You do know the baseball world hates us, don't you? They all hate us. Everyone hates us. And we don't care. San Francisco: We're going back to the World Series!
Close your eyes. Think of the most famous calls in all of sports. Down goes Frazier! The band is out on the field! Do you believe in miracles? Montana, looking, looking, throwing in the end zone Clark caught it!
That was Bobby Thompson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World." It was the walk-off homerun that propelled the New York Giants past the Brooklyn Bums for the 1951 National League pennant and it will forever be one of the most cherished homeruns in baseball history. I can't count how many times I've played that call throughout my life. The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!!! It is an American treasure. [Editor's Note: The Chronicle, also breathlessly gushing about Ishikawa's homer and comparing it to "63 Octobers ago" writes, "Thomson was not nearly tackled between second base and third by a lunatic starting pitcher from Alabama with terrible eyesight, as Travis Ishikawa was Thursday night when he hit the Blast that Rocked the Cove and sent the Giants to the 2014 World Series... making him the first Giant to send his team to the World Series with a game-ending home run since Thomson in 1951."]
Maybe, possibly, somehow Joe Buck rose to the occasion. Jon Miller, I have no doubt, did. It's almost sad, then, that no one, not a single soul in San Francisco, heard the call for Travis Ishikawa's bottom of the ninth, walk-off, three-run homerun that sent the San Francisco Giants past the St. Louis Cardinals for the 2014 National League pennant and into the World Series. We didn't hear a damned thing but the blood in our ears, the screams in our lungs, and the high-fives and hugs across living rooms and bars and night-shifts and wherever the hell we were last night. If you were at AT&T Park, you can't hear anything because you are now, most certainly, deaf.
Travis Ishikawa. Legend.
Coming into this game, they said we didn't deserve to be here. We got lucky, they said. We win ugly, they said. We can't hit homeruns, they said. Maybe they're right. Or maybe our boys tie it in the ninth and win it in the 18th. Maybe our boys throw complete game shutouts. Maybe our boys don't make errors like they do under October skies. Maybe when our boys do commit an error by taking a terrible angle for a routine fly ball and see it sail over our boys' heads, allowing a run to score, our boys step into that batters' box in the bottom of the ninth, and our boys redeem themselves and smack that ball into history.
Travis Ishikawa turned us all into liars--from here on out, every single one of us was at the ballpark the night he walked us off to the World Series, and there ain't a damned thing our future grandkids can do to prove that we weren't. We were all there, whether we were or not.
Legends, all of them.
Travis Ishikawa. Legend.
You do know the baseball world hates us, don't you? They all hate us. Everyone hates us. And we don't care. San Francisco, we're going back to the World Series!
Next stop: Kansas City. Choo choooo!
The World Series, with the Giants facing off against the Kansas City Royals, starts Tuesday at 5:07 p.m. PT. And we will crush the Royals.