World Series Trophy — Page 1

26 02 2011

Here’s the latest graphic to come off the MacBook and onto the pages of the San Mateo Daily Journal. It helps if you click on it for a closer look. When the World Series trophy was about to make it’s way to the Peninsula, I realize that my newspaper’s hometown would be hosting one of those dates. I got the wheels spinning and decided it would be nice to commemorate that day with a little something something. I collected as many World Series Trophy photos as I could (shout out to Everything South City and San Bruno Life for ALL their help) and decided to put together a mosaic graphic. Here’s how that mosaic came out. I’ll take credit for the leg work, but a major shout out goes out to Mazaika — it’s a computer program that does the tough work for you. You gotta love technology.

And below is what it looks like on page A1 of the Daily Journal.

The creation of the graphic was only half the job. Jon Mays, Editor in Chief extraordinaire, asked me to follow the trophy around for a couple of days and write something about my experience. I went to the Redwood City and South City viewings to gather some reaction from Giants fans. After a little internal debate on what and how to write it, this is what I came with. Enjoy, hopefully.

By Julio Lara
Daily Journal Staff

The closet in my room has a double-mirror door. It’s huge and terribly unnecessary for a man —  especially for a man with my lack of style.

But as soon as I heard the World Series trophy, belonging to the 2010 World Series champion San Francisco Giants, was coming to town, I started practicing my pose in front of this mirror.

My trophy was an empty container of Quaker Oats. I placed it atop the foldable tray table in my room, in front of the mirror, and spent a couple a moments in my free time thinking of ways to pose. Call it funny, weird or obsessive, but the opportunity to pose next to a World Series Trophy, one that belonged to my baseball team, is something for which I’ve been waiting 20 years — the moment, it had to be perfect.

I’m sure the majority of Giants fans had the same feeling shortly after Brian Wilson’s two-seamer eluded the bat of Nelson Cruz in Game 5 for out No. 27 of the 2010 World Series — after the party had quieted down a little the reality of “hey, wouldn’t it be cool if I got to pose with the trophy?” crept into your brain.

The Commissioner’s Trophy made its way through the Peninsula last week and will be at San Mateo City Hall Monday. It is, by definition, is a symbol of greatness. And all encounters with greatness, no matter how brief, deserve your very best — the least I could do is rehearse.

On the trophy’s recent tour, the Peninsula has shown what its best is, welcoming the trophy with open arms (”We’d like to remind you to not touch the trophy,” an usher said in Redwood City Feb. 16. “But can we kiss it?” someone in the line shouted), braving the elements along the way for their own moment with greatness.

In Redwood City, the line started forming at 10 a.m. for an unveiling that was scheduled at 4 p.m. Former Serra Padre and Cañada College student Eddy Lopez was the first in line.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment forever,” he said.

Forever for him is 41 years. After the VIPs got their shots in, Lopez approached the trophy and threw up a peace sign. As he exited the photo area, friends and family gathered around him, with one asking him if it had been worth the six-hour wait. He responded in Lincecum-esque fashion, “F— yeah.”

Redwood City fans had Mother Nature to thank — rain was forecasted for that afternoon but it never came. They showed their appreciation by extending the line down Broadway, up Hamilton Street, across Marshall Street and ending on Middlefield Road. The Higareda men were there, ages 44, 18 and 12, waiting on the corner of Broadway and Hamilton Street. The youngest conveniently had his dentist appointment for noon that same day. Shortly after his visit, he was waiting in line with his dad and older brother. “They’re lucky,” father Higareda said. “They didn’t have to wait 40 years like I did.”

We are all lucky.

San Mateo’s John Bejarano couldn’t wait until this Monday — he and his pinned-filled SF cap made it to Redwood City.

“It’s fantastic,” he said. “There are so many different people here. People who normally might not have anything to talk about suddenly have everything to talk about.”

Brother and sister Patrick and May Vallero, Aragon High school graduates, couldn’t wait until Monday either. They got to the San Mateo County History Museum at 9:30 a.m. May took the day off of work in Hayward.

“I hope we get to do this every year,” Patrick said.

I think we all hope that.

Barbara Krause got there at 1:30 p.m. sporting a letterman-style jacket with 22 years of history pinned and super glued to it. According to Krause, a Giants fan since 1960, the jacket weighed an astonishing 15 pounds —bedazzled up and down the front with pins from Opening Days, Crazy Crabs and magical seasons.

Gina and Taylor LaMantia stood out, too. The sisters had a difficult time controlling their child-like glee for their moment — it was like watching two children at the doorstep of Disneyland for the first time. They posed with one LaMantia girl on either side of the trophy and threw up a “1” — just like they had rehearsed.

“How do you explain that feeling in words?” Gina said. “It’s an insane rush.”

South City fans weren’t as lucky. The skies opened up for their day at the Joseph A. Fernekes Recreation Building in Orange Park. But a little wind and water didn’t deter Ralph Staber.

The South San Francisco resident got to the building at 5 a.m. donning his “Baseball Memories at the Stick” T-shirt and carrying a gym bag given to fans during the final season at Candlestick Park. As Mayor Kevin Mullin finished his comments, Staber took off his jacket and brought his bag to the table where the trophy stood. He then unpacked it, took out a handful of pictures and said his family wasn’t able to make it to South City. He wanted them to be a part of his moment — three surrounded the trophy and he held another two up for his pose.

Staber’s gym bag was a treasure chest of Giants memories — old posters, books and pictures of him at Seals Stadium with his two brothers, dad and uncle. He had everything in there, including an old ticket stub from Game 3 of the 1989 World Series.

The Valles family was there, with the two youngest taking a day off from Portola school.

“We wanted them to come,” said father Valles, “we told them it’s going to be one of those things you’re going to remember when you’re older.”

The Tumbaga family probably had the youngest Giants fan there. Little Niklas was born in the thick of the NL West pennant race. His mother, Luchesie, joked that as soon as the Giants won the World Series, Niklas was handed to his grandparents as mom and dad went to celebrate the win.

“He’s a lucky baby,” said father Nelson. “2010 was the best year ever for us.”

Jay Jurado and Chelsea Liakos-Gilbert prepared for their moment by purchasing bottles of champagne — Gruet and Wolf Blass — for their time with the trophy. Apparently for some of us, the party hasn’t ended just yet.

San Mateo, you get your chance this Monday, at the San Mateo City Hall atrium starting at 3:30 p.m. From there, the trophy will be swooped out of the state for a stay in Scottsdale, Ariz. and it won’t return until Opening Day at AT&T Park.

My moment with greatness came at the Giants Fan Fest along with two of my best friends. After waiting for three plus hours in the heat, my boy, Alfred Joves from South San Francisco, went with a fist over his heart. Another longtime BFAM (brother-from-another-mother) Nick Hasal, went with a cheesy thumbs up to the right of it. Jessica Dun, a friend we met on the day of our moment snuck into the trophy line and charmingly convinced us to ignore her transgression — actually, she didn’t even know she was in line to take a picture with the trophy. Her pose was totally improvised.

Mine? Well, it turns out that as that moment I was grateful to the heavenly powers that exist for the experience — of the 10 or so poses I had rehearsed, I went with what came naturally. I pointed toward the sky.

Welcome to San Mateo, Commissioner’s Trophy — come back soon.

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