ANTIOCH -- After watching their beloved San Francisco Giants go through decades of losing seasons and postseason heartbreaks, father and son Bill and Chris Arias didn't mind standing in line a couple of hours Monday to see the team's 2010 and 2012 World Series trophies.
"(The wait in line) is nothing compared to the torture it took to get there," said Bill Arias of Concord. "There have been a lot of painful years."
"It's about time," said Chris Arias of Pittsburg. "To win two, makes it that much sweeter."
More than 2,500 fans, most clad in orange and black Giants gear, stood in line outside the Antioch Community Center to get their picture taken with the championship hardware. Chants of "Let's go Giants" occasionally broke out among the crowd.
"We knew it was going to be popular, but it far exceeded anything we expected," said Ryan Graham, the city's community services deputy director. "The Giants have a huge following, and there are a lot of youth out here that play baseball. I think that all attributes to it."
A few fans camped out 10 hours before the doors opened for the Trophy Tour, braving the slight chill on a windy, brisk day.
"I wanted to make sure I got to see them. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Mike Dillworth of Antioch while sitting in line Monday afternoon.
The line was so long about 500 fans were turned away, despite the Giants staying an additional 90 minutes to take pictures, Graham
Antioch is one of 30 Northern California and Southern Oregon cities chosen out of 85 to host the Giants Trophy Tour because of its affiliation with the Junior Giants youth baseball league. Junior Giants, a program of the Giants Community Fund, has been running in Antioch for six years and allows 600 kids each year the chance to play baseball.
"We took a shot in the dark in applying. Luckily, we were chosen," said Al Anthony, a city recreation specialist. "This is a big honor for Antioch and our recreation department. If nothing else, for one night, Antioch shined. Those are the shots in the arm we need, where we can put our best foot forward."
Diane Lusty was among those pleased the trophies came to Antioch.
"To have both trophies right here in my hometown is pretty special," said Lusty, who was in line with her twin 13-year-old girls, Claire and Hannah. A Giants fan for the past decade, Lusty even painted her nails orange during the recent playoffs.
The event also gave the city a chance to showcase the community center, which opened in 2010.
The Giants won the 2012 Fall Classic by sweeping the Detroit Tigers in four games, capping off an improbable run to the title. Two years earlier, the team won its first World Series since the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958, defeating the Texas Rangers four games to one.
Chris Pagan of Pittsburg and his 8-year-old son, Marcello, went to see the 2010 World Series trophy in Dublin two years ago.
"Now that they got the second one, we had to come again," Chris Pagan said.
While standing in a line that snaked around the community center gymnasium, and outdoors around Prewett Family Water Park, many were reminiscing about the 2012 playoff run and looking forward to the upcoming season. Memorable plays such as Pablo Sandoval's three-home-run game in Game 1 of the World Series, Buster Posey's grand slam in Game 5 of the National League Division Series, and Barry Zito's solid pitching performances were brought up often, along with the lasting images of Marco Scutaro standing in the rain as the Giants clinched the pennant and the slow-motion replay of a Hunter Pence swing hitting the ball three times.
Antioch 12-year-old Cris Gomez painted a vivid picture of his favorite playoff moment.
"I remember Sergio Romo standing on the mound, celebrating, after he got Miguel Cabrera to strike out looking to end the game. It was awesome," Gomez said, smiling.
Future Trophy Tour locations include Livermore on March 2 and Tracy on March 20. Tour updates are online at http://atmlb.com/Zx3syZ.
Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.