SAN FRANCISCO -- Imagine a bottle of champagne filled with 52 years of waiting being dropped, kicked, rolled and shaken throughout 177 games of pure torture.And, then, thanks to one magical night, that bottle -- signifying the city of San Francisco and the Bay Area -- being uncorked, spewing thousands upon thousands of ounces of pure, unadulterated joy over the San Francisco Bay. Only then can one possibly begin to comprehend the party that engulfed the streets of San Francisco on Monday night as Giants fans reveled in the euphoria of being World Series champions. Less than a half-hour after the Giants clinched the World Series with a 3-1 victory over the Rangers in Texas in Game 5, the corner surrounding AT&T Park was locked down and designated for one thing: celebrating. Thousands of fans gathered near the corner of Third and King Streets, as both streets were shut down for a block in every direction.
As of 8:30 p.m. PT, Sgt. Tad Yamajuchi of the San Francisco Police Department said there had yet to be any arrests and added that the approximately 4,000 fans surrounding Willie Mays Plaza were behaving in a "celebratory manner," with not much of a disturbance."I was born and raised in San Francisco and I've followed the Giants since I was a little kid," Walter Shipunoff said outside Public House at AT&T Park moments after the Giants beat the Rangers to win the club's first World Series in San Francisco. "It's going to take a while, but I'm going to enjoy it, believe me, I will. And I'm going to enjoy it for the rest of my life." Shortly after Nelson Cruz swung through closer Brian Wilson's slider, hysteria hit the corner of Third and King Streets. Horns were honking, fans were screaming and one father told his two teenage daughters, "This is when it's OK to high-five strangers." All of a sudden, after 52 years of waiting, San Francisco was on top of the baseball world. For fans like Irma Calabretta, an 80-year-old woman who has followed the team since its arrival in San Francisco, Monday night was well worth the wait. "I won't tell you how many years, but a long time," Calabretta said of her history with the team. "I'm glad it's done because I was getting too stressed out." Joe Gibbs, a native of Boston who was there in 2004 to celebrate the Red Sox first championship since 1918, said that night and Monday were the two best nights of his life. "We'll see," Gibbs said of how the two celebrations compared. "That was incredible, but this is up there, definitely." A proud franchise dating back to its New York days, the Giants had their chances to win after they moved out west. There was the heartbreak of 1962, then the somber World Series loss to the A's following the 1989 earthquake. Then there was the 2002 debacle, when, after jumping out to a 3-2 Series lead, the Giants lost to the Angels, leaving the city, "like a morgue," Shipunoff said. Then, 2010 happened, and the city and a fan base that, at some point during the past eight months, fell madly in love with a ragtag bunch of misfits and began believing. They crammed AT&T Park, as the Giants reached the 3 million mark in attendance for the first time since 2007, and averaged 43,679 fans for their seven postseason home games. And as local singing legend Steve Perry -- who also was part of an eighth-inning video played to Journey's "Lights" during the past few home games -- sang time and time again, they never stopped. "When they got in the Series we thought, 'Well whatever happens from here it's all good,'" Gary Gamage said. "Then they won the first couple and it was like, 'OK, maybe they've got a shot.'" More than half a century ago, the Giants franchise moved west from the city that never sleeps. Thanks to dancing on the sidewalks, honking in the streets and howling everywhere, that tag belonged to the City by the Bay between Monday night and early Tuesday morning, As did, "San Francisco: Home of the 2010 World Series champions." "It's pride," Shipunoff said of what the win meant to the city. "We have a great fan base here. ... This town has really come to enjoy it and they deserve it because this is a really, really fantastic city. I've seen a lot of changes but I still love it. We really do love our baseball."
Cash Kruth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.