SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — This baseball-smitten city will toast the San Francisco Giants’ World Series championship with a ticker-tape motorcade Wednesday reminiscent of the one held when the team moved west from New York 52 years ago.
Huge crowds of screaming fans are expected to line every inch of the wide sidewalks, their numbers swelled by office workers, out-of-town visitors and children taking the day off school to salute a team of self-described misfits and castoffs who won baseball’s highest honor.
Civic dignitaries and Giants will ride in a line of open-topped vehicles driven along Montgomery Street in the Financial District, then down Market Street to Civic Center for a celebration and presentation of a key to the city by Mayor Gavin Newsom.
Thousands of raucous fans had gathered at the same spot beneath City Hall’s orange-lit dome on Monday night to watch an outdoor big screen television that captured the team’s Game 5 win over the Texas Rangers. The Giants finally achieved World Series domination that eluded the team in 1962, 1989 and 2002.
On Tuesday, people hawked Giants souvenirs on corners throughout the downtown area, and hour-long lines formed outside the Giants Dugout store near AT&T Park, where people were buying hats, teeshirts and other items to wear to the parade.
“I just want to be part of the happiness here,” said Pacifica resident Ofelia Guiriba.
So many people were expected for the parade that Newsom urged people to take public transportation.
Golden Gate Ferry was planning to use extra ferries capable of carrying 715 passengers to shuttle fans from Marin County into the city. The Bay Area Rapid Transit system was planning to run longer trains on all lines and was urging riders to buy roundtrip tickets to avoid lines.
“BART is hearing buzz that many people plan to take time off work or even let their kids play hooky from school to see the historic celebration,” the agency said Tuesday. “However, for those with a regular work day or other needs to get to the city, taking BART can help avoid the additional traffic clogging the roads and parking lots due to the parade.”
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.