’t Stop Believin'” and truly believed in this team.

The 2010 Giants were a team that was much much more than a sum of its parts. This year, the slogan for AT&T Park, the stadium where the Giants call home, was “It’s Magic Inside.” And boy, was it magic inside :)

Photos by Jose Carlos Fajardo, Getty Images, D. Ross Cameron

One Comment leave one →
  1. lisa Quan permalink
    November 3, 2010 4:20 pm

    It is amazing how a team work can make an misfit baseball club became a World Series Champion!

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