What this title means to me, part II
Well, now that you understand the history, you can get a better picture of
I thought I could go into Monday’s night game somewhat relaxed. I was very
confident in the Giants’ chances in a potential Game 6 in San Francisco with
Matt Cain on the mound. Getting Sunday’s win was the key one.
Yet, as Game 5 moved deeper and deeper with no score, I began to twist on
During the long breaks between innings, I would get up and do something –
pick up by son’s toys on the floor, fold laundry, wash the dinner dishes. My
wife asked why I was doing things that are the kids’ responsibility. But I had
to do SOMETHING.
When the Giants took a 3-1 lead into the ninth, I began twisting this red
pillow case that I had started to fold – way back in the second inning – but now
was just holding onto. My wife asked if it was my security blanket.
My daughter, 13, came back into the room after getting herself ready for
school the next day. She took one look at me and asked “Are we still winning?”
Before I could answer her, the game came back from commercial. She looked
at the TV and, with a bit of surprise and glee, said “Oh, we’re up 3-1 … in
the ninth! We’re going to win it!”
I just said “We need three more outs.”
I began to think a little about how I might react when the Giants won it
all. But before I could complete that thought, doubt crept back in. No, I
stopped myself. As long as Wilson keeps runners on base, the Rangers can’t hurt
us with one swing.
You see, after Game 1, the only way the Rangers scored off the Giants was
via the home run. So if Wilson keeps the bases clear, there’s nothing to worry
When Josh Hamilton took that called third strike, the umpire’s call was so
deliberate that I jumped out of my chair and shouted “No! You’re out of there!”
It made my daughter jump. My wife, who had left the room for a moment,
thought something bad had happened.
Then Vlad Guerrero quickly grounds out and suddenly we’re one out away.
Wilson quickly gets ahead of Nelson Cruz 0-1. Then a ball. Then another
strike, a high fastball that Cruz was late on.
One strike away.
Next pitch: Away, Ball 2. Then another one, low and away, Ball 3. Full.
Then came the full-count pitch. Instead of a fastball, Cruz got a high
cutter. Swing and a miss! I jumped up and yell: “YEAH!!!!”
It startled my daughter again, who then realized what happened. She then
raised her arms and went “wooooooooo!” I hugged her. Then my son, 5, came out
to see what happened. My daughter said “Giants win!” My son goes “woohoo!” And
I gave him a high-five and a hug.
Then the phone rang. It was my dad. A Pirates fans at heart, he had adopted
the Giants this postseason for my benefit and decided to partake in a little of
the torture. He said “If the Giants win this, I’ve got to give Timmy a call.”
And that was just the beginning. Then came texts, e-mails, posts on
facebook … from family members, friends, co-workers, former co-workers, college friends, my former
college roommate, friends I grew up with but haven’t spoken to much in 10 or 15
years – some of them even Dodger fans – all to offer their congratulations.
The whole experience was a bit overwhelming.
When it happened, there was some initial exhilaration, and then some doubt
of reality. Did this really happen? After all these years?
I wasn’t sure what it would mean to me, until all the people in my life,
both past and present, took time out of their day to let me know they knew what
it meant to me.
Thank you, all, and thank you, Giants!