In 2004, a man named Shaun Kelly started a thread on a Boston Red Sox message board detailing the people he wanted the Red Sox to win the World Series for. Thousands of posts followed, with people detailing their parents, siblings, family members, friends and even some enemies and how they helped them become the Red Sox fans they are today. I added a post about my grandfather. “Win it for...” was featured in Leigh Montville’s Why Not Us?, and a printed copy of the thread was sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame for archiving. With that in mind and with the Giants being one game away from their first World Championship since 1954, I have thought of a few people, both public figures in the Giants organization and people important to me, who I want the Giants to win the World Series for.
I want the Giants to win the World Series for, perhaps more than anybody else, Willie McCovey. If his liner goes over the head of Bobby Richardson, we are different fans, perhaps even different people. The greatest player the Giants ever had was Willie Mays, but Willie won his World Series. So did Mel Ott, Bill Terry, Carl Hubbell, Christy Mathewson and John McGraw. Willie Mac gave his hands and feet for the Giants – literally, considering he is crippled by arthritis – but he never won the World Series. I also want the Giants to win for the hundreds, if not thousands, of players who gave us joy between 1958 and 2004. Tom Haller, Ed Bailey (Ed Haller?), Jack Sanford, Billy Pierce, the Alou brothers, Orlando Cepada, Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry, Bobby Bonds, Tito Fuentes, Dick Dietz, Jim Ray Hart, Chris Speier, John Montefusco, Jim Barr, Darrell Evans, Bill Madlock, Vida Blue, Jack Clark, Joe Morgan, Greg Minton, Jeffrey Leonard, Kevin Mitchell, Robby Thompson, Will Clark, Rick Reuschel, Kurt Mainwaring, Darren Lewis, Rod Beck, Jeff Kent, JT Snow, David Bell, Kirk Reuter (and his shed) and Robb Nen. Win it for 1962, a team that felled the Dodgers and fell 180 feet short. Win it for the second place teams of the 60s that never quite got over the hump. Win it for 1971’s division champs, playing in a construction site Candlestick. Win it for the miracle Giants of ’78, ’82, and ’86. Win it for the division champs of 1987, whose hearts (and bats) got broken out in St. Louis. Win it for 1989, the earthquake pennant winners. Win it – oh God, win it – for 1993, the team that deserved so much more than second place from 103 wins. Win it for ’97 and ’03, division champs who didn’t deserve to lose to an expansion team. Win it for 2002...and leave the damn ball on the mound doing it.
Oh, win it for Barry too.
Win it for Mike Murphy, the Excelsior kid who has worked for the San Francisco Giants as long as there has been a San Francisco Giants. Murph’s been there for all of it. Win it for Hank and Lon, whose dulcet tones never called a Giants world championship. I’d love to hear Lon’s call; the veneer of professional objectivity always disappeared on a really big play and the excitement shone through instead. Kruk and Kuip, the fife and drum players our army marches to, will get to call the games. Let us hear an exulted “Woohoo!” Lastly, win it for Jon Miller, who got to call a World Series championship early in his career and has thoroughly earned the privilege of calling one for his hometown team. I won’t be forgetting ESPN Radio if we’re ahead in the bottom of the 9th.
Win it for San Francisco, who has clutched the Giants to its breast for 52 years, despite several near breakups, a house with a bad draft in a sketchy neighborhood and lots of heartache. I want to see this happen for the City. Win it for the diehards in New York who still bleed orange and black after 1957.
Finally, this should be personal. Win it for the Gallagher sisters, surrogate aunts and long-time season ticket holders who gave me endless amounts of free tickets, encouraging my baseball mania and allowing me to watch enormous amounts of great baseball and Barry Bonds. Win it for all the buddies I went to ballgames with (sometimes on those free tickets) and whose updates on Facebook keep me plugged in on what’s going on 5,000 miles away. Win it for my mother, who told me the night before Game 1 versus the Mets in 2000 that I was playing hooky to sit in left field. A better surprise I’ve never had. Win it for my father, who held tickets for a one game playoff in 1993 that never came and after seeing his Red Sox win the World Series, wants to see the Giants finally release him, eternally, from the bonds of baseball sadomasochism.
Post who you want this final win to happen for.