SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — As the 2019 baseball season wrapped up, fans turned out to say farewell to retiring Giants manager Bruce Bochy, the man who guided the team to the most successful run in its history.
The word “fan” is supposed to be short for fanatic. But the people arriving at Oracle Park to take in Sunday’s season-ender sounded more like philosophers.
“It’s exactly the next era of Giants baseball coming in,” said Giants fan and Sonoma resident Joanne Snyder.
“It’s kinda part of life, and you have to embrace it and just cheer the team on and just celebrate the moments,” said Caron Galantiere wistfully.
And, oh, what moments there were: three championships in five years in what may be the sport’s most inexplicable dynasty.
“It was like, big,” said young Andrew Marks from Brentwood. “Like, it just exploded out of nowhere. ‘And the Giants win the World [Series]!’ It was awesome.”
To fans, it did feel like the Giants won the world, but now that world is coming to an end as familiar faces make room for tomorrow’s stars. And in this new world of “sabermetrics” and “launch angles,” an instinctive manager like Bochy probably just felt it was time.
Asked if Bochy was part of a dying breed, fan Lori Maloney said, “I think he is, unfortunately. But yet, we got to experience him, so that’s enough for us.”
“We love him,” added Joseph Escobedo. “We love him a lot, so yes, it does hurt, but it needs to happen.”
Before game time, there was a special tribute. At the stroke of high noon, foghorns blared from the boats in McCovey Cove and the cellphones of people in the stands. Ironically, it is the same sound used to warn mariners to be cautious when it’s hard to see what’s ahead.
It is the way Giants fans felt before Bruce Bochy was hired, and it is how they feel as he leaves.
“We’re in the same boat right now,” said Giants fan Mark Haggerty. “Who are we going to have and what’s it going to be like? You know, there’s a lot of uncertainty.”
When Bochy arrived in the Bay Area, he had already taken one team, the San Diego Padres, to the World Series and lost.
He now leaves San Francisco with three world championships and is only the eleventh manager in history to win more than 2,000 games. Most consider him a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.