When Pat Purcell was a boy, San Francisco installed trees along San Bruno Avenue. The trees were potted in containers shaped like baseballs.
The occasion was a worthy one: The Giants had just moved from New York to San Francisco, and The City was making efforts to welcome the team.
Some 52 years later, Purcell watched the first World Series trophy the Giants have won since moving west glinting in the marble rotunda at City Hall.
“It’s nice to have it here,” he said. “It’s nice to have it be ours.”
Purcell counted among dozens of Giants faithful who lined up Wednesday to have their photos taken in front of the famous Commissioner’s Trophy, won by the Giants after several stunning series against Major League Baseball’s best teams this fall.
On hand were Mayor Gavin Newsom, and Giants managing general partner Bill Neukom and president Larry Baer, who announced that the trophy will be making a tour of Northern and Central California this winter, along with 35 stops in Nevada, Arizona and southern Oregon. The trophy will then head to New York to honor the Giants’ original home.
Also in attendance was Arlington, Texas, Mayor Robert Cluck, who lost a wager with Mayor Gavin Newsom when his team, the Texas Rangers, fell to the Giants in the World Series. As the loser, he had to send Newsom’s staff some Texas barbecue and agreed to come to San Francisco to don a Giants jersey for the afternoon and help coach a local youth team.
When asked how he felt about wearing a Giants jersey, he gulped and paused.
“It’s OK for a while,” he said. “It’s not going to be permanent.”
The jersey did, however, appear to be a permanent fixture on Tony Lopez and his wife and son, who were the first in line to have their photos taken in front of the trophy. The family is still riding high on the Giants’ success.
“We have all the games recorded, so on Sundays when the Niners aren’t doing great, we just pop them in and watch it all over again,” he said.