MERCED — The San Francisco Giants' 2010 and 2012 World Championship trophies will make their way through Merced next month.
Both trophies will be on display from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Merced County Fairgrounds Pavilion Building, said Bryan Behn, recreation superintendent for Merced County.
It's free to attend the event, but donations to benefit the Junior Giants League are encouraged.
Merced County was eligible for a stop on the trophy tour because it has a Junior Giants program, which is a free, non-competitive baseball program for 5-to-18-year-old boys and girls. It's funded through the Giants Community Fund.
Behn, who submitted the application to get a tour stop for the county, said he expects a big turnout Feb. 11 and is optimistic that the activity will generate a lot of donations for the county's Junior Giants program.
Though the event doesn't start until 5:30 p.m., people could start lining up before then, he said. The crowd will be accommodated on a first-come, first-serve basis.
A professional photographer will be at the event, and fans can purchase prints online, Behn said.
Although the Oakland A's Coliseum and the San Francisco Giants' AT&T Park are a similar distance from Merced County, many people consider our area to be Giants' territory.
One of those people is District 1 Supervisor John Pedrozo, who's been a Giants fan since he was 7 years old. He said he's excited about the World Series trophies coming through Merced and plans on being at the Feb. 11 tour stop at the fairgrounds.
"I wouldn't miss it," he said, noting that his all-time favorite Giants are Willie Mays and Willie McCovey.
Pedrozo, who's been known to convey his passion for the Giants from the dais in the Board of Supervisors Chambers, was at the championship parade in San Francisco in 2010 and again in 2012.
The trophy tour stop is a great way to get people involved, since the donations will benefit the local Junior Giants program, Pedrozo said. He expects the Giants' dominance to continue.
"I waited the first time 53 years to see it, and to have it happen here in a couple years -- that's pretty exciting," he said. "I'm sorry for all my friends who are Dodger fans, but us Giants fans need to gloat a little bit right now, and I have no problem doing that."
Other nearby communities are scheduled for tour stops later next month, including Atwater on Feb. 20, Los Banos on Feb. 12 and Modesto on Feb. 19. A complete listing of tour stops can be found on www.sfgiants.com/trophy.
Reporter Mike North can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.