A Gentle Giant Wins Fans

A Gentle Giant Wins Fans

~Amy Lignor

Everyone already knows that David did not beat Goliath. David did have his banner season. He looked strong, courageous, and made a lot of baseball fans out there eat their proverbial words. But, in the end, Goliath (AKA San Francisco Giants) took yet another championship. There are those who were not Royals’ fans; heck, there are those who don’t even care about baseball at all, who wanted the Royals to win. It would have been one of those ‘million-dollar’ moments – like when the Red Sox won and it seemed to touch the hearts of all Americans. However, even though that ‘heartfelt’ moment of seeing the underdog win the World Series didn’t occur…one thing most definitely did. Madison Bumgarner was THE star, and he looked and sounded like ‘one of us’.

 

Madison_Bumgarner_on_September_3,_2013Bumgarner is THE pitcher in baseball who makes the game shine. But he is so UN-like a star, it isn’t even funny. Bumgarner talks about purchasing a bull for his wife for her birthday. Not the Hope Diamond, mind you…a bull calf. He is one of those guys who you feel could leave the mound after winning the World Series and head to a farm to work. He wouldn’t pay no-never-mind to the spotlight. In fact, when that poor man stumbled over his speech regarding the Chevy truck – which no one will ever forget, and everyone hopes he was just nervous or drinking during the fiasco – Bumgarner just looked as if he wanted to reach out and take the keys. Not because he needed another vehicle, but because he wanted to go onto the back roads with some friends, race through the mud, have a couple of beers, and just enjoy life.

 

There are those in sports who look like they’ve stepped off the covers of magazines. The NFL has a couple. But it’s not Tom Brady’s fault he was born as good looking as he was; according to his teammates, he’s just a down-to-earth guy, too. But the packaging is far different than others in sports. The NBA is most likely the worst. You have players boasting all about how wonderful they are; taking millions in cash; and instead of enjoying things, they look grouchy – as if they should be getting more money – as much as ‘that guy’ – so they can have yet another Porsche parked in the driveway.

 

No matter how many people were upset that San Francisco won the World Series (yet again), they like Bumgarner. He’s blue-collar in the white-collar world of sports. When he was on that mound, entering Game 7 in the bottom of the fifth inning when some experts believe he should have been too tired, he changed the game.

 

This would be the third championship in five years for the Giants, yet Bumgarner walked onto the mound like he was on a farm somewhere playing with his buds. The power of his left arm would have been just as righteous and strong on the farm, as it had been in the World Series. And when it came to winning Game 7, he didn’t even blink. It seemed if you hooked him up to a blood pressure machine that he would have been as calm as you could possibly imagine.

 

This wasn’t a high-scoring game, certainly; the Giants beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2. Experts call it a seriously tense game; with Bumgarner showing no anxiety whatsoever. This is a young man who has lived only a quarter century, thus far, and has already earned a place on the very small pedestal saved for the greatest pitchers of all time. His numbers in October were almost supernatural, like something Stephen King would write and not what really happened. 1.03 ERA in 52 2/3 innings, with a five-inning lockdown in Game 7 that won’t soon be forgotten.

 

As always, the experts made up a list of things before the game of how the Royals would win and a ‘Cinderella’ moment would occur. The ONLY thing they said about the Giants was the fact that if they were to walk away with the trophy in hand, they would have to rely on Bumgarner’s arm. Funny part was, they could also rely on Bumgarner’s relaxed state; he brought peace with him, and the players around him immediately felt better about things and believed that there was no way they could lose.

 

He is the equivalent of NFL’s Brady or Manning. But, in the end, even with all the champagne, parades, etc., you can bet Bumgarner’s favorite form of celebration will be to hop into that new Chevy and head out to his 38-acre farm to check on the bull.

 

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants!

Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle