By some stroke of absolute luck, I managed to make my way into the private viewing of the 2010 World Series and It’s Magic Inside DVD’s at AT&T ballpark.
I received an email from a PR person for Shout! Factory – the promoter of the World Series DVD – in which they offered a few free copies of the DVD to give away on the blog, and later, he forwarded an “Invitation to cover” the event. I thought it must have been some sort of mistake, but after getting an RSVP confirmation from a Giants front office staff member I was officially going, and ecstatic. I did ask for a +1, but it wasn’t in the cards; it’s better to quit while ahead, anyway.
I arrived at the ballpark around 6:15 PM last Thursday (12/2/10). I parked along the sidewalk near McCovey’s statue, near the cove opposite the ballpark. Parking with such ease was odd, to say the least. If my memory serves me correctly, the ballpark stadium lights were dimly lit but the ballpark neon’s were as bright as ever. I approached the Willie Mays plaza where we were to enter, and though I had to wait a bit in a light drizzle, I was snug as a bug. I hadn’t yet been carted off yes as a fraud, given an invite by some mistake.
Soon after, I was invited in and greeted with a free World Series DVD followed by my choice of beer, wine or water and a hot dog. Seriously? When it finally filled up, there were probably only around 100 people there, so it was pretty intimate. There were members of the media, many I did not recognize, but I did see: Hank Schulman from the Chronicle and Mychael* Urban, CSN Bay Area – who is a giant, if you weren’t aware. I’m 6’2” and felt like a twelve year old next to him. Even better, I saw Larry Baer, President and COO, Bill Neukom, Managing General Partner and CEOm, and right off the bat, Kuiper was directly to my left going over his narration duties. Up front were obvious members of the ownership group, in that many of them looked wealthy.
*Horrible spelling of Michael, (but not his fault).
Before the viewing of the It’s Magic Inside film, Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy walked the World Series trophy down the middle of the aisle. It was equally sparkly as awesome. Duane Kuiper was the narrator for the viewing (and the first film) and was about as charismatic as possible, for what reason I’m not sure. The lights went out and the DVD began.
The first film was good and provided a few laughs, for example, when in Spring Training DeRosa joked how Edgar Renteria had a World Series winning hit back with the Marlins in “1985.” I probably don’t have to say it, but it was actually 1997. And this was both funny and awesome, because six months later Renteria got the last laugh, for obvious reasons. Overall, I enjoyed the film but it skipped by key moments, which is understandable, but also seemed to have the ability to somehow make certain moments of the 2010 euphoria somehow anticlimactic, which was not understandable. I think the editing left a little to be desired in certain areas.
After the first film ended, we were given around ten minutes to use the restroom and grab some popcorn. I witnessed a conversation between Ashkon of the “Don’t Stop Believin’” YouTube sensation and Larry Baer.
Then the World Series film began. The World Series film was undoubtedly the better of the two, despite being narrated by Rob Schneider. Actually, in his defense, he has a pretty good voice for a narrator, when being serious, and pretty much forgot it was him after about five minutes. It did take us through the 2010 season starting in Spring Training, all the way up to the clinch on the final Sunday of the year against San Diego, catching some key moments along the way. It then gave pretty good if not a bit rushed recap of both the NLDS against and Atlanta and NLCS against Philadelipha. But finally, when it got to the World Series, the coverage was awesome. The film did a good job of bringing the viewer right back to the World Series, game by game, culminating in Renteria’s miraculous home run and Wilson’s save to end all the torture. If you’re planning to purchase just one of the two, purchase the World Series version and you’ll be glad you did.
Afterwards, Kuiper asked some questions to Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy. It was pretty interesting to learn that Bochy didn’t get to celebrate with the team in the clubhouse because he got pulled the MVP trophy ceremony, interviews, and almost immediately had to hunker down with Sabean to make decisions about 2011, thanks to the pushing up of the free agency deadline to five days after the World Series. He said he then slept for about five days straight when he finally got the chance, unsurprisingly.
Bochy also expressed awe in his rookie catcher for catching every pitch from about mid-September until Wilson struck out Cruz to win the World Series. It’s pretty remarkable when you think about it, and just more praise for the Giants’ franchise position player, Buster Posey.
Brian Sabean was clearly proud of his and the Giants’ accomplishment, as he should be.
As it all wrapped up, I got to take a picture with the World Series trophy, as well as shake hands with Bill Neukom. I told him “thank you for a great season” and he replied, “thank you.” His thank you felt sincere and it was probably the highlight of my night. While I don’t always agree with the roster decisions made by the Giants, I always see the Giants as an exceedingly classy organization. They have the human aspect down to a T.
As I walked out of the park after a wonderful evening, I snapped a few pictures with my iPhone; the park photos so beautifully, it’s crazy. After my evening of rubbing (brushing) elbows with the Giants executives, meeting Ashkon – a huge part of my 2010 experience – watching the films, seeing a few members of the media and taking a photo with the trophy that had eluded the Giants since 1954, one thing was unmistakable: It had finally sunk in, at least for me, the Giants are the 2010 World Series Champions. Holy cow.