To the rest of the country, it’s just another World Series win. But to those of us in the San Francisco Bay area, it’s much more.
Yes, of course, it’s a fantastic feat: two World Series wins in three years, after just struggling to stay in the game. So to speak.
But it’s more than that.
If you listened to the team and its management in post-game interviews, it’s clear: the San Francisco Giants are a perfect example of teamwork in action. Here’s what we heard:
“For one, we didn’t allow doubt to ever creep in,” Hunter Pence said. “You know, the thing that made this team so special is just playing as a team, caring for each other. We had our backs against the wall and we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. It’s not supposed to be.”
“It’s amazing what they accomplished,” Bruce Bochy said. “I think when you look at this club, the terms teamwork, team play and play as a team, that’s used loosely, but these guys truly did. They set aside their own agenda and asked what’s best for the club. And we put guys in different roles, nobody ever said a word, complained or anything and that’s the only way it got done.”
So let’s be clear: this is not an ordinary team. It’s a motley crew of strange-ass guys who are atypically un-self-conscious. Baseball players are known for their superstitions, but this team seems to have more of them and stranger. They grow bizarre beards. Wear red thongs. Say strange things. Barry Zito does yoga and meditates. Tim Lincecum smokes weed. It’s a uniquely San Francisco band of brothers and they aren’t at all embarrassed to admit and demonstrate the deep love between them.
As unlikely as it seems, what’s going on at the ballpark is magic conjured up by pure, unadulterated, infectious fun. A ragtag group of players that exude teamwork, playfulness, mutual love and respect. Fans that are the most exuberant i baseball. The best ballpark in the world. A city that exudes diversity. It all adds up. (Letter to the editor, HERE)
We rarely have a chance to see that kind of kumbaya* in action, but the Giants showed us–and then TOLD us– how it works.
Congratulations to the World Champion San Francisco Giants! See you at the parade on Wednesday!
*Kumbaya comes from a gullah spiritual song from the 1930s. It was originally associated with spiritual and human unity, closeness and compassion, although it’s often satirized.