I had a difficult time deciding what to call this post. I thought about referencing masochism again, something about how much joy torture can bring at the end, but I thought that was going a bit far.
I thought more seriously about referencing the Journey song "Lights." And the line, "So you say your lonely, well I am lonely too. And I want to go home to my city by the bay." Because tonight I am as homesick as I have ever been, being in the midst of what my mentor called the most isolating experience she has ever been through, was nothing compared to this evening. And I wish deeply to be back in my City by the Bay.
I actually sat an watched the Giant's game this evening. I didn't believe that the Giant's would be able to win until there was one strike left. The whole bottom of the ninth I was screaming at the announcers who acted like game was won already. This is a team that exemplifies the idea that it isn't over till the fat lady sings. They were in a similar situation the last time they were in the series and were able to loose it. Acts of God have interrupted their World Series. Cautious optimism is the name of the game. Then Wilson threw the last pitch and the Giants won.
I immediately started crying. I was so terribly happy. It was the culmination of years of sitting being tortured by Giant's baseball. And I am so glad that it was this team of freaks and miss-fits that was able to do it. Because the Giants are a team of the underdog. This was the way the win was supposed to go, for a team not a star. The cold nights at candlestick, the hot days in the bleachers, the painful losses, seeing Buster Posey hit a home run in his first game in the majors, the Barry Bonds home runs, my grandfather teaching me to keep score, my teen-aged crush on J.T. Snow, my childhood idolization of Glen Ellen Hill because he grew up in my home town and shared my birthday. It is more than what it means to me, it is what it means to my family, an most especially my dad.
I wouldn't love baseball if it wasn't for my dad. His willingness to bribe me with hot chocolate if it was cold and ice cream if it was hot, because "we aren't dodgers fans, and we stay till the end of the game." His ability to sit through games with wining kids, although I am sure the headphones with Kruke and Kype on the radio helped. His utter devotion to a team that seemed to always let him down. The Giants won their last world series three weeks before my dad was born . (It was the third longest streak behind the Cubs and the Indians if you are keeping track. I used to joke that he was the Giants' curse, and they would win the series again three weeks after he pasted away.) He was born before Major League Baseball came west of the Mississippi and has a couple hazy memories of the when the Seals played in San Fransisco. This means he picked his team and his league, and while the rest of his family has hazy alliances to the American League and the Oakland A's, my dad is nothing if not a Giants fan. He taught me from a young age why the designated hitter rule was an abomination and that the only prejudice you are allowed to express openly is against Dodger's (and then it is best done in a loud voice.) His stories of being a young fan are the stuff of Americana.
This win was a big moment for my childhood self and the part of me that is truly my father's daughter. And I couldn't share it with my family. There wasn't anyone around I could hug, who got it. Who knows what an accomplishment it was to get a Croix De Candlestick or the nausea that comes when you discuss 2002 and Ortiz. I was alone in my joy and sometimes that is even harder than being alone in sadness
So I cried, big smiling wet tears for my team and my family. When it came time to pay my bill my weighter turned to me and said "your beer is on me. You totally made my night. I am a Red Socks fan so I get it." Maybe I wasn't as alone as I thought I was, but I was still outside of my city missing my people.
Really I just looking for someone to be able to do this with:
|Carlos Avila Gonzalez / San Francisco Chronicle|
Because that is how I felt.
So thanks dad for spending every summer and a small fortune giving me a passion for baseball and a tolerance for torture. You can let mom know it was worth it.
(And I promise I will post on this weekend, but it probably will be about this time next week)