SAN FRANCISCO The world champion Giants returned home Monday afternoon to a celebration of firehoses blasting fountains of water over their chartered plane and fans cheering behind cyclone fences.
"We're proud of what they've done," said Paul Fung, a Virgin America airlines employee waiting behind a barricade at San Francisco International Airport. "Now the stress can be over!"
The full-fledged parade through downtown San Francisco to celebrate the Giants' second World Series title in three years, this time against Detroit, won't get under way until 11 a.m. Wednesday. But the players gave fans a mini-preview Monday afternoon, greeting them at the airport before driving to AT&T Park, where more than 1,500 fans crowded Willie Mays Plaza.
"We're all diehard fans," said Mel Catubig, 39, from San Francisco, who was waiting for the Giants at the stadium Monday afternoon, wearing her lucky Tim Lincecum jersey. "This shirt is completely dirty because we had our mojo and didn't want to wash it."
Like kids at a swimming pool party, fans shouted "MARCO!" and waited for others to shout back "SCUTARO!" to honor one of the Giants' standouts.
San Jose Mercury News
Giants fan lives a dream
DETROIT Many Giants fans were euphoric Monday, but none more so that Hayward native Ashley Chavez.
Chavez, 25, has spent the past seven months living expense-free in New York City as the team's fan representative at Major League Baseball's Fan Cave, an interactive social media center in Manhattan.
One of three remaining "survivors" of the Fan Cave competition, she was flown in by MLB to be present at all four World Series games, where she watched her favorite team take batting practice down on the field, met many of the players and then cheered them as they closed out the Detroit Tigers in Game 4 of the World Series at Comerica Park.
Earlier this year, Chavez was one of nine fans selected from more than 22,000 applicants who crafted video essays about their devotion to their favorite team. She submitted an entry detailing her emotions about the Giants winning their first World Series in San Francisco in 2010.
And now they have another one.
"This is just insane," she said. "It will probably hit me in about two or three weeks. It could take months."
Chavez, who was working at a Men's Wearhouse a year ago as a tuxedo manager, has been a Giants fan since she was a toddler. She named all of her stuffed animals after former star first baseman Will Clark and got to meet Clark this week.
She submitted her entry to the Fan Cave competition in early December, expecting not to hear back. But MLB contacted her in January, she moved to New York in late March, and with her outgoing, passionate personality, became a hit with her videos on the MLB Fan Cave website. One of her most popular video shorts was of her anguishing over the final inning of Matt Cain's perfect game in mid-June and bursting into tears when the final out was made.
Each member of the Fan Cave had to watch all 162 games of his or her favorite team at the site.
Chavez did get out in mid-July to attend the All-Star Game in Kansas City, Mo., again at MLB's expense.
Now that her experience is complete, Chavez said, "I have to return to reality." But based on the experience she garnered, she hopes to land a job in baseball, either with MLB or the Giants.
Venezuelans hail MVP Sandoval
CARACAS, Venezuela Venezuelan fans are celebrating the selection of Giants slugger Pablo Sandoval as the first Venezuelan to win the World Series MVP award.
Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio sent congratulations on Twitter, calling Sandoval's performance great in the series that ended Sunday with the Giants sweeping the Detroit Tigers in four games. Aparicio also referred to the possibility of the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera winning American League MVP, saying: "We should have two MVPs this year don't you think?"
Others congratulating Sandoval and the many Venezuelan players in the Series included ex-major league pitcher Wilson Alvarez, golfer Jhonattan Vegas and Venezuelan Professional Baseball League President Jose Grasso Vecchio.
A record nine Venezuelans were on the World Series rosters. Among players who stood out was Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro, who drove in the winning run with a 10th-inning single in Sunday's clincher. He also was named the MVP of the National League Championship Series.