MODESTO — Area fans Tuesday night got their turn with the San Francisco Giants' World Series trophy when it stopped in Modesto on its tour through California.
One Modesto man came not just for the thrill, but to fulfill a promise to his friend on the one-month anniversary of her death.
Jim Bailey posed with a poster-size picture of his longtime friend Nicole Dias-Rivera, who died last month at the age of 27.
The friends were huge Giants fans and had been to several games together.
When the Giants won the World Series in 2010, Dias-Rivera was jealous that Bailey got to pose with the trophy when she was stuck at work. So when they won again in 2012, Bailey said he would take her.
"I always kept my promises to her," Bailey said. "I promised her I would bring her, and so I brought her one way or the other."
Bailey's experience Tuesday evening was far different than most, but he said telling Dias-
Rivera's story to the many curious people around him in a way aided in his grieving process.
The World Championship Trophy made its appearance from 6 to 8 p.m. at Modesto Centre Plaza. The viewings are free, but there's a suggested donation of $2 per person to the local Junior Giants League.
Two years ago, 1,500 people waited in line, some for as long as 14 hours, for roughly 15 seconds with the 2010 trophy. It was back in Modesto on Tuesday evening, along with its brother from 2012, earned when the Giants swept the Detroit Tigers in October.
This year, whether it was the rain or a tempering of excitement for the second go-around, fewer than half the 2010 crowd showed up. Those who did, however, weren't any less excited and took advantage of the much shorter wait.
"(I'm like) a kid at Christmas," said Modestan Greg Fernandez, flashing his lucky wallet he purchased at the Giants Parade in 2010. "I have been thinking about this all day."
The two-year wait between championships was far shorter than fans had to hold out the first time the 2010 championship was the team's first since it moved from New York in 1958. The last time the franchise held the trophy was in 1954.
"This year was probably more exciting because it happened again," Fernandez said.
His friend Amy Lee chimed in, "Because of the way it happened when we were down those games against Cincinnati and St. Louis and then we came back and won .. and then to sweep the Tigers, it was almost surreal."
Anyone who missed Tuesday's event can catch the tour at its stop in Atwater today from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Atwater Community Center.
Bee Breaking News Editor Patty Guerra contributed to this report.