SAN FRANCISCO -- At some point next week, Giants manager Bruce Bochy will begin the process of packing up his office of 13 years. The hard part is done. Bullwinkle, a gigantic stuffed elk head that hung in his office for most of this decade, is now living in a local bar.
But Bochy still has plenty to pack, especially after a season-long farewell tour. It's been emotional at times, filled with tributes from longtime friends and touching videos from longtime opponents. It also has been lucrative for a man who loves wine and will officially be off the clock next Monday.
Perhaps the first sip will come from a bottle Bob Melvin presented during a ceremony in August. Or the one that was left in his office in Atlanta by a visitor who wanted to say thanks. Maybe the first drink will come from the bottle of bourbon Alex Cora sent over last week, or the Sagamore Spirit Rye the Orioles gave Bochy early on.
There will be plenty of time to get through it all, and plenty of fond memories. Here's a rundown of some of the highlights from the farewell tour:
--- Reds: The first team to acknowledge Bochy with a pre-game tribute, they hosted the Giants in early May and had David Bell present custom wine glasses, a carafe and a custom bourbon ice chest from a local company.
--- Orioles: This one stood out a bit and deserves to be remembered simply because the NL team in the region, the Nationals, didn't even acknowledge Bochy's retirement -- no gift, no video, not even an announcement to fans. Perhaps they're still bitter about Jordan Zimmermann.
When the Giants came back to the area a few weeks later to face the Orioles, a team they rarely see, Brandon Hyde met Bochy and presented the rye and engraved glasses. Hyde is from Santa Rosa.
"He's somebody I truly admire," Hyde said. "He's a Hall-of-Fame level manager that has done a lot of great things in this game. Really cool to be on the same field as him, and I think he appreciated it. It's the least we could do."
--- Padres: Bochy's former (and future?) employer pulled out all the stops. There was a pregame ceremony led by Padres chairman Ron Fowler and former players Steve Finley, Carlos Hernandez, Mark Sweeney and Andy Ashby and they gave Bochy fishing poles, a custom bottle of wine and a frame full of photos from his time in San Diego.
The Padres also played an excellent tribute video:
"I appreciate that, I really do," Bochy said. "It's not what I was looking for in my last year but it means something to me."
--- Marlins: Sergio Romo, later traded to the Twins, visited the clubhouse when the Giants were in Miami and gave Bochy a bottle of Don Julio 1942 tequila.
"I gave him a token of appreciation for the faith and trust that he had in me for all those years," Romo told MLB.com. "I feel I can count the amount of people that have taken a chance on me in my life on two hands, and he's on that. He's one of those fingers."
Bochy also met privately with Derek Jeter, the Marlins' CEO, and it's said that Jeter presented a nice gift.
--- Diamondbacks and Rockies: The NL West opponents see Bochy for six series a year, and they clearly got to know him well. Both gave Bochy a chance to do something he loves.
The Rockies presented a weekend retreat at a Colorado ranch and also gave Bochy the "SF" from their scoreboard. The Diamondbacks gave him an all-expenses-paid trip to Montana to go fly fishing.
--- Cubs: Team president Theo Epstein, who worked with Bochy in San Diego, joioned Joe Maddon and bench coach Mark Loretta to hand Bochy the No. 15 tile from the scoreboard at Wrigley Field.
--- Red Sox: They brought a large group out onto the field, including manager Alex Cora, former big league managers Tony La Russa and Ron Roenicke, and executives Brian O'Halloran and Mike Rikard, both of whom worked with Bochy in San Diego. The Red Sox gave him a chair from Fenway that celebrated win No. 2,000:
The Red Sox honored Bruce Bochy before today's game. It looks like they've given him a special Fenway Park chair with the No. 2,000 on it. pic.twitter.com/RIjcBKuUhW— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) September 19, 2019
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--- Dodgers: The rivals might have had the best tribute of all. After all, they so respected Bochy that they were willing to show highlights of the Giants winning the World Series:
The Dodgers got Vin Scully to do a tribute video for Bruce Bochy (which means Giants World Series highlights were shown at Dodger Stadium 😂) pic.twitter.com/ySk1BzdrdH— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) September 7, 2019
Vin Scully narrated a video and Dave Roberts presented Bochy with a signed jersey from Sandy Koufax, one of his favorite players when he was growing up in Florida. Bochy was extremely touched by the whole presentation, but politely declined when Roberts asked him to take the microphone and say a few words to a sellout crowd at Dodger Stadium.
"I was afraid lightning would hit me," Bochy said later, smiling. "There's a Giant talking to a Dodger crowd, there's no way I'm not going to get hit here."