The San Francisco Giants have done it again. After a dramatic seventh game against the Kansas City Royals in Missouri on Wednesday, Oct. 29, the Giants have pushed forward to not only become the victors of the game, but also the victors of the 2014 World Series Championships, marking their third victory in the past five years. However, their third championship signified another monumental achievement – their entrance into a dynasty, justified by their three championships in five years.
The Giants’ current run is arguably their best yet. In 2010, the Giants defeated the Texas Rangers and returned only two years later to triumph over the Detroit Tigers. Crowned the victors of the World Series every other year since 2010, the Giants have achieved remarkably the closest thing to a dynasty that anyone has seen in this century in the sport of baseball. The Giant’s success all began four years ago, when the team’s victory over the Rangers secured their first world championship since 1954.
Even though a significant amount of time has passed since 1954, this year still held its own importance. Having entered the championships as the underdogs, the New York Giants, which was the team’s name before relocating to San Francisco, exhibited success with remarkable players such as Willie Mayes in order to prevail over Cleveland.
Carrying the burden of disappointing seasons following 1954, the team won in 2010 and set the pathway for the Giants to be named the victors of the World Series for three years out of the next six. The team’s strong pitching lineup guided by National League Cy Young Award Winner Tim Lincecum contributed greatly to the Giant’s redemption from a 56 year slump, thus leading to their victory. Although 2011 was a year of insufficient hitting and numerous injuries, in which Rookie of the Year Catcher Buster Posey sustained a fractured ankle that was at the time, believed to be his downfall, the Giants rebounded in 2012, taking home the World Series victory again after two years. Regardless of his previous setback, Posey returned to the team with a remarkable regular season batting average, catching every inning and preventing any opposing baserunners from advancing as he earned the National League MVP Title.
Despite being the best team in the early months of this year, the chance of making playoffs seemed bleak as their lead vanished, leaving them with the worst record in the history of baseball. As the championships neared, however, the Giants were able to bounce back and enter the playoffs after surprising rookie performances. The 2014 World Series featured the exceptional plays by MVP Madison Bumgarner, who became the third pitcher in the World Series to successfully pitch following a shutout.
So what exactly allowed the Giants to set aside the precedent disappointments of the season and emerge as the eight-time World Series champions since 1905? The team’s success most directly links to the performance of key players, such as Hunter Pence or Pablo Sandoval. In 1954 and 2010, the Giants entered as underdogs. However, with a solid lineup and the maintenance of an optimistic outlook, they were able to defy all odds. To the Giants, statistics were just numbers that indicated that the smallest chance was still a chance – a chance to secure the title of a baseball dynasty.