MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
Baseball fans are celebrating in San Francisco today. Their beloved Giants won the pennant.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It's my honor to present the Warren C. Giles Trophy to the National League champion, San Francisco Giants.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
The Giants destroyed the St. Louis Cardinals last night, 9-0. They now move on to the World Series to face the Detroit Tigers.
BLOCK: San Francisco had been down three games to one in the National League Championship Series, but they rallied, thanks to impressive pitching and defense. Here is manager Bruce Bochy last night on Fox.
BRUCE BOCHY: These guys just never quit. They just kept believing and they got it done. And I couldn't be prouder over a group of guys and what they accomplished here.
CORNISH: NPR's Richard Gonzales hit the streets of San Francisco this morning to talk with fans about their team's second World Series appearance in three years.
RICHARD GONZALES, BYLINE: Out at AT&T Park, the Giants merchandise shop was bustling with long lines of fans gobbling up National League Championship T-shirts, hats and hoodies. Brad and Robin Myers were at the game last night, and they came back to the park this morning to shop and celebrate.
BRAD MYERS: Well, you know, we started out pretty good when they - oh, I guess, it's the fourth inning when they got five runs. You know, it's like, oh, man, this is - I just didn't think - I thought they would win. I was - just knowing they would win, but I didn't think...
ROBIN MYERS: We can't believe it was a shutout.
MYERS: Yeah. Right.
MYERS: I mean, that was just - as my dad used to say, you know, it was a laffer.
GONZALES: Inside the shop, Arelette Reyes is trying on a Giants hoodie.
ARELETTE REYES: Die-hard San Francisco fan.
GONZALES: Reyes is hard to miss. Maybe it's the orange and black hair. She says she plans to recolor it in time for the World Series. Then she pulls up her sleeve as if to prove her faith in the Giants. Show me what the tattoo says.
REYES: World Series and the year that we won it in San Francisco. So I want to add another year. Giants are going to go all the way, definitely.
GONZALES: But nothing was definite about the Giants' road to the World Series. In August, they had to shake off the loss of their star hitter, Melky Cabrera, who was suspended after testing positive for a banned substance. There were days when neither their hitting nor pitching was in sync.
In fact, they were on the verge of elimination six times throughout the division and league title series. Now, even former Giants pitcher and radio announcer Mike Krukow is caught up in the excitement. He's here to pick up a couple of T-shirts. But he doesn't mind stopping for a little postseason analysis. He says what's remarkable is that the Giants have made a lot of changes. Six position players have been added since the team won it all in 2010.
MIKE KRUKOW: You know, both teams were completely remarkable in separate ways, you know, so I don't know. I mean, they're not blazing the trail, which is a little different, but they do have powerful mojo in that they have some of the older guys who are first-timers. And that is - that's powerful.
GONZALES: And Krukow looks over his shoulder at the long lines of fans.
KRUKOW: It's Giants fever, and we've all got it. Where else would you rather be? Who else would you rather be with?
GONZALES: The World Series opens Wednesday night here at AT&T Park. Richard Gonzales, NPR News, San Francisco. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.