Back at the scene of the worst post-World Series mayhem, there were no buses being destroyed — or any vehicles at all. But they would soon arrive, carrying the heroes of this and prior generations — Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda, Will Clark and Barry Zito.
Yes, Barry Zito.
When the 2012 season began, few would have predicted that Zito would start — let alone win — Game 1 of the World Series. But that he did, and the hordes of Giants fans huddled around the intersection of Third and Market streets Wednesday let him know exactly how they felt as his vehicle crawled by.
Click on the photo to see more from the parade.
“Bar-ry! Bar-ry! Bar-ry!” they exuberantly screamed.
That was the same intersection where a Muni bus was destroyed before being set on fire early Monday by belligerent revelers celebrating the Giants’ sweep of the Detroit Tigers. But on Wednesday, it was a decidedly different scene.
Fans began lining the parade route from the foot of Market Street west to Civic Center very early Wednesday. By midmorning, they were stuffed 20-deep.
The first stirs of what would follow came at 9:44 a.m. when an organ player on a pedicab zipped down the parade route to the applause of the waiting fans. About 10 minutes later — through the wafting aroma of marijuana — came a loud chorus of boos. How, on this day, could anyone feel anything but joy?
The culprit was about five floors up. A man had unfurled a Los Angeles Dodgers banner from a building window in an obvious attempt to rain on the parade. And while the man got his just deserts, the boos quickly turned to laughter as people realized that the Dodgers haven’t touched a major-league playing field since the end of the regular season.
The banner-waver returned later, but his subsequent attempt at rabble-rousing was met with the familiar chant of “Beat L.A.!” and a rollicking minute of “Let’s go, Giants!”
The Giants’ broadcast team of Dave Fleming, Jon Miller, Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow ushered in the procession, with Krukow dressed more appropriately for a North Beach poetry reading than a World Series parade. Following close behind were waves of front-office brass, city dignitaries, former Giants Hall of Famers, a Chinese New Year dragon, samba dancers, Taiko drummers and, finally, the players.
Sergio Romo took a cue from his predecessor in the 2010 parade, Brian Wilson, by taking the route on foot, followed by a horde of cameras. He wore a T-shirt that said, “I just look illegal.”
And by the time Pablo Sandoval’s vehicle zoomed by at the end, with the third baseman hoisting his World Series MVP trophy high above his head, it was apparent Giants fans could get very used to a ticker-tape parade every few years.