World Series Game 5
Sunday, 26 October 2014
Greetings from San Francisco
I love my sport, both watching and playing. I’m a regular visitor to the United States, and over the years developed a good understanding and appreciation for the three main local sporting codes – baseball, gridiron football and basketball.
My latest visit to San Francisco coincides with the baseball World Series – the “finals” of the baseball season played over seven games between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants. The Giants won the World Series in 2010 and 2012, and everyone in San Francisco is therefore hopeful and optimistic about a third title in five years.
The first two games were played in Kansas City, followed by three games in San Francisco, and then the final two games will be played again in Kansas City.
The Giants won the first game 7-1 on 21 October 2014. The Royals won the next two games, and had a big lead in Game 4 on Saturday night in San Francisco before the Giants made a great comeback to tie the series at 2-2.
So, Game 5 was going to be important for a number of reasons. It is the Giants’ final home game of the season and series, and the winner will go to Kansas City knowing that they have two chances to clinch the title – or as they say over here – “to get the job done”!
I had the opportunity today to attend Game 5 at AT&T Park, and it was an amazing experience. From a South African perspective, the closest we get to this experience in terms of sporting hype, atmosphere, crowd participation and tension is when the Springboks play against the All Blacks, or a derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.
With 40 000 plus Giants fans, clad in orange and black, cheering on their team, the outcome of the game was never really in doubt. The Giants played a great game, with ace pitcher Madison Bumgarner leading them to a 5-0 win, and a 3-2 lead in the World Series.
The next game is on Tuesday night in Kansas City, and although the Royals will be tough to beat at home, the Giants have a great opportunity to become champions again.
Before the start of the game, the Giants paid special tribute to one of their biggest fans, the late actor Robin Williams. His oldest son, Zak Williams, lofted a ceremonial pitch to Williams’ close friend, Billy Crystal, while a special tribute for Williams was played on the big screen, including a clip of him leading fans in a pre-game chant.
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