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Giants Fans Prepare For World Series To Hit City By The Bay


OK. It's time for a scene change in the World Series. From Kansas City, the teams head to San Francisco for Game 3. The Royals and Giants are tied at a game apiece. And while Kansas City has been nearly unbeatable this postseason, Giants fans don't sound worried at all. Their team won baseball's crown in 2010 and again in 2012. The Giants seem to like even-numbered years, which fans think bodes well for 2014. Here's NPR's Richard Gonzales.

RICHARD GONZALES, BYLINE: I'm standing outside of AT&T Park. It's the home of the San Francisco Giants, and the red, white and blue World Series bunting hangs from the stadium. And the feeling that the Giants are going to win another World Series is just inescapable. Steve Carson brought his son Shaqale to the ballpark on the pier next to the bay. He's showing his son the statues of past Giants stars - Willie Mays and Juan Marichal.

STEVE CARSON: We're going to win it all, you know? I mean, all we need is one win in Kansas City, you know, then we're coming back home.

SHAQALE: (Singing) Take me out to the ballgame.

CARSON: You know what happens when we come home. You know, we're a strong team.

GONZALES: The Giants got what Carson wanted - one victory on the road. They lost Game 2, but fans like Jessica Milstein say they aren't too worried. One reason, her faith in Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

JESSICA MILSTEIN: Bruce is - he's really great at what he does, you know? Sometimes you question why he might make a move during a game, but then it turns out for the best. And you can't help but love him, you know? He loves what he does, and he really is just looking out for the guys. And they listen to what he says.

GONZALES: You'd expect that the fans would have a lot of love for the players. That's natural. But it doesn't hurt that some of the Giants live in the neighborhood near the ballpark. Eileen Liu says she's always running into players, like right fielder Hunter Pence and third baseman Pablo Panda Sandoval.

EILEEN LIU: You go to Phil's Coffee, Hunter Pence is in there. Actually, you can see Hunter Pence coming to work on his little electric Razor to and from and stuff. So I'll always, like, holler at him and Panda goes to the Safeway a block away from here.

GONZALES: Liu has tickets for tonight's game - third deck, just behind home plate on the third base line. A single seat cost her $650, and she could probably resell that ticket for a thousand bucks. But that would be unthinkable for a diehard fan who says, like many here, the Giants are working on a dynasty.

You know, three series, five years, you think it ever gets old around here?

LIU: No way. Like, look at this. Look around you. Look at all these people. Like, who is not wearing orange? No, it doesn't get old. We love it. We love the torture, too.

GONZALES: The torture. That's the word fans use for enduring and relishing the excruciatingly tight games the Giants have had to win to come out on top over the past several years and during this postseason. And there's a common feeling, too, that, even with all of their success in October, the rest of the baseball world just isn't giving the Giants their due when they are picked as underdogs. Marcos Breton is a sports columnist for the Sacramento Bee. He says with the fifth-best record in the National League, the Giants don't fit the mold of a traditional World Series team.

MARCOS BRETON: They are completely unbothered by whatever lack of respect is attached to their name and their run. You know, sometimes people say, well, I don't care what people say, when they really do. The Giants really don't.

GONZALES: Breton says with two World Series trophies and a ballpark sold out nearly every game, the Giants and their fans know who they are and why they're in the World Series. Richard Gonzales, NPR News, San Francisco. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Richard Gonzales is NPR's National Desk Correspondent based in San Francisco. Along with covering the daily news of region, Gonzales' reporting has included medical marijuana, gay marriage, drive-by shootings, Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, the U.S. Ninth Circuit, the California State Supreme Court and any other legal, political, or social development occurring in Northern California relevant to the rest of the country.
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