Detroit Mayor Dave Bing was riding high as his city’s baseball team entered the World Series in October as favorites against the San Francisco Giants and coming off a sweep of the powerhouse New York Yankees.
When making the annual bet between mayors of World Series cities, Bing had strong words for his counterpart from San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee.
“I said there was no way we were losing to the Giants,” Bing said.
“I had to eat my words.”
Four games later, the Giants had swept the Detroit Tigers, winning their second World Series in three years and causing Bing to travel to San Francisco to settle the bet today.
The mayors had agreed upon a day of service performed in the winner’s city as well as a tour of some businesses there.
Lee brought Bing earlier today to the offices of Twitter as well as Greenstart, a design studio for digital cleantech startups.
They ended their day at AT&T Park, where the mayors met with members of the Junior Giants youth program to take a tour of the ballpark and talk about the importance of teamwork and leadership.
After going on the field and into the Giants’ dugout, the visiting locker room and the press box at the ballpark, the mayors and children met Giants pitcher Jeremy Affeldt.
Bing, a Hall of Fame basketball player who played 12 years in the NBA, said he understood the rarity of winning a championship, something he was never able to do.
“I respect what they did,” he said.
Lee said Bing and his wife Yvette “have been wonderful guests,” although Bing said he did have one issue with San Francisco that added extra pain on top of seeing his team lose in the World Series.
Bing and his wife arrived on Saturday during a torrential downpour in San Francisco while the weather back in Detroit, usually wintry this time of year, was anything but this weekend.
“Sixty-two and sunny,” he said.
The bet could have been worse–an initial wager considered by the mustachioed mayors involved the loser having to shave off his facial hair.
“We both declined,” Bing joked.
Bing will spend one last night in San Francisco before returning to Detroit on Tuesday.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News