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In excitement over Giants' World Series sweep, mistakes happen

October 29, 2012 |  1:50 pm

I left my brain in San Francisco,

High on a hill, it calls to me.

That’s the only possible explanation for the egregious error I made in a story about Sunday night’s outpouring of joy in San Francisco over the Giants’ four-game sweep of the shell-shocked Detroit Tigers in the World Series.

My brain and I have finally reconnected, thanks to an outpouring of emails (mostly gracious) and some online comments (much less so).

First, the official correction: An article in the Oct. 29 LATExtra section about San Francisco’s reaction to the Giants winning the World Series said the team had moved to San Francisco from Brooklyn. The team actually played its games on Manhattan Island and was known as the New York Giants.

But I feel compelled to explain a little further, so here goes.

I guess I could blame my father for that stumble, only he’s not alive to defend himself. An Italian American who spent part of his life in Sicily, Rome and Bologna, my father paid attention to only one sports franchise, the DiMaggio-era Yankees.  (He also celebrated Antonin Scalia’s rise to the Supreme Court — “a nice Italian boy” my dad called him — but that’s another story.)

Joe DiMaggio retired long before my birth. OK, maybe not that long, if we’re into accuracy here. The point is that there was no talk of sports in my early life. And that’s where you learn this stuff, right?

Or I could blame the pressure of deadline. Game 4 went into extra inning (yes, singular), and my mission was to go out and chat with happy fans and then write a colorful reaction piece. In less than an hour.

The first part of the job was not hard to do, as San Franciscans seemed to mob every bar in the city, cram the Civic Center where a Jumbotron had been set up for communal viewing and flow onto the Embarcadero near AT&T Park. I think they also burned a bus, but I was asleep by then.

Writing, obviously, was a much harder task.

Just listen to David Castro, kind, gracious, adamant and the king of long sentences. And short ones too:

Maria: As an-ex New Yorker (and we ARE LEGION!) whose mother grew up near the Polo Grounds, the former home of the Giants, in the multicultural melting pot of Washington Heights back in the '30s and heard stories of the wondrous years of Mel Ott and Carl Hubbell and into the '50s when she told me she’d seen the single greatest ballplayer she’d had the pleasure of witnessing during her lifetime, Willie Mays (and by the way, Vin Scully agrees), please know that the Giants played in MANHATTAN. Not Brooklyn. That’s where the Dodgers played. Manhattan. One of 5 boroughs that make up NYC; the others being the already mentioned Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx, the home of that other team with all those championships, the Yankees. Manhattan. It looms pretty large in the history books. And in baseball history as well. GO GIANTS!

Castro, of course, is right. And so is Steve Goldsmith of Torrance:

I know you live in LA and think all baseball teams come from Brooklyn (as you said the Giants did) but they were the New York Giants and for a New Yorker that means Manhattan — the Polo Grounds (where Willie made “the Catch”) and so they weren’t the Bronx Bombers or the Brooklyn Bums. They were and are the World Champion Giants.

Look forward to the correction.

Well, Steve, here it is.

And truly, as in any mistake, I only have myself to blame. So, mea culpa. One point of order, however. I live in San Francisco. For all the good it did me Sunday night.

Oh, and not surprisingly, I had to Google “the catch.” It happened during the first game of the 1954 World Series between the (yes) New York Giants and the Cleveland Indians at (yes) the Polo Grounds. In Manhattan. Not Brooklyn —that’s where the Dodgers played.

In a sign of sports fans’ evolution, only one person — so far, anyway, but it’s still early — blamed anatomy for my error. This time, I don’t mean my brain. Wrote Randy Sink:  Maria, FYI the Giants were from the Bronx, not Brooklyn. The Dodgers were from Brooklyn. But then, I wouldn't expect a girl to know something like that ( ;-})

The Bronx, Reader Sink? I guess mistakes can happen to anyone.

Finally, there was Vahe Kostanian, who gives me hope for the future. Kostanian thanked me for my “nice article” before setting me straight and ended with a sweet “best wishes and continued success in your career.”

It can only go up from here.


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— Maria L. La Ganga in San Francisco