SAN FRANCISCO—The stage was set for the miracle: bottom of the ninth, two strikes, two outs, Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon looming on third base.
Then came the fly-ball off the bat of catcher Sergio Perez, soaring foul before landing safely in the glove of third baseman Pablo Sandoval. Ball game over, World Series over, dynasty secured, Sandoval collapses to the turf of Kauffman stadium, his Giants teammates swarming him in celebration of their third World Series victory in five years.
The series was billed as a David vs. Goliath match-up, pitting the Kansas City Royals, a team that last won the World Series in 1985, against an October-seasoned San Francisco Giants team that had taken the crown in both 2010 and 2012.
In fact, if it weren’t for this history, the Giants themselves would have appeared an unlikely candidate to win this year’s fall classic. Finishing six games behind the rival Los Angeles Dodgers, the Giants won it all in an all-too-familiar fashion; a wild-card team that pieced together dominant pitching and timely hitting in an effort to reign supreme over the baseball universe.
Though Madison Bumgarner, who pitched a postseason record 52.2 innings, including a record tying three World Series victories, was the clear-cut favorite to win the series MVP, performances from players such as Sandoval and right-fielder Hunter Pence were instrumental in San Francisco‘s championship run.
Pence boasted a .444 batting average in the series and Sandoval, perhaps playing the last game of his storied Giants career, batted .429, including three hits in the decisive Game 7 victory.
In celebration of their victory, the city will throw a celebratory parade, on Friday, October 31 at noon on Steuart and Market Streets.