City crowns Giants in soggy celebration
CITY HALL — It may have rained on their parade, but Giants fans showed up in droves to celebrate their 2014 World Series Champions.
The Giants motto throughout the season was “Yes, Yes, Yes,” and now it seems fitting, given the number of championships they’ve won this decade.
That chant reverberated along Market Street and throughout The City as hundreds of thousands equipped with umbrellas braved the harsh elements.
Friday is normally a school day, but Gerren Morgan, 13, came from Benicia to witness the Giants’ historic third parade in five years:
“I want to thank Pablo Sandoval for catching that last foul pop fly.”
His brother Daniel, 11, had a short message he wanted to deliver to the Giants going into the offseason:
“Keep the Panda.”
Sandoval is a immensely popular figure in San Francisco, but also a free agent. The crowd roared “RE-SIGN PA-BLO” during Giants General Manager Brian Sabean’s speech.
Photos by Scot Tucker/SFBay
Mark Linn, 40, from Danville, was at the Civic Center since 9 a.m. waiting for the festivities to start:
“It’s raining on our parade, but it’s all about solidarity. Everyone’s together. We all love the Giants.”
Many from all over California made the trip on Halloween, which Mayor Edwin Lee officially named San Francisco Giants Day at the beginning of the ceremony.
Alex Ward, 26 and originally from Hunters Point, skipped work and drove 100 miles from Lodi, Calif. to watch:
“I didn’t get to make it to 2010 and 2012 so I made it a point this year to get here.”
Ward left his Central Valley house at 7 a.m., but Fairfield resident Andrea Bravo and a friend arrived a little earlier:
“We’ve been out here since 2:30 this morning. We were two of the first people here. I don’t think the weather is really a big deal for real Giants fans.”
Friday’s parade started at the Ferry Building and rolled down Market Street to the Civic Center. As the parade came to a close, city workers drove along Market and cleaned the confetti off the transit cables.
Several major roads, including Market and Mission streets, Van Ness Avenue and the Embarcadero were closed to traffic for several hours as the parade made its way to City Hall.
BART saw huge increases in traffic today compared to a usual Friday in October, BART officials said. BART officials estimated a ridership of about 500,000 people for the day, well above its usual traffic but about 20 percent less than the ridership on the day of the 2012 championship parade.
That day ranks as BART’s top ridership day of all-time, officials said. BART stations throughout the Bay Area were packed throughout the day, and several BART station parking lots filled up early in the morning.
The celebration, while spirited, didn’t see the drama of Wednesday night’s celebrations following the Game 7 win that saw two shootings, stabbings, vandalism, fires and overall rowdy behavior by fans.
The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management activated its Emergency Operations Center, but city officials said no major incidents related to the celebration were reported. San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr said the crowd had been behaving great so far.
Giants CEO Larry Baer told the crowd the Giants should just rent out the plaza for 2015. With the way this decade is going, it’s hard to disagree with him.