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Giants fever sweeps Sonoma County

  • Lifelong San Francisco Giants fan Raul Garcia browses for new Giants shirts at All American Sports Fan, in Santa Rosa, on Tuesday, October 23, 2012.

    (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

Orange-and-black fever swept Sonoma County on Tuesday as fans snapped up San Francisco Giants jerseys, hats and even doggie sweaters in anticipation of today's World Series opener.

Frenzied shoppers swarmed the men's clothing department at JC Penney in Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa when clerks unloaded boxes of newly minted National League championship T-shirts. Fans reached for them before they hit the shelves, waving them in the air and yelling out for different sizes.

The store sold 500 units within a few hours.

World Series Prep 10.23-10.24.12

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"People were grabbing the shirts off the cart as they were wheeling it out," said store manager Mike Gobble.

Many chalked up the exuberance to the thrill of having the Giants compete in the fall classic for the second time in three years. The Giants' popularity soared in 2010 when they won their first major league title since moving from New York in 1958.

"The first time will always be special," said David Edwards, a truck driver from Windsor who grew up in San Francisco and worshipped Hall-of-Famer Willie McCovey.

Others said there's more riding on this year's bid because the team has a chance to prove its past success wasn't a fluke. Come-from-behind playoff wins against both the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals is an added thrill.

"Last year we were being called one-hit wonders," said Mark Kithcart, a software executive, also from Windsor. "We didn't make it to the postseason. What this proves is how good a manager Bruce Bochy is. It speaks to the fact that we are not one-hit wonders."

Jose Duran-Lopez of Santa Rosa, who was browsing Giants beanies at All American Sports Fan in Coddingtown, agreed the team has a shot at establishing itself among other sports dynasties.

He described the rain-soaked, final victory over the Cardinals -- a game he watched from home -- as high drama with "all the components of a movie."


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