The Giants parade route is filling to the brim right now. Minutes ago, the Giants parade route began at the San Francisco financial district, as the world champions head down to City Hall. There, Mayor Gavin Newsome will give them the key to the city, to go along with their other honors in the last month. Long time San Francisco residents could have only imagined this sight in their dreams, thanks to 53 years of heartache. But after the Giants parade route gets cleaned up, they will finally have new memories to make it all worth it.
At 2 pm est, 11 am Pacific, the champs began to make their way through town. Thousands will be wearing orange throughout the city, as they welcome their new heroes back home. They have already been staked out for hours, and for good reason.
The Giants parade route starts out at the intersection of Montgomery and Washington streets, in the city’s financial district. From there, they will take a right at Market Street, and make their way down to City Hall. There, Bruce Bochy, Brian Wilson, Tim Lincecum, Buster Posey, Edgar Renteria, Matt Cain, and the rest of the bearded castoffs will say some final words.
This could have happened in 1962, when the Giants took the Yankees to a seventh game at home. It could have taken place in 1989, before the Athletics and the earth itself interfered. It could have happened in 1993, but the wild card was born one year too late. And it perhaps should have happened in 2002, but their bullpen wasn’t as unhittable back then.
Yet all of those hard memories were finally erased in 2010, by the least likely team the Bay Area has ever since. The team riding the Giants parade route has no superstars – at least on offense – and came out of nowhere to outlast more experienced, big market franchises.
But after falling behind early in the NL West, the Giants rallied back and took advantage of a late Padres slump. Although they nearly blew the division lead themselves on the final weekend, they won on the last day and kicked off a postseason hot streak. They sent Bobby Cox into retirement, ended the Phillies’ National League reign, then spoiled both the Rangers’ Fall Classic debut and Cliff Lee’s October perfection.
As such, today’s Giants parade route will be littered with thanks from a pleasantly surprised fan base. Where so many San Francisco legends failed, these less than star studded, yet perfectly put together, band of freaks succeeded.
Of course, after the celebration, the focus will be on proving that this wasn’t a one year fluke. Now that San Francisco isn’t the underdog anymore, they have the target on their back for 2011.
With the lineup certain to lose a few people, and with teams like the Phillies and Braves looking for revenge, getting a parade route for 2011 will be difficult for the Giants. But that is for another day’s concern.
MLB.com- “World Champions Homecoming Parade”