Giants fans take to the streets after the Giants beat the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series on Sunday. Photo by Rigoberto Hernandez

What started as a celebration of the San Francisco Giants’ 4-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers Sunday night to win the World Series quickly turned into absolute mayhem in the Mission.

Shortly after Giants pitcher Sergio Romo threw a fastball past Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera to end the extra-innings game, Mission bars emptied out and fans went crazy. They wore mostly orange and black, and waved brooms to symbolize their team’s four-game sweep.

Screams floated from windows and sidewalks, fireworks and champagne shot through the sky and people danced on the roofs of cars and ran through the streets chanting, “Let’s go Giants.”

But the celebratory phrase soon changed to “Let’s burn fire.” More than six bonfires were started with trash, garbage cans, recycling bins, newspaper stands, couches and mattresses. Hundreds of people gathered around, jumping over and fueling the flames, which burned well past 1 a.m. on Monday.

“I haven’t seen this here,” said Adal Burman of the celebration and the fires that started around 9 p.m. “It just doesn’t seem to have much to do with baseball anymore.”

For some, the celebration was tame compared to 2010, when the Giants won the title for the first time since the team moved to San Francisco.

“This is crazy, but it doesn’t seem as crazy as the last World Series,” said a bystander who identified himself only as Rehan.

“This is not normal,” said another observer. “People in San Francisco are wild.”

Helicopters circled above as police in riot gear attempted to keep traffic flowing and prevent fans from entering streets where the fires were spreading. But according to police, the fire department planned to intercede only if the fires got too close to buildings.

An elderly disabled woman named Angel who was disturbed by the commotion took matters into her own hands. “Everybody respects me around here, so they usually listen to me,” she said. “I grabbed the only fire extinguisher I had.” She attempted to put the fire out until she was overwhelmed by an unruly crowd that continued to fuel it.

As Giants players sprayed each other with champagne in the Motor City, 10,000 fans celebrated in front of a Jumbotron screen in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza under a full moon and glowing orange lights. It was a night to remember for the fans of a team that has won two World Series titles in three years.

“I held up this broom knowing that I might have been cursing and jinxing the team,” said Joe Kukura, who sported an orange and black bandanna on 16th Street after the game. “But you know what? The team was not cursed and jinxed. The team won! Giants! 2012! Giants!”

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Rigoberto Hernandez

Rigoberto Hernandez is a journalism student at San Francisco State University. He has interned at The Oregonian and The Orange County Register, but prefers to report on the Mission District. In his spare time he can be found riding his bike around the city, going to Giants games and admiring the Stable building.

Molly is a multimedia journalist, editor, photographer and illustrator. She has contributed to dozens of publications, and most recently, served as Editor of the Pacific Sun. To view more of her work, visit

Mission Local Sports Reporter

Arts & Culture reporter at Mission Local


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  1. There’s no excuse for the mayhem that broke out at 19th & Mission on Sunday night. I live here, I enjoyed the season and the great post-season, but these ignorant fools, who covered store windows with graffiti, started fires, screamed for hours, and destroyed public and private property, ruined what should have been a great night.

  2. Congrats to SF Giants! That said, the so called Giants fans acted like lowlife thugs. There is no good reason for the violence & destruction of property. I’m tired of the neighborhood (District 9) where I live to be SF’s continuous garbage dump.

  3. Congrats to the SF Giants and all the long time (real) Giants fans. But to those drunks out there burning and smashing property and acting like animals, you are an embarrassment to the city.

  4. I’m a huge Giants fan. We watch them all season long – April through Nov! I couldn’t have been more excited about the win! That being said, I also live on 22nd St. at Bartlett, and last night’s celebratory spirit quickly turned to fear and concern for local lives, businesses, and homes. 22nd was book-ended with bonfires, and was a main thoroughfare for both the rowdy and the riot cops. Needless to say, we didn’t get much sleep last night. I was so worried buildings where families live, and beloved local businesses run, were going to catch fire. As a fan, I don’t get it. I think this behavior reflects poorly on the Giants and the fans. It’s a shame to have it overshadow what should be a great time.