What a parade that was on Wednesday when nearly 1 million fans lined up in San Francisco to cheer on the Not a dry eye could be seen.
I still look back to a month or so ago and didn’t think that the Giants were going to come this far. I thought the As had a better chance. I’m not an As fan but they did look solid coming into the playoffs.
Then the Giants made it to the playoffs and kept us on the edge of our seats. Why? It’s because they maintained a positive attitude no matter how bad it got. As you saw, they were down 2-0 in some playoff runs but still came out ahead.
Attitude was the reason they swept the Tigers. One KNBR newscaster said that the Giants always ran on the field like they were having fun no matter what the score was, or if they were behind in a playoff run.
Let’s face it. All of the playoff teams were good. Most were awesome. They are always good. This is nothing new. But if you compare the Giants to the Tigers, statistics-wise, they were not that different before they met for the first game.
But there is one thing the Tigers didn’t have and that’s “Reverend” Hunter Pence. Hunter Pence was born in 1983 in Texas and used to play for the Houston Astros. 6-foot-4 Pence joined the Giants on July 31, 2012.
World Series Game 1 Pitcher Barry Zito recently said in a TV interview that Hunter Pence’s pregame dugout motivational talks and leadership in creating what I call the “happy dance” really did make a difference.
Before each game whether they were expected to win or not, Pence gave the other players a pep talk and led them in a ritual that started with a slow clap then progressed into a mosh pit. It finished with a shower of sunflower seeds that you might see as a bride and groom leave a wedding. This pumped the guys up and sent them on the field in a happy and relaxed mood.
This led to two epic post season comebacks and a World Series sweep of the Detroit Tigers. Near flawless pitching, hitting and fielding played a huge part as well. But face it. All of the teams had that physical talent.
Some other positive influences that come from the Giants roster include World Series Most Valuable Player Pablo “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval. Born in 1986 in Venezuela, Panda is 5-foot-11, 240 pounds and has already played in two World Series.
Everyone is impressed with Panda’s many homeruns but what I really liked is the “bubblegum” play he made a few weeks ago that became a hit on YouTube. While playing third base, he chased a ball over the foul line and right into the stands bending over the barrier and falling into the seats to make the play. This is not a big deal. The big deal was that he blew a decent size bubble right before he made the catch! I got the impression that he was having a blast out there and that it was not a stressful pre-playoff game but rather something that he really enjoys, like he was a 10-year-old playing on a sand lot with no uniforms, salaries, or World Series trophy at stake.
Another way Sandoval stays relaxed, he says, is that he likes to sing in the locker room. I have heard him say this in a few different media interviews. He said he’s not show quality but it’s something he really enjoys.
And last but not least, there is something that the 2010 and 2012 Championship San Francisco Giants have in common and that’s 6-foot-1 Buster Posey. Born in Georgia in 1987, as soon as he joined the team in 2010, they started winning. Notice in 2011 he became injured and they didn’t go that far.
Posey's injuries healed and then after he started playing again in 2012, the team started winning a lot again, just like in 2010!
In addition to physical talent he has the right attitude. During the parade, Posey said to fans, “This is about making memories with your friends and family.” Notice he did not say, “We rock. We are the best.”
This attitude epitomizes the 2012 San Francisco World Champion team and no doubt Hunter Pence did his part to keep it going especially when the team was facing big challenges.
And on parade day, Hunter Pence told the crowd made up of hundreds of thousands of fans that the team, “set aside their egos and sacrificed themselves” for one another.
Maybe when he’s old enough, Hunter Pence could run for president.
Some of our politicians could get more done and work together better if they just took this advice.