Like many others clad in orange and black around her, Cheryl Shawl, 60, had been waiting since dawn today through waves of rain to see her heroes: the Giants.
And when the World Series championship parade finally started rolling down Market Street around noon, Shawl and the rest of the dense crowd went wild.
Players, celebrating the third trophy in San Francisco in the past five years, towered above the crowd on double-decker buses, waving with delight and at times pointing up to the sky and chanting, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” – the rally cry made famous this postseason by outfielder Hunter Pence.
The vehicle that Shawl cheered for the most was a pickup truck near the end of the 100-float parade. It carried none other than Madison Bumgarner, the Giants starting pitcher who sealed the World Series win in Game 7 and earned MVP honors (he also captured the MVP in the National League Championship Series).
Ecstatic, Shawl picked up a soaked jockey with “MadBum” written across it that she had spread out to dry atop her open, orange umbrella and held it up as Bumgarner passed by.
“Where’s my underwear?” the Sunnyvale resident said, not realizing she had dropped it in the midst of jumping up and down. “I got it soiled again.”
“Too bad they were riding on top,” Shawl said, laughing, as she picked up the wet underwear. “I was going to have Bumgarner sign his bum for me.”
The parade, which traveled from Market and Steuart streets to City Hall, was a mixture of precipitation and orange, black, white and metallic confetti. At some parts of Market Street, the confetti was so thick it completely covered the roadway.
Among the celebrities that graced the procession was the former lead singer of Journey, Steve Perry, who ran around high-fiving fans near Mission and Steuart streets at the start of the parade until he was out of breath. Journey’s anthem “Don’t Stop Believin’” is played during Giants games, and he is a regular fixture at the ballpark.
“We just said, don’t stop believing,” said Anne Kehoe, 28, of Inverness, referencing the song.
For Chris Miles and Fely Marquez-Miles, this third parade was the charm. The couple from Santa Clara arrived at Market Street at 5 a.m. and set up a large tent against the parade gates, shielding them from rain and other encroaching fans.
“We’ve done this for three years and we got crushed, so we decided we were going to have one good parade,” said Chris Miles, 42. “It’s been quite a ride.”
Miles, who had not shaved his Giants orange-colored beard since August when the team went through a slump, added that the real fans braved the rain.
“2010 was quicker; you could tell everything was kind of thrown together,” he said. “2012, there was a bigger response and a lot more people. This one, it’s really lots of big-time Giants fans.”
For most of the parade, Giants manager Bruce Bochy held the trophy and drew loud cheers.
By the time the parade ended at Civic Center Plaza, the rain had tapered off.
The players came out one by one from City Hall for the official ceremony, initiated by Mayor Ed Lee.
“Is MadBum a man or a machine?” the mayor said.
Bumgarner shook his head slightly and chuckled. Lee also asked when Bochy would be eligible for the Hall of Fame and, referencing Pablo Sandoval, said, “Is there anything I can do to keep the Panda in S.F.?”
“You torture us and you make us the proudest city in the world,” Lee said. “Today, once again we are champions.
And with that, the mayor gave Bochy and team CEO Larry Baer the key to The City.