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FRANCISCO -- Ryan Vogelsong unleashed a champagne bottle on a circle of teammates and friends who surrounded him while Angel Pagan sought out Matt Cain across the clubhouse to give him a big bear hug. Gregor Blanco answered questions from reporters with tears in his eyes as Sergio Romo ran around waving an early edition of the San Francisco Chronicle that declared the Giants World Series bound.
The Giants battled past six elimination games between two postseason series to get to the champagne celebration that followed a 9-0 win against the Cardinals in Monday's Game 7 of the National League Championship Series. As the Giants head to their second Fall Classic in three years, the current roster features a cast of players who weren't on hand in 2010, with more than half of them looking forward to their first World Series experience.
"I can't tell you what I'm feeling right now," Pagan said. "It's my first time in the postseason and now I'm going to the World Series. This is a dream come true."
While roster mainstays such as Buster Posey, Cain and Romo find themselves once again playing pivotal roles in a deep Giants postseason run, only 11 of the 25 Giants on the postseason roster were with the team in 2010. Of the other 14, only Ryan Theriot has played in a World Series -- last season with the Cardinals.
Players such as Vogelsong, Marco Scutaro and Barry Zito will get to take the field in the World Series for the first time in their careers after being major contributors in the NLCS.
Vogelsong's career has featured eight years in the Minors and three years in Japan, while Zito is the likely starter for Game 1 of the World Series after being left off of the postseason roster in 2010. For both, Monday's celebration was just as much about redemption and triumph as it was about an NL championship.
"It hasn't really hit me," Vogelsong said. "I'm sure it'll hit me later tonight or tomorrow, but I couldn't be happier for everybody in this room just because everything we've been through with the two playoff series. Right now is just a culmination of everything that we've been about all season. Hopefully we can get four more wins."
The 36-year-old NLCS MVP Scutaro reaches the World Series for the first time in his 11th season in the Majors, with the theme of sending Scutaro to his first World Series emerging in the latter games of the NLCS as a source of motivation for his teammates.
"This rain never felt so good," Scutaro said after the rain-soaked end to the game. "Being here, the World Series, National League champs, enjoying this moment with my family, all my teammates -- this is unbelievable."
"Vogey, everybody knows his story of how he's been around and he's been to Japan and back, and Scutaro is one of my favorite I've ever played with," Posey said. "It's just been fun to watch these guys embrace this opportunity and make the most of it."
Whether they're reveling in their first World Series experience or looking to have a repeat experience of 2010, the Giants look to punctuate their postseason run against the Detroit Tigers in the World Series, already having overcome major personnel losses in the regular season and daunting deficits in the postseason.
"I think maybe after this is all over, we'll be able to sit back and reflect on what we've been able to do, but right now we're just enjoying this moment," Brandon Belt said. "We just wanted to keep playing and keep this season alive, and now we just have four more wins to go."