ARLINGTON -- Aaron Rowand knows something about Texas-sized curses and what it means to break them.
For the second time in five years, Rowand found himself standing in a visitor's clubhouse in the "Lone Star State," soaked in champagne and trying to put to words what it meant to win a World Series title.
And for the second time in five years, that title meant a little more than most. In 2005, Rowand was on the White Sox team that ended an 88-year title drought by sweeping the Astros in the Fall Classic. Here in this moment Monday night, Rowand had just been a part of the Giants' Game 5 victory that gave San Francisco its first crown and the organization its first title in 56 years.
"It's something you can't really explain," Rowand said, shaking his head. "I consider myself lucky to be in those situations."
These are situations Rowand, a 10-year veteran and self-titled student of the game, does not take lightly.
"I've got to credit my father for it," Rowand said. "When I was growing up, I loved baseball, and he knew I loved baseball and that I loved the history of it. He made sure to bring home books, videos, Ken Burns' "Baseball." And one of the greatest experiences of my entire life was going to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
"I really appreciate the history of this game and all the people who came before me. That's what made winning a championship in Chicago after 88 years and winning a championship in San Francisco when that city has never won one so special."
Rowand still has two years and $24 million remaining on the contract he signed with the Giants before the 2008 season. It's a long-term contract that, in no uncertain terms, he has struggled to live up to.
Though he was a regular on that Sox team, Rowand, who hit .230 with a .659 average this season, was a bit player on this Giants club. After an early season injury, he lost his starting job in center to Andres Torres, though manager Bruce Bochy still found ways to keep him active and engaged throughout the postseason. Rowand got the start in center in Game 5.
Regardless of his diminished role, Rowand said this title did not have diminished value to him. It ranked right up there with what the Sox accomplished in 2005.
"When you win a world championship, no one is better than the other," he said. "You're standing on top of the mountain. You're the last team standing. Guys who have never been there before strive to try to do everything they can to get to experience it. The guys who have been there before do anything it takes to get back there again. So it's unbelievable."
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