As Giants fans watched the World Series from home, or completely ignored it out of frustration, there was their former closer Will Smith hugging catcher Travis d'Arnaud as the Atlanta Braves celebrated their first championship since 1995 on Tuesday after beating the Houston Astros 7-0 at Minute Maid Park.
For Smith, the pure joy was nine years in the making. The 32-year-old longtime reliever has been crowned a champion for the first time. He was far from the only former Giant to win a ring with the Braves, though.
In fact, six former Giants -- Pablo Sandoval, Stephen Vogt, Ehire Adrianza, Adam Duvall, Drew Smyly and Smith -- will be fitted for World Series rings.
Sandoval now has four rings, giving him more than players like Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Tim Lincecum and so many more of his former Giants teammates. Not only did Sandoval's four pinch-hit homers play a big role in the early part of Atlanta's season, he got them the NLCS MVP. As the Braves rebuilt their roster at the trade deadline with Ronald Acuña Jr. out for the year, they acquired Eddie Rosario from the Cleveland Indians for Sandoval.
Rosario hit .560 with three home runs, nine RBI and a 1.647 against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS.
Vogt, like Sandoval, didn't play an inning in the playoffs but still earned his first ring in his ninth season in the majors. He played 26 games for the Braves earlier this season. However, he underwent sports hernia surgery two weeks prior to the World Series.
Adrianza spent his first four seasons in San Francisco. He then played his next four seasons with the Minnesota Twins before joining the Braves this year. The utility man went hitless in two at-bats against the Astros. He was 1-for-10 with a double and a run scored in the playoffs.
Duvall always will be a classic Forever Giant, atop a long list of what-ifs after being sent to the Cincinnati Reds at the 2015 trade deadline. He hit a career-high 38 home runs this season between the Braves and Miami Marlins and led the NL with 113 RBI. Duvall hit two homers in the World Series and ended the playoffs with three homers and 10 RBI for the Braves.
Smyly appeared in two games for the Braves out of the bullpen in the World Series and allowed three earned runs in four innings. He struck out six but allowed seven hits and one home run.
And then there's Smith.
He turned his All-Star campaign was the Giants' closer in 2019 into a three-year, $39 million contract with the Braves as soon as free agency opened. That signing couldn't have been better for the Braves. Smith didn't allow any runs in the playoffs this year. He appeared in 11 games and recorded six saves, including two in the World Series.
Though the Giants' magical season ended much sooner than fans hoped for, there still were plenty of reasons to tune into the World Series. Those reasons turned to rings, something the Giants hope to do at the end of the 2022 season.