World Series Game 5: "Fairy tales do come true..."

(Click here for audio accompaniment to this blog)

If you're my friend "Solid" you're laid up with back pain and desperate for good news.

If you're loyal Twins fan/friend "T-Dubs" you're still partying hardy in a down town promenade.

If you're frequent reader/commenter/friend-of-the-blog "Margo" (HI!!!) you're just glad a certain other "Dubs" is going home for the winter.

And if you're a fan of the orange and black, of great pitching and steady fielding, of clutch rookies and young-at-heart veterans, of baseball...just great baseball, you've got to be happy for the San Francisco Giants, 2010 World Champions.

This is a team that won a playoff berth on the last day of the season, a team that had to plow through living legend Bobby Cox and the dominating Phillies just to make the World Series, and a squad that was summarily dismissed as a long shot against a more potent Rangers line-up. (Sidenote to Rangers fans: though the scores suggest otherwise, it was a close series; a good series, and a series that shows how unpredictable baseball can be, thanks for the run, and for destroying the Yankees--we owe you {a little})

For 50 years the Giants have plotted and planned and failed. They've tried and they've tried and they've always come up short (occasionally painfully short: See '62, '89, '02). Several Giants fans have described their fandom as torture and--while certain prisoners of war might disagree--any fan who loves a team truly, madly and deeply from February through November is familiar with that kind of tumultuous pain (unless you're a Yankees fan).

I know this because I spent a large part of my night canvassing for the election, and almost every other house included someone with the game on. Coming to the door they'd mutter about the Indians, or sigh in their Red's t-shirt, or adjust a White Sox cap dreaming of what might have been. Even afterwards, on the phone, I could hear my mom's anguish over what might have been had the Twins just calmed down for a minute.

But here's the great thing: no matter how much each individual wished their own team had a shot at the World Series they were still watching those left standing. They were yelling for Buster Posey (a generational contemporary of most students), they were screaming for Josh Hamilton (an inspirational story of redemption), they were like little kids, even though they had no vested interest in the outcome. My dad sounded thrilled at the cerebral brilliance of the pitchers, like he wanted to get back out onto a field in Libby, MT and throw one more time. Heck, even I felt like a teenager as I heard "Edgar Renteria delivers" flashing back to (sorry Tribe fans) 1997 and his 10th Inning, series winning single that made me smile--even though I lived half a continent away.

For right now, there is no back pain, no hangover, nothing at all to detract from this moment for Giants fans. Willie Mays is smiling, so is Juan Marichal, and Danny Gladden, and Solid and T-Dubs and everyone else who likes seeing a deserving team triumphantly dog-pile like a pack of little-leaguers. Whoever you are, wherever you are it's a great moment to be young-at-heart.

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