Notes to Poem:
San Francisco Giants Victory Parade

Peter Y. Chou

Preface: As a kid, I rooted for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and hated New York Giants when they beat them for the 1951 pennant in "Shot Heard 'Round the World". Because KDFC 102.1 FM Classic Music was replaced by KFOX 102.1 FM on January 24, 2011, to play rock music, I began listening to KNBR 680 AM which broadcast San Francisco Giants baseball games on radio with Jon Miller, Duane Kuiper, and Dave Fleming. I also enjoyed post-game analysis by Marty Lurie's on Giants players and his deep knowledge of baseball. After 18 months, KDFC's classical music was restored to the South Bay on 104.9 FM on June 15, 2012. Little by little, I began liking the San Francisco Giants for their nail-biting victories even though they were one of the weakest hitting teams in baseball. Their 103 homers in 2012 and 534 RBI in 2011 were fewest among 30 MLB teams. I like stories of those who overcome adversity, so Ryan Vogelsong, Barry Zito, and Buster Posey are my heroes. When the Giants fell behind the Reds 2-0 in the NLDS and trailed the Cardinals 3-1 in the NLCS, few gave them a chance to win six straight elimination games. But they did, despite Glenn Dickey's article "Giants appear to have finally run out of steam" (SF Examiner, 10-18-2012). The San Jose Mercury News posted a slide show of Photos taken October 31, 2012 during Giants Victory Parade in San Francisco. Photographers include Dai Sugano, Dan Honda, Karl Mondon, Jane Tyska, Patrick Tehan, Natalie Alund, and LiPo Ching. These photos inspired this poem "San Francisco Giants Victory Parade" on Halloween, that may be connected to the Great Pumpkin and the Great Spirit.

Commentary on Poem: "San Francisco Giants Victory Parade"

These San Francisco Giants are real giant killers
beating the Reds and Cardinals in six straight
Playoff elimination games and then sweeping
the favorite Tigers to win the World Series.

Buster Posey's grand slam wins Game 5 of NLDS

Hunter Pence's doubles wins Pennant

Marco Scutaro's RBI in 10th inning wins Series
Baily Deeter highlights 21 greatest moments from San Francisco's Magical Playoff Run. Down 2-0 to the Cincinnati Reds, the Giants came back with three straight to win the NLDS in Cincinatti. Down 3-1 against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Giants won three straight 5-0, 6-1, and 9-0 to win the NLCS. Against the favorite Detroit Tigers who swept the Yankees in four games, Giants beat their ace Justin Verlander in the first game and swept the Tigers in four to win the World Series.
Photo Sources: Posey wins NLDS (; Pence wins Pennant (USA Today); Scutaro wins Series (

Orange, black, and white confetti rain down from
buildings on Market Street as crowd of a million
die-hard fans celebrate these Giants winning
seven games in a row to be baseball champions.

Confetti rain down Market Street

Crowd of million fans in San Francisco parade

2012 World Series Champions Banners
The Giants Victory Parade came on Halloween, Wednesday, October 31, 2012. The two-hour parade began at the foot of San Francisco's Market Street at 11 am and ended at Civic Center Plaza. Estimate of a million fans decked out in the team's holiday-appropriate orange and black stood 30 deep behind barriers, climbed trees, camped out overnight and mounted rooftops for a chance to see their favorite players wave from convertibles on Market Street. San Francisco Giants beat last year's World Series Champions St. Louis Cardinals in three straight games for the National League pennant, and this year's favorite Detroit Tigers in four straight, winning seven games in a row to claim the 2012 baseball World Series Championship.
Photo Sources: Confetti Market Street (SJ Mercury News); Crowd of million (Mercury News); World Series Champions Banners (Mercury News)

Series MVP Pablo Sandoval whose 3-homer game
is matched only by Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson,
and Albert Pujols, strolls down the street shaking
hands with crowd waving sign "Panda for President!"

Pablo Sandoval hits 3 homers in Game 1

"Kung-Fu Panda" shakes hands with crowd

Fans display "Panda for President!" banner
Pablo Sandoval "Kung-Fu Panda" hits a 0-2 fastball off Verlander into deepest right-center field for a homer in the first inning. He slams a 95 mph fastball from Verlander into the left field seats in the third inning. He hits the third homer against Al Alburqueque into center field in the fifth inning. Sandoval became only the fourth player to hit 3 homers in one Series game. Babe Ruth did it twice in 1926 and 1928, Reggie Jackson hit three in 1977, and Albert Pujols did it in 2011. Of those, Sandoval is the only one to homer in his first three at-bats of the game. Sandoval added a single in the 7th inning to improve to 4-for-4 on the night. Winning by home run is unusual for the Giants, whose 103 home runs were last in the major leagues. Sandoval was awarded Series MVP with .500 batting average (8 for 16). He gets out of the parade limo to shake hands with adoring fans who even displayed a banner "Panda for President!" Several kids wore panda costumes on this Halloween day.
Photo Sources: Pablo's 3-homer game (; Pablo with fans (Mercury News); "Panda for President!" banner (Mercury News)

Batting champ Buster Posey's grand slam wins playoff
and two-run homer helps Giants to win the Series.
Sergio Romo strikes out the side to win it all
and his "I Just Look Illegal" T-shirt is a big hit!

Buster Posey's 2-run homer in Game 4

Buster Posey & wife in parade limo

Romo with "I Just Look Illegal" T-shirt
Buster Posey was Rookie of the Year in 2010, leading the Giants to their first World Series in 56 years (1954). On May 25, 2011 against Florida Marlins, Posey was injured during a collision with Scott Cousins at home plate as Cousins scored the winning run in the 12th inning of a 7-6 Giants' loss. Posey suffered a fractured fibula and torn ligaments in his ankle, requiring season-ending surgery. Posey led both leagues in batting in 2012 with .336, and won National League batting title. In Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds on October 11, Posey hit a grand slam home run off Reds starter Mat Latos to help the Giants take the series. He hit a two-run homer in the Game 4 finale as the Giants swept the World Series against the Tigers. Sergio Romo posted an ERA of 0.84 during the postseason, and ERA of 0.00 in the World Series, saving Games 2-4. In the 10th inning of Game 4, Romo struck out Austin Jackson, Don Kelly, and the Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera to win the World Series. Posey ran to Romo and jumped into his arms, and the entire Giants team came out to the mound and celebrated. At the Market Street Victory Parade, Romo's "I Just Look Illegal" T-shirt was a big sensation and crowd pleaser.
Photo Sources: Posey's 2-run homer (; Posey & wife in limo (Mercury News); Romo's "Illegal" T-shirt (Mercury News)

Perfect-game Matt Cain who clinched the pennant
has almost-perfect Alex Smith as his driver,
and lowest man on the totem pole Brandon Belt
chauffered by 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh!

Matt Cain pitches perfect game

Matt Cain driven by 49ers Alex Smith

Brandon Belt chauffered by Jim Harbaugh
Matt Cain pitched a perfect game against the Huston Astros 10-0 on June 13, 2012. Then for the 7th game of NLCS, Matt Cain beats the St. Louis Cardinals 9-0 to win the NL pennant. It's interesting that Cain's chauffer during the Giants Victory Parade was Alex Smith, quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers. NFL rescinded fining Alex Smith $15,000 for wearing a San Francisco Giants cap within 90 minutes before or after a NFL game. On Halloween, Smith felt the energy in downtown San Francisco as he chauffeured friend and pitcher Matt Cain during the Giants' World Series parade. "Just to see the fans and that entire scene yesterday, I was just in awe of it," Smith said. "It was one of the coolest things I've ever done. Those fans were crazy. It was never ending, just never let up. It was nuts." Smith said, naturally, he thought about returning for a Super Bowl parade in February. Alex Smith completed 18-for-19 passes (94.73%) as 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals 24-3 on October 29, 2010. His completion to Michael Crabtree was ruled a lateral, not a forward pass. Otherwise his 19-for-20 completion (95%) would eclipse Kurt Warner's 24-for-26 completion (92.31%) for a NFL record. The league's record book requires a minimum of 20 attempts to qualify for the highest completion percentage in a game. Brandon Belt batted .077 during the World Series, lowest among Giants regulars. It's interesting that Belt was chauffered in his parade limo by Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers Jim Harbaugh. However, Belt's triple in the 2nd inning of Game 4 scored Hunter Pence for the Giants' first run that would eventually win the World Series.
Photo Sources: Matt Cain's perfect game (; Alex Smith drives Matt Cain (Mercury News); Jim Harbaugh chauffers Brandon Belt (Mercury News)

Out of the bullpen, Tim Lincecum strikes out
eight in 4-2/3 relief innings of shutout ball.
Hunter Pence rallied the team with inspiring talk
and his broken-bat double wins the pennant.

Ace Tim Lincecum in relief

Confetti rains down on Tim Lincecum

Pence's rallying speech

Hunter Pence revelling in confetti
Tim Lincecum was two-time NL Cy Young winner (2008-2009) and NL strikeout champion (2008-2010). However 2012 was the worst season of his career with 10-15 record and highest ERA in the league (5.18). Relegated to the bullpen during the Playoffs, Lincecum won Game 4 against the Reds with 6 strikeouts in 4-1/3 innings of relief. In the World Series, Lincecum shuts out the Tigers, striking out 8 in 4-2/3 relief innings. Down 2-0 in NLDS against the Reds, Hunter Pence rallied the Giants before Game 3 in Cincinnati with this inspiring speech— "Get in here, everyone get in here... look into each other eyes... now! look into each others eyes, I want one more day with you, it's the most fun, the best team I have ever been on. And no matter what happens we must not give in, we owe it to each other, play for each other, I need one more day with you guys, I need to see what Theriot will wear tomorrow, I want to play defense behind Vogelsong because he's never been to the playoffs... play for each other not yourself, win each moment, win each inning, it's all we have left." Despite only three hits, the Giants eked out a win in the 10th inning 2-1 with back-to-back singles by Posey and Pence and Rolen's error on Arias' grounder. The Giants won Game 4 and Game 5 to beat the Reds who has not been swept at home in Cincinnati all year for the NLDS title. Down 3-1 against the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS, the Giants rallied to win three straight giving up only one run in the last 28 innings. Hunter Pence's broken-bat double in the 3rd inning of Game 7 cleared the bases as Giants beat the Cardinals 9-0 to win the pennant.
Photo Sources: Tim Lincecum (; Confetti on Lincecum (Mercury News); Pence's Speech (; Confetti on Pence (Mercury News)

Zito and Vogelsong suffered their valley lows,
now on the stage sharing their mountaintop highs.
How fitting and sweet that Marco Scutaro does it
again winning the World Series with his RBI!

Barry Zito beats Verlander

Vogelsong speaks as Barry Zito waits

Vogelsong wins 2-0

Marco Scutaro eyes to heaven (Slide #1)
Ryan Vogelsong had a 10-22 record and a 5.86 ERA with the Pittsburgh Pirates (2001-2006), and pitched in Japan (2007-2009). He returned to Major League Baseball in 2010, but was released by the Philadelphis Phillies and Los Angeles Angels. He joined the San Francisco Giants in 2011 and posted a 13-7 record with 2.71 ERA, the lowest among Giants starters. In 2012, Vogelsong had a 14-9 record and 3.37 ERA. Vogelsong was the only pitcher to go undefeated in the postseason amongst all Giants' starting pitchers. He posted a 3-0 record with a 1.09 ERA, allowing 3 runs through 24.2 innings, lowest ERA among all Giants' starting pitchers. Barry Zito won the AL Cy Young Award with a 23-5 record while pitching with the Oakland Athletics (2000-2006). On December 29, 2006, Zito signed a 7-year deal with the San Francisco Giants worth $126 million (highest for any pitcher in Major League history at the time). However, Zito struggled with the Giants with five straight losing seasons and 5.87 ERA in 2011. After going 9-14 in 2010, Zito was left off the postseason roster when the Giants went on to win the World Series that year. However, Zito enjoyed a resurgence in 2012, with a 15-8 record. His performance in crucial Game 5 of the 2012 NLCS, in which he pitched 7-2/3 shutout innings, became a worldwide phenomenon on Twitter. Zito did not lose a single game after August 2 against the Mets, and San Francisco won his last 14 starts. Marco Scutaro hit .362 as a Giants after he was traded to them by the Coloroda Rockies on July 27, 2012. He was awarded the NLCS MVP after tying the NLCS record with 14 hits and also batting .500 (14 for 28) with six runs scored and four runs batted in during the seven game series against the Cardinals. On October 28, in the 10th inning of Game 4 of the 2012 World Series, Scutaro drove in Ryan Theriot for the winning run, as the Giants swept the Detroit Tigers.
Photo Sources: Zito beats Verlander in Game 1 (; Zito & Vogelsong (Mercury News); Vogelsong wins Series Game 2 (; Scutaro eyes to heaven (Slide #1 of 130) (Mercury News)

What a joy holding up the Series Trophy for
Bruce Bochy who managed with such skill
and Tony Bennett singing "I left my heart in
San Francisco" for the parade's grand finale.

Bruce Bochy with World Series Trophy

Bruce Bochy holds up Series Trophy in parade

Tony Bennett sings at grand finale
Bruce Bochy led the San Francisco Giants to victory against the Texas Rangers in only five games in the 2010 World Series, and again brought the Giants to beat the St. Louis Cardinals for the NLCS title in 2012, and to a World Series title in 2012 besting the Detroit Tigers in 4 games. When the Giants lost their best relief closer Brian Wilson for the entire 2012 season due to Tommy John surgery, Bochy utilized his "reliefer by committee" bullpen effectively. When the Giants lost their best hitter Melky Cabrera with a 50 game suspension after testing positive for high levels of testosterone, Bochy juggled his lineup constantly to produce more runs and win games. With his calm demeanor and positive outlook, Bochy guided this almost shipwrecked Giants to their second World Series Championship in three years. Tony Bennett is an Italian-American singer of popular music, jazz, and show tunes. He has sold over 50 million records worldwide, and has won 17 Grammy Awards. In 1962, Bennett recorded his signature song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" (Lyrics; YouTube). The Victory Parade down Market Street ended at Civic Center. For the parade's grand finale, Tony Bennett sang "I Left My Heart in San Francisco". Behind Tony is Sergio Romo, the Series closer holding up the Series Trophy. Next to Romo is Mark Scutaro who drove the winning run to win the Series. To the far right is Matt Cain recording Tony's singing or taking photos of the exuberant crowd.
Photo Sources: Bochy with Series Trophy (Mercury News); Bochy holds up Trophy (Mercury News); Tony Bennett sings at finale (Mercury News).

While the Great Pumpkin never showed up in Peanuts
Comics' pumpkin patch, its Great Spirit did come to
Giants' pitching, Giants' Panda, Giants' perseverance
as fans cheered in the Giants' Parade on Halloween!

Linus in Great Pumpkin Patch

Giants "Panda" with victory signs

Giants Perseverance: Hunter Pence's speech
Charles Schulz's "Great Pumpkin" story got its start in his Peanuts comic strip before finding a permanent place in popular culture on television. The story of the usually levelheaded Linus waiting for the rise of The Great Pumpkin on Halloween night was a huge hit and a huge risk since networks didn't even consider Halloween worthy of having its own TV special back in the 1960s. Not only has it aired almost every Halloween since its debut in 1966, but the story of the Great Pumpkin also secured the Peanuts' place in television history. Marco Scutaro who was MVP for the NLCS and RBI in the 10th inning in Game 4 to win the World Series is shown in Giants Victory Parade with arms raised and eyes to heaven. Scutaro's pose is similar to An Appeal to the Great Spirit, a 1909 equestrian statue by Cyrus Dallin, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. It's fitting that the Giants Victory Parade came on Halloween to thank the Great Spirit for their unbelievable comeback to win it all. Giants pitching allowed only one run against the Cardinals in Games 5-7 to win the NLCS. They shutout the Tigers 2-0 in Games 2 & 3 of the World Series. Giant "Panda" Pablo Sandoval found his magic touch and hit three homers in Game 1 to beat the Tigers' Ace Justin Verlander 8-3. And Giants' perseverance inspired by Hunter Pence's rallying speech before Game 3 in Cincinnati enabled them to win three straight elimination games against the Reds in the NLDS, and three more elimination games against the Cardinals in the NLCS. "It was such an unselfish group," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "They just loved each other, played for each other, had a never-say-die-attitude. Just the way they set aside their own agenda, never said anything, never complained, it makes it a lot easier." Perhaps the Great Pumpkin shows up when we invoke the Great Spirit. Of the slide show's 130 photos, Marco Scutaro's "Appeal to the Great Spirit" pose is slide #1 leading the photograph parade.
Photo Sources: Great Pumpkin comics (; Giants "Panda" Sandoval (Mercury News); Giants Perseverance (Mercury News)

                                                        — Peter Y. Chou
                                                            Mountain View, 11-7-2012

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