Erik Lopez is not your ordinary San Francisco Giants fan. By day he’s your regular good guy from Hercules. By first pitch he saves the day as Giants-Wolverine; a five-foot-something wolf-like creature wearing a black and orange Giants cape, mask and foam knuckle blades.
The baseball fan-superhero hybrid said his idea to become a “badass character” evolved during the 2010 postseason when he decided to combine his favorite team with his favorite Marvel character. “It’s all about the black and orange,” said Giants-Wolverine as he stood in line in his costume for nearly half an hour to catch a glimpse of—and snap a photo of himself with—the 2010 and 2012 World Series trophies as they made a stop at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium on Monday while being toured though the state. “I’ve got to meet a lot of good people like this. The kids love it. It’s nothing but fun.”
And fun is what Bay Area residents, and possibly the two pet dogs who were also waiting in line, had during the San Francisco Giants World Championship Trophy Tour. While the trophies were on display for two hours, folks lined up outside the auditorium to catch a glimpse of the two shiny objects sitting inside the lobby.
Displayed like museum pieces, the two trophies each stood about two feet tall and glittered under the light like expensive Tiffany & Company jewelry. And although the circular trophies had an air of majesty to them, they were not encased behind protective glass. Fans could get as close to them as they could without actually touching them.
Tyler Dunkin of Fairfield was all smiles when he finally got to stand between the two World Series trophies. Sporting a Giants’ ball cap, jersey and healthy black beard, the Sergio Romo lookalike said it was awesome to see both trophies at the same time. “In only three years we already have two [World Series],” he said. “Just a couple more and we can beat some A’s fans.”
Steve Garcia of Richmond echoed those sentiments. Standing in line with his family, Garcia said he’s getting used to winning, and that the Giants might be the new New York Yankees of the National League. “We just keep on winning,” said the 39-year-old. “I’ve been a Giants fan for a long time. But it took forever for us to get that 2010.”
Richmond Police Activities League sports coordinator Mark Torres said over 2,000 people saw the World Series trophies on Monday and that the city’s Junior Giants baseball program raised $568 collected from $2 donations given by the attendees. The money will be used to help buy new baseball uniforms, he said.
“Little League baseball was absent [from Richmond] for about 10 years,” Torres said as he stood by the auditorium’s door and greeted people as they entered to see the trophies. “Junior Giants brought it back. We’re in our fifth year. But all four years we’ve played in hand-me-down uniforms from other Junior Giants cities.”
Torres said that Richmond’s Junior Giants program needs to raise $13,000 so the 400 kids in the program can get new uniforms. They have raised about $3,000 so far, he said.
Junior Giants coordinator Nicole Zongus said the program has 85 leagues and helps kids who normally wouldn’t get a chance to play baseball. The Richmond fundraiser, she said, was a way to help their Junior Giants with local leagues.
“When kids play for Junior Giants they play totally for free,” she said. “We provide all the equipment, shirts and hats. They also get opportunities to come out to the ballpark and see a game. But it’s more than baseball. We have programs in education, health and violence prevention.”
Councilmember Nat Bates, who played professional baseball in Canada during the 1950s, said it was an honor to have the World Championship trophies in Richmond, and that the showcase was an indirect way to celebrate the city’s rich baseball history. “Most people know about Willie McGee,” Bates said, referring to the former St. Louis Cardinals’ National League MVP and World Series Champion. “But most people don’t know about Pumpsie Green. Green graduated from El Cerrito High and was the first African American to integrate the Boston Red Sox.”
The trophies will be on display in Vallejo on Wednesday, and travel to Antioch and Livermore later in the month. For more information about the trophy tour, click here.