Here we are again, in a position that just three years ago seemed impossible: World Series Champions.
From 1954—when they still called the NY Polo Grounds home—until the charmed 2010 season, the Giants had not won a championship. Now, two years later, another one? After waiting 56 years, after watching even the Red Sox win (twice), after coming within eight outs in 2002, finally, two titles in three years seems almost greedy, an embarrassment of baseball riches.
For those that consider baseball a slow, even dull game, I ask you to reconsider. It is a game of finesse, of inches, of highs and lows stretched across a season of 162 games. It rewards those with patience. In fact, it is remarkably like the practice of calligraphy. Talent is helpful, of course, but more important is training, repeating each movement so that it becomes an instinctual reaction. There’s no room for error – one slip of the brush or a dropped ball and the game, or calligraphy, is dramatically changed. Both are tests of endurance and provide the powerful possibility of redemption. And if there was one overarching theme of this entire postseason—as opposed to 2010’s torture—it was redemption. From what was arguably Barry Zito’s greatest pitching performance of his (Giants) career, to Tim Lincecum’s resurrection out of the bullpen, to Gregor Blanco’s defense eliminating all memories of the disgraced Melky Cabrera, to Pablo Sandoval’s offensive streak (in stark contrast to his abysmal 2010), to journeyman Marco Scutero’s NLCS MVP performance, this postseason was about coming back from the brink of disaster to achieve greatness.
And achieve it they did. Despite what the media may have claimed, the Giants did not win with lucky breaks. Their performance in the World Series was remarkable in its simplicity: extraordinary defense, masterful pitching, and timely hitting. Executing each play to perfection quieted even the most skeptical of critics, and more, importantly, the Tigers.
So when you’re done celebrating all things orange and black, come by the museum (please note we’re closed on Wednesday for Giants festivities) and check out our current exhibition Out of Character: Decoding Chinese Calligraphy.