When Larry Baer handed me the ring today, I thought I was going to cry. I really did. I was remembering my family, especially my mom, who’s up in heaven. I know she would have wanted to be here with me so badly. I dedicated that moment to her. I know she’s proud.
To be out on that field today with my teammates with Cepeda, Mays, Marichal, McCovey, all the great Giants, it was not even real. I just looked at the ring in the box and then put it on my finger. It was more beautiful than I imagined. It just flashed like little light bulbs in the sun. I saw my name on the side, and thought, “Yes, it’s really mine. I am really a champion.’’ I can’t wait to look at it closer after the game.
Getting that World Series ring makes me believe that everything you want in life you can accomplish if you really believe in it. The strongest thing a human being has is their mind. It’s tough, for sure, to get where you want to be. But you always have to have the mindset every day, every at-bat, every moment on the field. That’s true, I think, in everything, not just baseball. Last season taught me that.
This game is so much about your mind. I focus on the opposing team for any little thing I can use to my advantage. If I’m up at bat, for example, I watch the fielders really closely. If they move before the pitch, then I know where the pitch is going to be thrown. There’s so little difference between winning and losing so you can’t miss a chance to gain an edge.
Having a World Series ring means a lot to every player, but I think it has added meaning for the Latin players. Most of us came from poor countries. So it’s a really, really big deal to bring the ring back home. I’m not going to wear my ring. I’ll keep it in a safe and take it out only on special occasions. It will be my family’s legacy, something my son and future grandsons can have. They can say, “My dad and granddad was a world champion.’’
The best part of the ring ceremony was the last part. Every player got to throw a first pitch to the fans in the stands. I went to left field and tossed the ball up. I don’t know who caught it, but in my mind I was throwing to every fan in the park. I was thinking, “It’s unbelievable to play in this ballpark and in front of all of you. Thank you, thank you for believing in us!’’
Now all the ceremonies are over and it’s back to baseball and our usual routines. Now it’s all about playing — and believing in each other and earning our way back to the postseason and another ring.
Below: Blanco waiting to receive his ring