It might say San Francisco on their uniforms but the Giants have a die-hard fan base on the Peninsula that have followed the team for decades in hopes it will one day win the World Series.
As the Giants set to battle the Rangers in the first game of the World Series today, fans are hoping this year’s team will finally bring the trophy home, 56 years after it won its last championship while still playing in New York.
The Giants swept the Cleveland Indians in 1954, the series in which outfielder Willie Mays made “The Catch.”
The Giants moved to San Francisco prior to the 1958 season and made it to the World Series three times before this season, in 1962, 1989 and 2002. The Giants lost all those series, however, putting pressure on this year’s team to secure a World Series title for San Francisco and its die-hard fans here on the Peninsula.
Fans desperate to get into today’s game are facing $400 ticket prices for standing-room-only seats.
The excitement is real for this year’s team and local elected officials who represent Peninsula residents are standing up tall to show support for the team.
Today happens to be Foster City Mayor Rick Wykoff’s wedding anniversary and his daughter’s birthday. To celebrate, Wykoff bought his wife and daughter tickets to today’s World Series game in San Francisco. He is not going because they are bigger fans, he said.
“The Giants mean a whole lot to Foster City. Several of their players have lived in Foster City over the years. They mean everything to us,” Wykoff said.
The Wykoffs attended spring training in Arizona before the start of the regular season.
“What I like about this team is the word ‘team,’” Wykoff said. “None of them appear to be more interested in themselves than the team.”
U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, will be wearing all orange and black to support the Giants until the series is finished.
“I am as tingly as any other Giants fan,” Speier said.
Speier, too, appreciates the entire team and has high praise for outfielder Cody Ross, named most valuable player in the National League Championship Series against the Phillies.
“Cody Ross was supposed to spend his summer in Arizona but then we picked him up in August and he becomes MVP. It is a great story,” Speier said.
Speier grew up listening to the Giants on the radio and lists Willie Mays and Willie McCovey as her favorite all-time players.
Burlingame Mayor Cathy Baylock has been searching for tickets to the World Series, without luck so far. She is not quite ready to spend $400 on a standing-room-only seat, however.
“Just to beat San Diego was huge,” said Baylock, who has visited the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown three times. “I’m starting to read the sports section first in the paper every day.”
She calls herself a pitcher’s mother, having two teen boys who both pitch. One of her sons is even growing a beard in honor of relief pitcher Brian Wilson.
Baylock likes this team for Bruce Bochy’s managing style.
“I think he is brilliant. Bochy is so creative to responding to every little situation,” Baylock said.
In San Mateo, Mayor John Lee calls this year’s Giants team “magic.”
“I really follow the team. They are our team. They are a rag-tag band of players that stick together,” said Lee, who also praised the acquisition of Ross. “The only reason we picked him up was so that the Padres wouldn’t get him. It turned out to be really ‘magic.’”
Lee was a former season-ticket holder who enjoyed taking the train into the city to watch the Giants.
U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, has supported the team since she was a little girl living in Connecticut when the Giants still played in New York.
“I love the Giants. They make the word team ‘dance,’” said Eshoo, who attended a playoff game against the Phillies last week with her family, a game the Giants won.
Eshoo likes Brian Wilson, also.
“I think he’s a hoot,” Eshoo said about the man known for his bootblack beard.
Bill Silverfarb can be reached by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 106.