In this special, champagne-soaked edition of By The Numbers, we count down the 56 reasons the Giants are once again the World Series champions. 56: What else? Years since the Giants had last won the Fall Classic, in the Polo Grounds as the New York G-Men. '55: The year Major League Baseball began bestowing World Series MVP Awards, a year too late for Al Dark, who probably would've earned it for going 7-for-17 in the Giants' 1954 win over Cleveland. So they had to wait until Edgar Renteria, yes, went 7-for-17 in this victory over Texas.
54: Brian Wilson saves this year, including six in the postseason after he'd become the first San Francisco reliever to lead the National League with 48 in the regular season. 53: The number worn by Don Drysdale, who personified the San Francisco-Los Angeles feud and had so much to do with keeping the Giants out of the World Series for 26 years (1963-1988). 52: Total runs the Giants allowed in 15 Interleague games, an early sign that they would be able to hang with the American League's top offensive club in a World Series.
51: Total runs the Giants surrendered in 29 September-October games, the best extended stretch the game had seen since the really dead-ball era in 1917. 50: Years of the Texas franchise's World Series drought, which is now the Majors' third-longest behind the Cubs (102) and the Indians (62). 49: World Series games won by the Giants. Only the Yankees (134) and Cardinals (52) have won more. 48: Number worn by Russ Ortiz when Dusty Baker handed him a ball and a 5-0 lead over the Angels in Game 6 of the 2002 World Series. 47: Giants wins prior to the All-Star break. 4/6: April 6, a 3-0 shutout over Houston is the first of 17 for the Giants' signature pitching staff. 4/5: Opening Day, April 5, a 5-2 victory over the Astros got the good times rolling. 44: Stretch. This was for you, Willie McCovey (44), and that haunting line drive you hit to Bobby Richardson in Game 7 in 1962. 43: Giants road wins, tied for second-best in the NL. 42: The number worn by Javier Lopez, of whom Ryan Howard is still having nightmares. 41: Wins in tight (one- and two-run games); torture, indeed. 40: Jersey number of Madison Bumgarner, whose Game 4 gem carried a "Don't even think about it" message for the Rangers after their Game 3 win. 39: Loss that dropped the Giants' record on July 2 to 40-39, the closest they came to receding to .500; from that point on, they went 52-31 ... and, of course, 11-4 in the postseason. 38: Jersey number of Brian Wilson. Fear the beard. '37: Last year in which Giants appeared in a second consecutive World Series -- until 2011? 36: Age of the senior member of the Giants, Guillermo Mota, who came out of hiding to shine in two Series outings. 35: Postseason games lost by the Giants between World Series titles. 34: Postseason games won in vain by the Giants since the last title in '54, until Monday night's validation. 33: Games played by Cody Ross after he was claimed off waivers from Florida, in relative obscurity, until he did more offensive work than anyone to bring the Giants to the brink. 32: Innings out of the Series' last 35 in which Giants pitchers put up a goose egg. 31: Jersey number of Robb Nen, who always gave his all, but could never win it all. 30: Journalistic code for "It's over." The Giants hung their -30- on Texas on Monday night. 29: The average age of the Giants roster, making the club one of the oldest teams in the Majors; the "old guys" certainly came up big in the postseason. 28: Buster Posey, the cool rookie catcher who seemed less excited about playing in a real World Series than others are playing it on Xbox, but can he produce. 27: No. 27 Juan Marichal, this one's for you, and for being able to high-kick your way into only one World Series game all those standout years. 26: Homers by Aubrey Huff, the lowest team-leading total for a World Series champ since 1997, when Moises Alou paced the Marlins with 23. 25: Number worn by Barry Bonds. None of these Giants could carry his bat, but now they're carrying something he never did, the Commissioner's Trophy. 24: Say Hey, the Giants finally proved they could win one without you, Willie Mays. 23: This was for you, Felipe Alou, exorcising that failed bunt attempt in Game 7 in 1962. 22: This was for you, Will Clark, and for that heartbreaking sweep by the A's in 1989. 21: Freddy Sanchez, the hyperactive second baseman who on Halloween was scarier to the Rangers than Freddy Krueger. 20: Season-opening age of Madison Bumgarner, who had four wins before turning 21 on Aug. 1. 19: Dave Righetti, the pitching coach who doesn't seem to have the notoriety of a Leo Mazzone or a Rick Peterson but doubtless deserves more credit for the work of that scintillating young rotation. 18: Matt Cain, already looking forward to continuing his 21 1/3-inning postseason shutout streak next October. 17: Aubrey Huff, who proved that the long wait is worth it. 16: Wins by Tim Lincecum -- matching the lowest team-leading total for a World Series champ since Chris Carpenter topped the 2006 Cardinals with 15; team effort, indeed. 15: Bruce Bochy, who made all the right moves to reach the acme of a 16-year managerial career. 14: Combined runs scored in the last three games, a tipoff of how the Giants made the offensive-oriented Rangers play their kind of game. 13: Record extra-base hits in the postseason by the Rangers' Nelson Cruz. 12: Rematches between World Series pitchers since 1990, and Lincecum got the best of Cliff Lee both times. 11: Pat Burrell strikeouts, during his 0-for-13 Series, the most hitless at-bats in a Classic since St. Louis' Scott Rolen went 0-for-15 in 2004. 10: Total Rangers hits in Games 2, 4 and 5. They had more than that in a single game 61 times this season. 9: Jersey number of Burrell, who still cheered loudest when his teammates did well. 8: Runs scored on homers of the Giants' total of nine in the last three games, considerably better than their regular-season percentage of 36 (249 of 697 runs). 7: Rangers runs in the Game 1 loss, more than they could plate in the other four games combined (5). 6: World Series won by the Giants franchise. 5: Shortstops who have reigned as World Series MVPs, Renteria taking the handoff from Bucky Dent (1978), Alan Trammell (1984), Derek Jeter (2000) and David Eckstein (2006). 4: Players who delivered two World Series-winning hits along with Renteria; you might have heard of Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra. 3: Players who have hit November game-winning home runs -- the Yankees' Jeter and Scott Brosius (Games 4 & 5 in 2001 against Arizona), and Renteria. 2: Giants' World Series shutouts, the first time a team had fired multiple blanks in 44 years, since the Orioles over the Dodgers in 1966. 1: Texas at-bats with men in scoring position over the last two games; so shouldn't that be man in scoring position?