The San Francisco Giants' luck or lack thereof since moving to the Bay Area from New York in 1957) had been depressing. They had not won many National League pennants in those five-plus decades, and their World Series participation has been fleeting. They managed to take the Anaheim Angels to seven games in 2002 but the team regressed in the following years. In the last several years, their team had improved, buoyed by pitcher Tim Lincecum, who had won the Cy Young Award (as the National League's best pitcher) the previous two years. However, something about 2010 turned out to be special for the Giants.
Through a nip and tuck battle in the National League West with the San Diego Padres, the Giants eventually won the Division title in the season's final weekend. They went on to defeat the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division series three games to one and faced the Philadelphia Phillies, who were becoming quick postseason veterans by appearing in the last two World Series and won the 2008 tilt. They dispatched the Phillies in six games and faced the Texas Rangers, who were appearing in their first World Series and were spearheaded by outfielder Josh Hamilton.
Despite Hamilton and a decent Rangers offense, the Giants' pitching efforts continued into the postseason. Lincecum outlasted Rangers ace Cliff Lee in an unusual 11-7 offensive slugfest. After that, the Giants seemed to settle down, with Matt Cain throwing almost eight innings of four-hit shutout ball in a 9-0 win. Coming to Texas, the Rangers won the first game 4-2 behind a three-run home run by Mitch Moreland, and in Game Four Madison Bumgarner limited the Rangers to three hits in a 4-0 win. Game Five saw Lincecum and Lee return to the mound and the two teams exchanged home runs, but the Giants' three-run shot trumped the Rangers' solo shot, and the Giants won 3-1 and clinched the Series.
The folks at MLB Video and A&E have released the World Series on video in an expansive eight DVD boxed set. Housed in slim line cases, each game in included in the set, along with the last two NLCS wins over Philadelphia. There is an eighth disc of that serves as the supplements. Each case in loaded with the box score and scoring summaries for each game, along with trivia and small tidbits of information from each game. Either you can watch each game, uninterrupted from beginning to end, or you can select the start of any particular half-inning and go from there. The games include any relevant pre- and post-game coverage from the Fox broadcast team, including the trophy awarding.
I've seen a couple of these World Series sets now, and I think this Giants set might be the most complete one that MLB Video has put out. There is ample audio material (which I will go into in a bit) and the discs are as comprehensive as I think could be made possible, in part because the whole Series is included. Whether that's due to the Series being shorter than usual or not I don't know, but I've bemoaned the lack of a complete series on these productions for awhile now, so it's nice to have it here along with some other goodies.
This Collector's Edition of the World Series is one of those that fit the bill; it has all the games, all the hype, and all the analysis with each game that allows. I'd like to think that at this point asking for things like having the games on Blu-ray is asking too much, but for once I can honestly say that this set is special, much like the year the Giants had.
1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen for all of the included games. I can't say that's surprising since I'd presume the games were broadcast natively in high definition, but as it stands the games are replicated accurately as they were originally aired, with little post-production edge enhancement or artifacts in the picture.
Two-channel Dolby stereo for all of the games based on their original broadcast audio from the Fox broadcasts. However they have also included the Spanish language broadcast audio, along with the audio broadcasts from both the Giants and Rangers' radio teams. It is nice to have the selections here, and you can change them up on the fly and they all sound as good as they are going to get. All of the action is in the front channels and sounds clear without any noticeable hissing.
There is some additional footage (59:39) from particular highlights of the Giants' year, including the NLDS and NLCS and the parade. Moments of individual achievement by players like Posey's first hit and home run, Wilson's shoes and beard and various celebrations are included here too. Combined with the World Series film, this makes for a complete look at the year of the G-men.
Giants fans who wish to relive the "Torture" (that Giants radio broadcaster Duane Kuiper termed the team's play) will enjoy seeing these games in one set for the first time, along with some additional moments of postseason success. Technically they're nothing special and the extra footage could use a little boost (putting the World Series film in there would be a nice touch), but otherwise this is a solid set and one of the more complete MLB Video packages. Here's hoping they keep up the good work.