The San Francisco Giants won their first World Series with a 3-1 Game 5 victory over the Texas Rangers. It was the first title for the Giants franchise since 1954, four years before they moved from New York.

Giants SS Edgar Renteria, who was talking retirement just five weeks ago, tells teammate Andres Torres that he’s hitting the long ball. And he did just that. In the seventh, Renteria took a Cliff Lee 2-0 cut fastball for a ride, a three-run home run that silenced the 52,045 in Arlington. His heroics were awarded, as he was named World Series MVP in a 3-1 World Series-clinching victory.

“I got confidence in me, but I was joking like I’m going to get it out. But it went out. I got confident, looking for one pitch. So he threw the cutter and it came back to the middle of the plate,” Renteria said.

Renteria’s heroics are nothing new, though. His 11th-inning walk-off RBI single for the Florida Marlins won Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, and he became only the fourth player in MLB history to drive home the winning run in two clinching games, joining Hall of Famers Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra.

The Giants won the way the best teams do—strong, young pitching. They also received a ton of support from what many deem “castoffs and misfits,” which was essentially a collection of short-term rentals, releases and waived players from around the league. No Giants player ranked in the top 10 in any significant statistical category during the regular season.

It didn’t matter that the Giants weren’t headlined by a big-name superstar, as they had a handful of unlikely saviors throughout the postseason—Cody Ross, Juan Uribe, Aubrey Huff, Freddy Sanchez and now Renteria.

“For us to win for our fans—it’s never been done there with all those great teams—that was a euphoric feeling. All those (former players) were in the clubhouse so many times and they were pulling for these guys to win. They helped us get here,” manager Bruce Bochy said.

Much credit is due to RHP Tim Lincecum, better known as “The Freak.” He out-dueled Lee (how often does that happen?) not once, but twice. He went eight strong, gave up just three hits and two walks while striking out 10. He’s now able to add a World Series trophy to his two NL Cy Young awards.

“You know what it is? It’s called being a gamer. Walking into the clubhouse today, the guy’s as loose as can be, joking around. Same old Timmy. You’d have no idea he had the opportunity to go out and win Game 5 of the World Series and win us a World Series championship. You saw it from the get-go. He had swing-and-miss stuff all night. Cruz hit a pretty decent pitch out. And he bounced back and got us out of there,” said Buster Posey.

The question now is can they do it again? A team consisting of castoffs and misfits wasn’t supposed to get this far in the first place, but now, it’s quite possible that a repeat is in the cards.

With an offence that ranked 17th of 30 teams in the bigs with just 697 runs scored during the season, this unlikely championship team has proven that there is no blueprint to success in the MLB.

Around the fanbase, it has proven that baseball is one of the greatest sports for playoff unpredictability, where the best team doesn’t always win, but rather, the one that happens to be playing best at the time.

Taking a look at this team’s roots, there is a ton of homegrown talent. Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval, for example, are two of the club’s few homegrown position players, whereas the pitching staff was created predominantly through the draft—Madison Bumgarner went in the first round 10th overall (in 2007), Lincecum, 10th overall (in 2006), Matt Cain 25th overall (in 2002), Brian Wilson (24th round in 2003) and Jonathan Sanchez (27th round in 2004).

As for their “castoffs and misfits,” a lot of their bats came from second or third markets—so much credit is due to the club’s scouting.

When all was said and done, it came down to their starting pitching. Lincecum defeated Lee in Games 1 and 5, while their other young starters, Cain and Bumgarner, won Games 2 and 4. The trio did an incredible job of putting the Rangers bats to bed—the heart of the order, OF Josh Hamilton, DH Vladimir Guerrero and OF Nelson Cruz, who homered their way past the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees in the postseason, were a combined 7-for-54 in the Series, which includes Nelson’s solo shot that got the Rangers their only run in Game 5.

Wilson retired those three batters in order in the ninth, finally punching out Nelson at 9:30pm CT, initiating a celebration 56 seasons in the making.

One has to love the story behind this team—specifically, for Wilson. It’s the same routine for the creator of “Fear the Beard”—after recording the final out of a ball game, the closer turns away from the plate, crosses his forearms in front of his chest and quickly looks toward the sky. It’s an MMA-style signal that he says he adopted to honor both his late father, who passed away from cancer when Brian was only 17, and his Christian faith.

“This one was the most special, sure. It showed that hard work really does pay off. That’s what my dad always taught me,” he said.

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