Less than eight hours after they clinched their third World Series title in just five seasons, the San Francisco Giants returned Thursday to their hometown city before dawn to newspaper headlines screaming about the team's "Dynasty," and hard core fans mobbing pitching star "MadBum" at AT&T Park.
"MVP, MVP," the crowd screamed, waving San Francisco Chronicle newspapers with the word "Dynasty" in bold font stripped across the masthead.
The Giants beat the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night in a nail-biting 3-2 game in the 9th inning. Much of that success is attributed to Madison Bumgarner, the humble 25-year-old pitcher who pitched five innings of near-perfect relief.
The welcome home capped a night of jubilation that drew throngs of Giants fans to the streets. While many revelers were peaceful, at least two people were shot and reports of bonfires in the streets and thrown bottles circulated.
The players didn't stop to talk to fans or the media. Hunter Pence just gave a quick peace sign before heading off. But Giants CEO Larry Baer did make a quick public appearance, carrying the team's World Series trophy lovingly in his arms. He said the plane ride home was "giddy."
"We're in an altered state of happiness and euphoria," he told the crowd. "They got it done."
When the team's charter plane touched down at San Francisco International Airport just before 4 a.m., buses took the players to their ballpark, AT&T Park, so they could pick up their cars, and head to the Hyatt in Burlingame for an after-after-party. Standing in the cold and dark, about 100 fans lined the sidewalk, trying to get close to Bumgarner who was named the World Series Most Valuable Player.
While most fans contained their excitement to a healthy roar, there were injuries and arrests following the World Series win on Wednesday night right after the game, where thousands had gathered in Civic Center Plaza to watch the game on a large Jumbotron.
San Francisco Police Officer Gordon Shyy said as of 8:45 p. on Wednesday, two people were shot in separate cases - neither were life threatening. One man was shot in the arm at 21st and Valencia streets in the Mission District. Another person was shot and walked into San Francisco General Hospital.
Police and witnesses also cited crowds setting off bonfires and firecrackers in the street. A couch was even set on fire. And some threw their celebratory champagne bottles and police. Shyy said that officers were "assaulted" with those bottles on Market Street in the Mission District, and were hit with firecrackers and M80s, as they tried to disperse the crowds. Multiple officers suffered minor injuries, Shyy said.
Police Chief Greg Suhr had to defuse a tense situation himself, the Chronicle reported. He confronted a dozen kids hanging onto a car on Market Street swearing at “pigs” and ordered them to shut off the music and leave or they would be arrested.
He did not know the number of arrests on Wednesday night, and said those numbers should be released on Thursday.
Last time the Giants won the World Series in 2012, about 35 were arrested on victory night, mostly for vandalism and people setting fires. Nine were charged with crimes the next day.