10/22/2002 8:04 pm ET
Pre-game features legendary Giants
By Alyson Footer / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Baseball history -- more specifically, San Francisco Giants history -- stole the show on Tuesday prior to the first pitch when some familiar, and legendary, faces greeted the crowd at Pacific Bell Park.
Giants Hall of Famers Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, Willie Mays and Willie McCovey took part in the ceremonial first pitch festivities, with Mays handling the actual honor.
Mays, who played for the Giants from 1951-72, marveled at the Giants' opportunity to bring a World Series title to San Francisco for the first time ever.
"Just going to a rally today, it tells me (the fans) have been waiting for something like this to happen," he said. "Now, if we can win, you will really see something."
Mays, a 12-time Gold Glover with 660 home runs, ventured to guess that fans still haven't recovered from Game 7 of the 1962 World Series. Yankees second baseman Bobby Richardson made an improbable grab on a McCovey line drive to end the game, marking the last out of the Series while dashing the Giants' hopes for a title.
"They remember '62," Mays said. "I think (a World Series title) is something everybody's waiting for."
Mays, obviously, is pulling for the Giants this week.
"I was with these guys for the last three or four years," he said. "To see their faces and see how happy they are to get into a World Series ... they never had this opportunity to be in his type of stuff. I think it's just rewarding to see how happy the can be.
"To me, that makes me happy because now, when I come into the clubhouse, you don't see a sad guy in the clubhouse. You see everybody laughing and having fun."
In addition to appearances by Mays, Cepeda, Marichal and McCovey, the star-studded pregame theme also featured musical legend Tony Bennett singing "America the Beautiful."
Cleveland Indians first baseman Jim Thome accepted the 2002 Roberto Clemente Award presented by John Hancock during the pregame ceremony. Following the performance, the United States Air Force Thunderbirds flew over Pacific Bell Park.
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.