Saturday, November 3, 2012

Giant Crowd Celebrates Giants' Second Championship in Three Years

San Francisco Giants OF Hunter Pence, photo by Andy Lopusnak/BASD
Giant Crowd Celebrates Giants' Second Championship in Three Years
October 31, 2012

Over a million people crammed the streets and poured out of building windows down Market Street to watch the victory parade for the 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants on an overcast Halloween morning.

The overflowing crowd was estimated to be larger than the one just two years earlier when the Giants won their first World Series title since 1954, four years before the franchise moved from New York to San Francisco.

BART had its highest daily ridership over nearly 600,000 easily eclipsing the previous high set at the 2010 Giants victory parade. From when BART opened until when the parade began over five hours later, trains from the four East Bay routes as well as Millbrae were packed after just a few stops.

Still more arrived in the Financial District and City Hall, where the parade ended and the celebration continued, as early as 4:00 A.M. to grab prime spots to see the 25 players, manager Bruce Bochy and the World Series trophy.

The parade began with San Francisco dignitaries such as major Ed Lee and Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representative Nancy Pelosi, rode by in convertible cars; next came some floats and faux cable cars with Giants corporate partners and staff members. Then came out five Giants Hall of Famers in more convertibles: Gaylord Perry, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey and Willie Mays.

When Bochy, riding in a vintage Rolls Royce carried the World Series trophy above his head, over 1.5 tons of biodegradable confetti began to pour on the streets, players and the crowd that stood up to 50 deep along the parade route. The 25 players on the World Series roster followed in more convertibles, except for pitcher Brian Wilson who was in a faux cable car.

World Series Most Valuable Player Pablo Sandoval, who hit three home runs in his first three World Series at-bats and finished with a .500 average, concluded the parade hoisting his MVP trophy.

At City Hall, Giants CEO Larry Baer was given the key to the city and a commemorative broom signifying the team's World Series sweep over the Detroit Tigers. Bochy and some of the players spoke before legendary crooner Tony Bennett belted out his signature hit "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." When Bennett finished, more confetti fell from city hall to end the celebration.

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