San Francisco Giants fans greet returning champs

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The World Series trophy is back in San Francisco.

San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer showed it off to adoring fans, who gathered before the crack of dawn at AT&T Park Thursday morning to welcome the returning champions.

Giants fans were still going strong at 4 a.m., roughly eight hours after the Giants won the World Series. They celebrated all night and then gathered at AT&T Park to welcome the team home from Kansas City.

"I'm going straight from here to work! No sleep! But it's worth it, they didn't get any sleep! I don't need sleep either," said Laurina Marcic, a San Francisco resident.

The team's flight arrived at San Francisco International Airport around 4 a.m. When the team buses pulled into the ballpark from the airport, it was so loud and energetic, one would never have guessed it was 4:45 in the morning.

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"It was awesome and also being able to see the World Series trophy. It was awesome. That was my first time to see the trophy," said Oakland resident Nathan Garrett.

Baer said players were so excited that they really didn't need a plane to fly home.

"The plane was just giddy. Everyone in an altered state of happiness and euphoria," said Baer.

"I'm amazed at what these guys did and the fact we won three times in five years, it's not that easy, but, when you have a group of warriors like we have, they continue to just amaze you," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, now the 10th manager to win three World Series titles.

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Wednesday night's game had fans on edge throughout the night, but many were a lot more confident going into the fifth inning. Madison Bumgarner came back on just two days rest after Sunday's 117 pitch complete game shutout. The 25-year-old relieved Jeremy Affedlt and got the final 15 outs throwing another 68 pitches.

Giants' outfielder Hunter Pence took a minute to pose for pictures with CHP officers.

San Francisco Giants' Hunter Pence poses with CHP officers.

The fans got a wave or two, but most of the players loaded up their cars and headed straight home.

"I'm hoping one of the Giants comes over here and says, 'Hi' to us. If not, I get it. They're world champs. It's all good. I've had a good night. I don't regret coming out here at all," said Robert Keith from Concord.

VIDEO: SFPD has busy night in the Mission District

The other side of the ballpark was busy, too. The Dugout Store opened at 8 a.m. and it was packed with people buying World Series T-shirts and hats.

"We tried to come last night and they were closed. We said, 'Ok, we gotta come back in the morning,'" said Jeannie Hagler of San Francisco.

Fans were spending hundreds of dollars on memorabilia without blinking an eye as everyone is wanting to be a part of this historical moment.

But for Giants fan Keith Truitt, he says, "When you're World Champions, money doesn't matter."

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While it was unforgettable night for the Giants, it was a busy night for San Francisco police. Especially in the Mission as some of the celebrations got out of control.

Officers were in riot gear and faced many problems. San Francisco police say bottles, firecrackers and M-80's were thrown at officers as they tried to disperse the crowds while helping out firefighters as they put out bonfires. Multiple officers suffered minor injuries with one taken to the hospital. A police truck was also damaged by thrown bottles.

Police say two people were shot -- one man was hit in the arm at 21st and Valencia at about 8:45 Wednesday night and another victim walked into San Francisco General with a non-life threatening wound. Another man was stabbed multiple times. Muni told us they deactivated some power lines for safety reasons and only put out diesel buses in some areas. San Francisco police have not released the stats on arrests. They say staff needs time to put all that information -- it should be released later on Thursday.

World Series preparations are nearly complete in San Francisco.

More than a million people expected in San Francisco to celebrate the Giants. The parade starts at noon and the route will begin at the foot of Market and Steuart streets near the Ferry Building and go straight to city hall. And don't forget to bring orange and black colored rain gear - showers are in the forecast.

What is predicted, however, is a great parade. Crews have been putting the final touches on the floats, banners and party favors all week long. Some of the float have been built at Pier 54.

As for SFPD, this is their third go at a Giants World Series parade - and they've made plans of their own.

"It's going to be a repeat of 2012, the parade and Halloween falling on the same day so discretionary time-off has been cancelled for police officers because of Halloween so we'll have to gear up staffing for the parade," said San Francisco Police Department Ofc. Gordon Shyy.

ABC7 News will carry the parade and rally on-air and online beginning at 11 a.m. on Friday.

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For full coverage of the San Francisco Giants' World Series win, click here.
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