Friday, November 5, 2010

I Love a Parade

I love a parade
The tramping of feet,
I love every beat
I hear of a drum.
I love a parade
When I hear a band,
I just want to stand
And cheer as they come.
~ First stanza, 1930s hit composed by Harold Arlen

Victory is sweet.

On November 3, just two days removed from winning their first World Series title since moving to San Francisco in 1958, the San Francisco Giants threw one great victory party to salute its fans and The City, as San Francisco is known to its locals. Winning a world championship has a keen way of bringing an entire city together.

The weather for the World Series victory parade on Wednesday was summer perfect on this autumn day ~ sunny skies and temperatures in the middle 70s ~ and the crowd was simply high on life and walking on sunshine, showing their admiration for everything Giants.  From the ownership to the manager to the players ~ even the broadcasters ~ everyone was feeling in the right celebratory mood, a little bit awestruck and giddy.

Although I wasn't able to score a reasonably priced ticket to see a World Series game in person at AT&T Park, I wouldn't have missed the Giants' victory parade for the world.  Getting to see the players up close ~ and, sometimes, plain silly ~ made up for having to watch all of the World Series games on TV.  Then, enjoying the City Hall ceremony on a large flat-screen TV while eating lunch seated at the bar in Gordon Biersch Brewery was an added bonus to an already enjoyable day.

While shooting photographs didn't turn into contact sport, it remained competitive ~ and the parade didn't slow down for everyone to capture that picture-perfect moment. Being five or six deep in the crowd, and standing in front of the Palace Hotel on Market Street, I missed being able to photograph every Giants player.  Still, I believe my photographs (displayed below) capture a nice bit of the flavor of the Giants' victory parade.  Plus, after lunch my wife and I decided to cap the afternoon with a few moments down at the Ballpark by the Bay, where we enjoyed a serendipitous encounter with a few of the Giants players as their buses returned from the City Hall ceremony.

The Chronicle Extra headline says it all.

Fans of all ages:
There were plenty of orange and black-clad fans holding signs.

Waiting for the start:
The scene on Montgomery Street an hour before the victory parade.

GI AN TS #1:
A Market Street building spells out a message.

Jessica never stopped believing:
A Giants fan near where I stood held up a sign for all to see.

Rally thong message:
A fan behind me held up a poster.

Kruk and Kuip:
Giants TV broadcasters Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper

Flem and Jon:
Giants radio broadcasters Dave Flemming and Jon Miller

Enjoying the moment:
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom waves at Giants fans.

Framing the moment:
Giants general managing partner Bill Neukom

Thumbs up:
Giants president Larry Baer

Carrying the trophy:
Giants manager Bruce Bochy

World Series pennant:
A Giants fan near me waved a pennant during the parade.

Giants relief pitcher Jeremy Affeldt

Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain won Game 2 of the World Series.

Giants catcher Buster Posey waves at Giants fans.

Pat the Bat:
Giants outfielder Pat Burrell enjoys a cold beverage.

Relaxing for a moment:
Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff on team bus.

Reflecting on the moment:
Giants outfielder Pat Burrell aboard team bus.

Off the bus and ready for the off season:
Giants pitcher Barry Zito greets fans at AT&T Park after the festivities.

A message from The City for the Giants:
A banner near the start of the parade route on Montgomery Street
that also speaks for the Giants' fans.

The torture brought on by 52 years of "wait 'til next year" and plenty of one-run games this year has ended.  It was worth the wait and the agony.  That's baseball.

Cheers to the winners.  Go Giants!

All photographs by Michael Dickens, copyright 2010.

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