LOS BANOS -- T.J. Ruelas waited 24 hours and slept in his truck bed to ensure he was the first fan to set eyes on San Francisco Giants hardware.
“This might be only a one-time chance, you know,” the 51-year-old said. “Who’s to say it’s ever going to happen again? And, the chance of it coming to the LB?”
Hundreds of fans passed through the Los Banos Community Center Tuesday to see and pose with the 2010 and 2012 San Francisco Giants World Series trophies. Donations taken at the viewing will benefit the Los Banos Police Activities League.
Ruelas drove from his home in Gustine with his homemade 2012 Giants broom, a nod to the Orange and Black’s four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.
Ruelas used a portable DVD player to pass the time. Wife Esther and 11-year-old daughter Sheena were in tow Tuesday.
Mary Coelho said she’s followed the G-Men since the first rumors that the New York Giants would move west in 1958.
“I turned 92 in November, and I got (pitcher) Matt Cain’s signature on a baseball and I got a nice letter from the San Francisco Giants,” Coelho said. “They knew that I was a fan for many years.”
Coelho said she’s on a list of hopefuls who could throw out the first pitch at a game this season.
Whole families, couples, buddies and solo fans mugged at the camera while taking turns standing between the two Major League Baseball titles.
Ryan Coe made the trip south from Sacramento, because he missed their appearance in his hometown.
“They had it in Sacramento, but I was working,” Coe, 30, said, adding it was “absolutely” worth the trip.
Carolyn Brown, 59, joined husband Terry, 57, in line just before organizers opened the door. He’d been waiting two hours.
The Los Banos couple said they are longtime fans of the Boys from the Bay, and will soon be visiting training camp for a third time.
“The two years we went, they won,” she said. “So, we’re going to try it again.”
If you missed it
The trophies will bounce around California until late March. Other area communities to see a visit from the trophies are Gilroy and Morgan Hill on Feb. 16, Modesto on Feb. 19 and Atwater on Feb. 20. For a complete listing of tour dates, go to www.sfgiants.com/trophy.