The Night Robin Williams Introduced The SF Giants And Started Playoff Madness

  • Rick Chandler

Robin Williams wasn’t a huge sports fan, and in fact only had one purely sports-related role in movies (“The Best of Times”). But he loved his San Francisco Giants, having lived in Marin County since high school. I’ll always remember the moment above, when he took the mic at AT&T Park before the first game of the 2010 NLDS with the Braves. To me, it’s what started the magic: the Giants of course going on to win the World Series, and to capture another one in 2012.

The sight of Williams leaping into the arms of Giants mascot Lou Seal, and the two dancing about like crazy people? It was as surreal as the playoff run itself. That was a World Series title that was never supposed to happen — the Giants getting past the Braves, Phillies and Rangers, despite 99 percent of the media predicting their downfall. For instance, 13 of 14 ESPN baseball pundits predicted the Phillies to win the NLCS, and 14 of 14 went for the Rangers.

But the Giants’ run was infused with the same spark of manic energy and desire that seemed to drive Williams. It was a force bigger than baseball — almost divine in nature.

Tim Lincecum pitched that first game against the Braves, and met with Williams afterward.

“Shell-shocked,” said Lincecum of the meeting, adding he was in awe that the superstar entertainer watched the game and approached him afterward. “We’re human just like anyone else in those situations. He moves you.”

The team paid tribute to Williams on Tuesday with a moment of silence before its game with the White Sox, and with the following statement:

“We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Robin Williams. Robin was a true artist who brought joy to the world through his brilliance, humor, talent and love for our community,” Giants president Larry Baer said. “We lost one of our greatest fans today and he will be deeply missed by the Giants family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Robin’s family and the entire community during this difficult time.”

On Tuesday Lincecum recalled several movies from his youth starring Williams, including Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire and Jumanji.

Lincecum and his girlfriend, in remembrance of Williams, watched Hook Monday night. He was 7 when it was released.

In a lot of ways, Robin Williams was the kid who never grew up. His life and talent were magic, but in the words of Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie: “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”

Rest in peace, my friend.