After effectively sitting down batter after batter with his signature slider, Sergio Romo bravely hurled a heater in the direction of baseball’s best hitter, Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera didn’t whiff; he didn’t ground or fly out. He simply watched as the 89 mph cheese hit Buster Posey’s mitt. Once the leather met leather, the San Francisco Giants were officially back on top of the world.
In one of the most remarkable postseason runs of all-time, the Giants completed a four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers last night to capture the 2012 World Series. Before Romo went to work in the bottom of the 10th, it was DH Ryan Theriot who crossed the plate in the top following a clutch single by 2B Marco Scutaro. The series-clinching run broke a 3-3 standstill that had lasted since Giants C Buster Posey and Tigers DH Delmon Young both went yard in the 6th.
When it was all said and done, 3B Pablo “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval was named World Series MVP. No arguments there. Sandoval hit .500 in the World Series with eight overall hits and a three home run performance in Game 1. He also displayed his surprising agility, making several run-saving plays at third.
This is the second time the Giants have won the Fall Classic in three seasons. When we look back on this run, we’ll remember the 2012 Giants coming back from 2-0 in the NLDS and 3-1 in the NLCS. We’ll remember the brilliance of Sandoval and Scutaro. We’ll remember Hunter Pence’s crazy eyes and pregame rallies. We’ll remember Barry Zito’s redemption. We’ll remember what it was like to watch a team that was just destined to win.
Congratulations Giants fans, and to celebrate, we have World Series Champions gear from Majestic, New Era and Nike available for you today.
Taking likely the toughest route to the World Series, the San Francisco Giants overcame a 3-1 deficit to the Cardinals to take home the 2012 National League Championship.
Holding the St. Louis Cardinals to just three total runs over the final three games of the National League Championship Series, the Giants return to the World Series for the second time in three seasons. Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro took home the NLCS MVP Award, after putting up a .500 AVG for the series with 14 hits and 4 RBIs.
Majestic and New Era celebrate the Giants’ return to the World Series with official NL Champions gear now available here at Eastbay. The collection includes the NL Champions on field shirt by Majestic in black, along with the official on-field NLCS Champs cap by New Era.
The entire on-field collection celebrating the Giants’ return to the World Series is now available here at Eastbay.
In early November I made the case that San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey was much more than Rookie of the Year especially to San Francisco fans. Coming from a fan that has waited his whole life for the opportunity to buy that golden ticket that every fan dreams of, I saw first hand the impact of this young star. It was apparent, even watching from a position that challenged my abilities to be objective, that there is something special about Buster Posey and the passion that he brings to the game of baseball. In late November Major League Baseball acknowledged his impact, as well as his potential by naming Posey the 2010 Rookie of the Year.
Eastbay was able to catch up with Buster Posey while the Giants made a stop at Wrigley Field to take on the Chicago Cubs earlier this year. It seemed appropriate that as Buster Posey was a key in leading the Giants to their first World Series since moving to San Francisco over 50 years ago, he’d make the perfect athlete to cover the Eastbay Fielder’s Choice catalog. Posey’s professionalism and class shines though in a couple of the behind the scenes videos from the photo shoot, as does his passion for the game and respect for those around him that helped him along the way.
Like many of us who love sports and have siblings, Buster’s memories from childhood tell of when the Eastbay Catalog arrived and quickly became the hot commodity of the household. Although Buster is hoping his brother doesn’t see the videos, it’s a safe bet that with his brother on the cover he most likely will.
Find out what it’s like for Buster Posey to be an Under Armour sponsored athlete, as well as some of the keys to his success below.
As far as catchers go in the game of baseball, there are only a handful of names that have had what it takes to become legends in the history of the game. Even fewer that seem to have what it takes to excel offensively, defensively, and in the leadership role that the position requires. The first few that come to my mind are Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra and Carlton Fisk. In more current times, Ivan Rodriguez, Mike Piazza and Jorge Posada could be in the running, but it would likely be a stretch. Unlike any other position on the field, being behind the plate and calling pitches requires more than just skill. Playing catcher requires an understanding that the battle that exists between the pitcher and opposing batter is far closer to a game of chess than a game of checkers. Someday soon you’ll be able to add another name to that short list, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey.
Although each of those catchers were well above the cut in all the on-field categories, most were equally known for the quality of person they were off the field as well. In this aspect, baseball fans as a whole got to witness his good nature throughout the 2010 World Series, so even fans outside of the San Francisco Giants and outside of his hometown region of Leesburg, Georgia, can attest to his genuineness and sportsmanship.
In the history of Major League Baseball there have been just 10 catchers to lead their team to the World Series in their rookie season. From the above list of stars that played the position, only Yogi Berra was able to lead his team to a World Series title in his first year. Not to discredit Berra in any way, as he is nothing short of legendary and in my mind one of the two greatest of all time alongside Johnny Bench, but keep in mind his time with the Yankees was in the middle of the greatest 25 years in the history of the team.
Twenty-three-year-old Buster Posey became the 11th on that list this year for the San Francisco Giants. On top of that, Posey became the first catcher to ever lead his team into the World Series and bat in the cleanup position in the 106-year history of the World Series, a place that became his regular spot in the batting order thanks to his incredible start.
When Posey was called up in May of 2010 from the minor leagues and subsequently becoming the starting catcher for the Giants at the end of June, Buster became a fan favorite. Posey took the National League by storm. In early July, he earned Player of the Week honors. His July would continue to impress all the doubters with a 21-game hitting streak and a batting average in the mid .400 range. By the time July was over, Major League Baseball awarded Posey with not only the Rookie of the Month Award, but also the Player of the Month Award. Posey finished the regular season with a batting average of .305, 18 home runs, and 67 runs batted in.
Some might say that Posey is still young and shouldn’t be compared to some of these legendary players as he has yet to prove himself over the years. However, with defensive skills that rival his offensive performance, it’s easy to see that Buster Posey’s potential is beyond greatness.
Defensively Ivan Rodriguez and Johnny Bench are the best to ever play the position of catcher. The 23 Gold Glove Awards between them are solid evidence of that. Bench had a rifle arm and hands big enough to stop nearly every pitch that came to him. “Pudge” was nearly as impressive at catching would-be base stealers, and possibly better at digging balls out of the dirt, arguably the best. When it comes to gunning down runners, Giants fans already know Buster ain’t having that.
Posey’s .371 caught stealing percentage lands him behind only Miguel Olivo and Yadier Molina for the 2010 season. However, if you take into account that three of the Giants pitchers have some of the slowest deliveries in the league, those numbers might not tell the whole story. Another story that might not be told when it comes to Buster’s defensive abilities is the number 1. Posey allowed just one passed ball this season. Taking into account the number of strikeout pitches that are thrown in the dirt from guys like Tim Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez and Matt Cain, Posey was hardly short of perfection when behind home plate.
Even if Buster Posey doesn’t join names like Bench, Fisk, Piazza and Benito Santiago as one of the few catchers to ever be named Major League Baseball’s Rookie of the Year next week when the winner is announced, he’s got a nice jump on meeting them in Cooperstown when his career comes to an end.
I’ve been blessed to be able to go to San Francisco Giants game since I was just a year or two old. However, today as I type this, the greatest ticket I have ever purchased is one that, from the bottom of my heart, thankfully I didn’t have to use.
When the Giants moved to San Francisco in 1958, my family instantly became fans. My grandparents have attended games for nearly every season since that year up until a few years ago when the task of getting there became more strenuous than their physical beings could handle. They passed along a legacy to my uncles and my dad that many San Francisco Giants fans, and fans of sports in general, can appreciate. However, the depth of passion for San Francisco Giants baseball in my family is deeper than I could ever explain fully.
To this day, it’s up for debate as to what my first words were. I’m sure my Mom would still say I said Toyota first but I’m sure others would contest it was “Go Gi Gi’s!”
In fact, my earliest memory as a child and one of the most vivid in my mind to this day is when I was about 2-3 years old, at my grandparents house. I was playing “baseball” with my dad and uncle, using a wrapping paper tube as a bat and a balloon as the ball (presumably because Grandma said I couldn’t play with the real ball in the house). I was mesmerized by the way the balloon spun towards me when my dad would hit the bottom of it near the tied knot and it would spin quickly towards me. How I remember it, I don’t know but I remember I was wearing a Giants uniform.
Although we never had season tickets, or even made it to more than a handful of games in a single season, the games my family made it to were luckily, some of the most important in Giants history. My Grandparents, Dad and uncles were at the infamous game that Juan Marichal hit John Roseboro with his baseball bat in 1965. Throughout the 1980s we could be seen at Candlestick regularly, I was probably eating a hot dog covered in Gulden’s Spicy Brown mustard in one hand, with my glove on the left hand, waiting for that foul ball that never quite made it into the upper decks of Candlestick. My Grandma sitting by my side would be wearing possibly the greatest single piece of fashion history ever created, the “I Hate the Dodgers” visor. We’d all have on t-shirts, proudly proclaiming that were there, at some point along the way, cheering for the team win or lose.
My Dad was at Candlestick Park in 1989 for the NLCS Series against the Cubs and although I lived in Oregon at the time, the 1989 World Series was one of the most memorable moments in my life. My Grandparents were at the park waiting for the game to begin when the 1989 earthquake hit, and without a way to contact them it made for some heart-wrenching time as we waited and watched in horror as the events of that night unfolded. Thankfully, my grandparents made it home with nothing more than some raised adrenaline levels and memories of the fires they drove past on the way. My Grandma still has the bolts to the seats in Section 53 that shook loose from the earthquake.
A couple years later while living in Oregon, I was blessed to have former Major League All-Star pitcher and former Giant Bob Knepper as my little league coach. I became friends with his son Jacob and spent time with Kneppers during those years but one thing will forever be cemented in that era for me. While visiting with the Kneppers one day, they got a call and it immediately went from lighthearted fun to a solemn silence that was deafening. On the line was Dave Dravecky and his wife Jan, they had called to let Bob and the family know that Dave had decided that amputating his arm was the only option left in beating the cancer that had taken him out of the game months before. We prayed together on the phone, and although I haven’t stayed in touch with the Kneppers over the years, I will never forget them and will forever be grateful to them for their love and encouragement. Putting the final emphasis on this stage of my life, I was able to make it to Candlestick Park with my family in 1991 for “Dave Dravecky Day,” the tribute to the retired pitcher. It was the first time I remember crying at the ballpark but it surely wouldn’t be the last.
The stories go on and on. Mother’s Cookies trading Cards…”My Pal” Chili Davis’ autograph…Spring Training in 1993 where I got Will Clark’s autograph along with Bob Uecker. Yes, that Bob Uecker. If you went to high school with me, you probably remember nacho cheese on my Nikes. I refused to clean it off from Spring Training where I nearly caught a foul ball…just two people away but it was worth sacrificing the nachos, and the shoes.
In 1999, we all made it out for the last series against the hated Dodgers at Candlestick Park, when the Giants ceremoniously defeated the Dodgers. That day, home plate from Candlestick Park was dug out of the ground and flown over and placed in its new home at Pacific Bell Park. In 2002, well actually we won’t talk about that quite yet.
In 2007 on August 7th, three days after my birthday, I was there at AT&T Park when Barry Bonds hit the record breaking number 756 with tears running down my cheeks once again.
Along the way, and along with all the stories I am leaving out, I’ve picked up countless pieces of San Francisco Giants memorabilia. Baseball cards of Kruk and Kuip, hats from the past, “I Was There” t-shirts from past memorable events, and even the rally rags from going to the early home games with some of the best friends a person could ever have in this post season will be forever cherished.
However, as I sit here typing this with tears in my eyes, the tickets I had to Game 6 of the 2010 World Series have instantly become the greatest treasure in my collection.
A symbol of accomplishment for a team, for The City, and for a region that has cheered for multiple generations through the hard times of seeing our legends fade from glory, and through the excitement of young players becoming stars and developing into our next hope.
The joy in knowing that my grandparents, fans for all of the 52 years that the Giants have been in San Francisco, got to see them finally get over that last hurdle. The joy in knowing that my Dad, like me, has cheered his entire lifetime for these Giants to get over that same hurdle and bring a World Series title home got to see them finally emerge victoriously.
These tickets will carry that love and passion. The passion that I was so privileged to learn from my parents and grandparents that win or lose, we are forever San Francisco Giants fans. And someday these tickets to a game that never happened will be passed on to the next generation to show that even if it never happens again, that in this moment history chose us to be the World Champions.