San Francisco Giants World Series Victory Parade

San Francisco Giants World Series Victory Parade

The San Francisco Giants World Series victory parade kicked off officially a little after noon Friday with loud cheers, confetti, marching bands and the Giants themselves, sending tens of thousands of fans lined up on Market Street into giddy fits of excitement.

Under grey skies where a steady drizzle mixed with clouds of orange, black and white confetti, players waved, snapped photos and mugged for the roaring crowds from the top of double-decker buses, a change from the classic convertibles and cable cars on wheels that had transported them along their now-familiar parade route in 2012 and 2010.

“These guys play together, they believe in each other, they play as one and they never give up,” baseball Hall of Famer Willie McCovey said as he waited to greet the young members of his former team for a post-parade rally at San Francisco City Hall, the end of the 3.2 kilometre (two mile) route. “That’s the way this team has been for years.”

Elated fans of all ages, some of whom staked out viewing spots hours before the spectacle’s noon PT start time, pressed against metal barriers, stood on rooftops and climbed onto street lamps festooned with orange, black and white balloons, to cheer their hometown heroes.

Many skipped work and pulled their children out of class against the pleas of local schools so they could catch what they described as a glimpse of history.

“I’m going to send them to school on Monday saying they had `orange fever,”‘ said Marcela Habash, 36, of San Francisco, who brought three of her four children to the plaza outside City Hall to see the celebration.

While other players doubled up on the buses, the day’s undisputed giant among Giants, pitching ace Madison Bumgarner, was given his own flatbed truck to ride. It was adorned with a sign indicating his most valuable player honours from both the World Series and the National League championship. Deafening roars and chants of “M-V-P! M-V-P!” greeted the soft-spoken pitcher as he held both of his trophies aloft.

A second pickup carried the Giants’ World Series trophies from 2012 and 2010, while manager Bruce Bochy beamed from atop a double-decker bus bearing this year’s trophy.

Corporate sponsors livened up the parade with elaborately decked-out floats that included a panda-themed homage to slugger and 2012 World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval, whose nickname is Kung-Fu Panda. Former Journey lead singer Steve Perry stepped down from a float blaring his anthem “Don’t Stop Believin”‘ to offer animated high-fives to fellow die-hard San Francisco fans.

Dignitaries such as Giants legend Willie Mays, team president Larry Baer, U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Ed Lee and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who was San Francisco’s mayor when the Giants won the Series in 2010, rode in convertibles.