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A Second Victory: Champion Giants Take Home USF’s California Prize

The World Series victory for the San Francisco Giants, an unexpected addition to a night intended for the celebration and recognition of community service, became the focal point of the evening at the 5th annual California Prize Award Dinner on Nov. 12. The theme of the night, initiated by President Stephen Privett, S.J. and carried on by Giants President and CEO Larry Baer, was the connection between “doing good and doing well” – the reciprocity between positive actions in the community and the success of such an organization within that community.

“Doing good and doing well are mutually enforcing in achieving life’s goals,” Privett said during the presentation of the award, which occurred under the sparkling lights of a beautifully decorated white tent on Welsh Field.

Baer echoed the sentiment in his acceptance speech.

“The reality is that the road for doing well is doing good in a society.”

The Giants organization has spent much time doing good in their community whether or not they are doing well on the ball field, but this year turned out to be a win in both regards — a World Series championship, and the California Prize for Service and the Common Good.

The California Prize is an award presented by the University to an individual or organization who contributes greatly to the needs of the local community. Over the last year, USF took note of the great contributions of the Giants Community Fund, which supports the Junior Giants Program, and determined back in March that San Francisco’s own Major League Baseball team would be the 2012 recipients of the prize.

“The California Prize goes to community members who excel at service to the community,” Privett said. “The Giants are about more than winning baseball games.”

The Giants Community Fund is a non-profit organization that was established in 1991. The Fund has donated over $14 million to community efforts throughout it’s 21-year existence.

According to it’s mission statement, “the Giants Community Fund collaborates with the San Francisco Giants by using baseball as a forum to encourage underserved youth and their families to live healthy, productive lives.”

One way that the Giants goes about this is through their flagship program, the Junior Giants, which is a non-competitive youth baseball program for at-risk children ages 5-18. The program means to provide a sense of community, an alternative to drugs and violence, and a chance to learn the sport of baseball without the typical expenses. The Fund provides all of the equipment and training necessary to run the leagues, as well as free tickets to certain Giants games. Aside from education in baseball, the Junior Giants also aims to teach the children life skills by focusing on the ideas of confidence, integrity, leadership and teamwork.

Along with the Junior Giants, the Giants Community Fund also supports public awareness campaigns at AT&T park, and annually provides grants to other charitable organizations who benefit the community through health services, violence prevention and educational programs.

Baer, who received the award for the Giants, revealed a strong connection between the type of service that USF encourages and participates in and the services of the Giants Community Fund.

“USF and the Giants have a symbiotic relationship,” Baer said. “Both of us wear SF across our chests and take seriously our utility as more than a business or university.”

The University and the Giants are linked other ways by their passions for community services. According to Baer, there are USF graduates employed with the Giants in every department.

“It’s not just because USF’s proximity to AT&T Park….we share a common vision of the community,” Baer said.

This vision was shared directly between members of the two parties in the collaboration between Giants pitcher Jeremy Affeldt and USF professor David Batstone on the non-profit organization Not For Sale (NFS). Batstone is the co-founder of the organization, which fights human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Affeldt became involved with NFS after he was traded to the Giants in 2009, and has been supporting the initiative ever since. This season he pledged to donate $250 for every strikeout, hold, save and win. In the 67 games he pitched for the Giants, that money built up into a significant donation to the Not For Sale organization. Of course, Affeldt also contributed in another way by helping to pitch the Giants into the World Series Championship.

“USF and I take full credit for knowing that the Giants would be the World Series Champions at the time of this dinner back in March,” Privett joked during the award ceremony.

The nights connections between providing service to one’s community and finding success in the rest of life’s endeavors were strong, sending a powerful message to both the USF affiliated guests and the members of the Giants organization.

In short, Privett concluded in his speech that the Giants won the World Series because they are good people, not just good baseball players. They are good because they do good for their community, for the city of San Francisco and the Bay Area. The University of San Francisco had a keen eye for just how good the Giants are when they selected the organization for the California Prize back in March.

 

SF Welcomes Home Giants in Victory Parade: Hectic Parade Attracts Out-of-State Fans

November 2, an estimated 1.5 million people gathered near the civic center to welcome home the Giants after winning the world series for the first time in San Francisco.  People from all over came to celebrate this victorious day.

Clouds of smoke would puff up occasionally around the crowds while beer cans were being tossed to the ground since there were no trashcans. Although this was an exciting event, the city should have taken more time to organize such a momentous occasion.

Christi Robb, 26, a San Francisco State University student said, “The city could have done a much better job of organizing especially as far as scheduling and crowd control is concerned. It seems that it should have been easy seeing as how SF is no stranger to throwing a party, especially one involving a parade.”

Christine Giusti, 22, a USF alum also agreed that the parade was not organized. However, out of the five interviewed, all seemed to enjoy the excitement of the city. Gabby Seo, 22, was visiting from New York and came not knowing what was going on. Seo said, “It was exciting to see people of all ages celebrating”.

Kelsey Burnett, 20, a junior at USF said, “As a huge baseball fan it was something I’ve always wanted to be a part of and since my Mariners haven’t been to a world series yet this was the closet I’ve been able to get.”
This parade attracted people from all over and allowed for a giant celebration, even if they aren’t all Giants fans, although most were.

Robb said,  “The Giants have been my favorite team since I was 9. Its exciting to think that I may sit at a Giants game with my kids one day telling them about the first year we won the series, the craziness of the parade, and how more people showed up than the entire city population.”

Although the actual parade was not very well organized, the clean up was. Hannah Jones, 23, a San Francisco native said, “The whole city was having a lot of fun. I hear they started planning two hours after we won the final game. We walked by where the start of the parade was and they were already cleaning, which is great!”

All six people were excited and happy they got to experience this moment that will go down in history.

It was a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky with a giant crowd, bigger than the population of the city.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Burke McSwain

Sports Editor: Matt Steinbach

Young Giants Show Promise

The San Francisco Giants are coming off their fourth consecutive losing season, which hasn’t happened since the 1970s. The Giants did not add any big value during the free agent or trade markets during the offseason. They hope that they will see a big improvement from their young offensive players. Managing partner Bill Neukon hopes to make the Giants as a farm system, to finish .500 or better in the 2009 seasn, and do well in 2010.

The Giants’ pitching can help them in the NL West. Tim Lincecum won the Cy Young Award last season although he didn’t lead the NL in victories or ERA, but he led the majors in strikeouts. Matt Cain has the stuff to be a 20-game winner. Barry Zito has yet to live up to his $126 million contract, although he made adjustments in his delivery last season. In December, the Giants signed Randy Johnson to a one-year, $8 million deal; the Giants believe that Johnson will do well in AT&T Park. Jonathan Sanchez comes off a first full season as a starter, but he may go to the bullpen when Noah Lowry returns to good health; Lowry had two surgeries last season. Brian Wilson had 41 saves; Wilson did make the All-Star team, although he had a high ERA. The Giants had problems in the seventh and eighth innings, so they signed free agents Jeremy Affeldt and Bob Howry. Alex Hinshaw, Jack Taschner and Sergio Romo will have important roles in the bullpen.

Omar Vizquel left the Giants after spending four seasons with the team. To replace Vizquel, the Giants signed Edgar Renteria. Renteria had a terrible season with Detroit, but the Giants hope he will do well. This season, Renteria will have to refute scouting reports that he is becoming sluggish. Emmanuel Burriss will compete for second base with Eugenio Velez and Kevin Frandsen; Burriss had a knee injury that bothered him in the Arizona Fall League, otherwise he would have kept his starting job at shortstop.

The Giants will start Pablo Sandoval at third base, which is a position he played sparingly in the minors; the Giants have a lot riding on Sandoval and he may pull it off. The Giants’ leading candidate for first base is Travis Ishikawa due to his offensive showing at the end last season. Aaron Rowand did well after he signed with the Giants in May, but the Giants plan to rest Rowand more often since Fred Lewis and Randy Winn are accessible. The Giants will think that moving Rowand to fifth in the lineup will help him become a 20 homerun.

Veteran catcher Bengie Molina is in the final year of his contract and he will probably try-out for other clubs since the Giants will use top pick Buster Posey. Molina isn’t the best at blocking balls and he is among the slowest runners in baseball. The Giants don’t have much punch on the bench. Nate Schierholtz, who participated in the 2008 Olympics, will be the fourth outfielder and Dave Roberts will play sparingly as a fifth outfielder, although his bunting skills and his speed will be useful in close games. The Giants will use Steve Holm to occasionally replace Sandoval.

The Giants will have to utilize their young players and their bullpen in order to do well in the NL West. Their season opener is against Milwaukee on April 7.