San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum gestures to fans as he rides in a victory parade for the World Series champions in San Francisco, California on Nov. 3. (Reuters/Robert Galbraith)
SAN FRANCISCO — It was a night to remember for baseball fans. For the first time since the Giants moved to San Francisco in 1954, they became world champions.
Filipino fans joined the tens of thousands who flocked in front of the City Hall Monday night to root for their team against the Texas Rangers.
Game 5 of the World Series may have been held in Texas, but Giants fans in San Francisco felt victory was within reach.
Dan Reyes has been a Giants fan since his dad brought him to see his first Giants game in 1977.
Reyes said he had a good feeling that the Giants would win because he had faith that Filipino-American pitcher, Tim Lincecum, would deliver. Lincecum has won the Cy Young awards for pitching twice.
Reyes said, “Our pitching — we’re going deep. Lincecum is going to carry this ball. If he needs to go on all night, he’s doing it.”
Lincecum, who started the game, ended up pitching the full eight innings with only one run from the Rangers.
Pinoy fans said they’ve never seen Lincecum more confident, more in control of the game.
The year 2008 seemed like a long time ago when Lincecum was unsure of his skills. During the first FilAm Heritage Night of the Giants, Lincecum was the starting pitcher against the Colorado Rockies. The Giants lost.
After the game in 2008, “Balitang America” asked him what his message was to his Filipino fans. Instead of addressing the community, he talked about his performance during the game. Lincecum said, “That was a garbage start, a bad game. I just need to make improvements, bounce back from it.”
At that time, Lincecum seemed a bit evasive to talk about his Filipino heritage. But he told “Balitang America” he valued diversity within professional baseball.
It does not bother Filipino fans that Lincecum was not as open to talk about his roots.
There’s been talk within the Giants camp that it’s Lincecum’s strained relationship with his Filipino mother that’s behind this. Nonetheless, Filipino fans have someone to emulate.
Parents of 10-year-old Demani Abalos have brought him to Giants games since he was a baby.
He said Lincecum inspires him to excel in sports. He said, “It means a lot to me that he’s Filipino.”
Daniel Magdael said it’s about time a Filipino-American gets noticed in professional baseball.
Magdael said, “It’s the best feeling in the world, to have a Pinoy on the biggest stage in the world, pitching the best that he could.”