San Francisco Giants’ Bobby Bonds, right, and Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn pose with the All Star Game Most Valuable Player trophy after it was presented to Bonds at Royals Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on July 24, 1973. (AP Photo)
In the year 1973, the San Francisco Giants were facing a brave new world. It was the first season since 1954 in which Willie Mays was not on the roster. He had been traded to New York the prior season and was finishing his career out in a Mets uniform.
With Bobby Bonds in charge of a new outfield. the Giants had a good core of young players mixed with veterans like Willie McCovey to provide leadership and help the team contend. Twenty-three year old Garry Maddox patrolled center field, with 22-year old Rookie of the Year Gary Matthews spending most of his time in left field. A young Chris Speier, himself only 23 years old, was the captain of the infield at shortstop in only his 3rd season. McCovey was the only regular to get playing time who was over the age of 30 as the Giants gambled on young talent to carry them through the 1973 season.
The kids got off to a good start. The Giants entered May at 18-6, the best record in baseball. Continue reading
Robby Thompson of the San Francisco Giants warming up in the on deck circle.
In 1991, the San Francisco Giants finished with a 75-87 record. It was the first time in 5 years the club finished below .500 and was just 2 years removed from their appearance in the 1989 World Series. It was also their first losing season under manager Roger Craig.
There were not a lot of highlights during the 1991 season, but one in particular that stands out is Robby Thompson hitting for the cycle on Monday April 22 against the Padres at Candlestick park. Full disclosure, Robby was my favorite Giant growing up. I used to emulate his batting stance and even played 2nd base in my younger years.
Since this particular week in April doesn’t have many big moments in Giants history, let’s take a stroll back to 1991 and Robby’s big day. Continue reading
Willie Mays and Duke Snider before the first MLB game in California between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers
The San Francisco Giants were born during an owner’s vote on May 28, 1957. Well, they weren’t born, that distinction goes to expansion teams, more like they were allowed to exist on that May day in 1957. That day, NL owners approved the move of both the Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers out west to California.
That was the deal, though. Both teams had to move there, or neither did. Baseball wanted to keep travel problems to a minimum and having 2 teams out west made it easier for NL teams to schedule road trips. Airplane travel was just becoming normal, and before the 1958 season, there was no NL team west of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Yes, the Giants had won the World Series as recently as 1954, but attendance was lagging. In 1954, the Giants drew 1.155 million fans to the Polo Grounds. By 1956, that number had already dropped to 629,179. It was thought that fans were moving out to the suburbs and less likely to drive to the city for a ballgame. So the Giants looked to move out of the only city they ever called home. Continue reading
The 2012 baseball season had not gotten off to a good start for the San Francisco Giants. Despite racking up 23 hits and 14 runs over their first 3 games in Arizona, the Giants were looking at an 0-3 record after the first series of the young season. The Giants were good, but not good enough as all 3 games against the D-Backs were decided by just 1 run.
Heading to Colorado with fourth starter Barry Zito taking the ball did not give Giants fans hope for ending the skid. After all, this was the same Zito who Giants fans were frustrated with after he signed a 7-year $126 million dollar contract. In 5 years with the Giants, Zito amassed a 4.55 ERA and a 43-61 record in 140 starts. Things had gotten so bad that after he returned from the DL with a foot injury in late 2011, Zito pitched out of the bullpen.
He was not yet the Barry Zito of mythical status from the 2012 playoffs and birth of #RallyZito. Continue reading
This season I will be rolling out a “This Week In San Francisco Giants History” every Wednesday. It will be fun to look back on some memorable moments in Giants history so I hope you enjoy these glimpses into the past.
April 5, 2010 – The Beginning Of A Golden Era In San Francisco
Coming off an 88 win campaign in 2009, the 2010 Giants were expected to be a competitive bunch. After all, they were returning the 2-time, back-to-back Cy Young Award winner in Tim Lincecum. Don’t forget about Pablo Sandoval either, in 2009 he finished 2nd in the NL in batting with a .330 average.
Things were looking up for the ball club heading into 2010 and Opening Day did not disappoint. The Giants began the season in Houston against the Astros. This was back when the Astros were still an NL team. 2010 was the start of a current streak of 10-straight seasons the Giants have started on the road.
Reigning Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum got the ball for the Giants and Roy Oswalt took the hill for the Astros. Continue reading
It’s here! The 2019 San Francisco Giants season begins today in San Diego. After what seemed like an eternal offseason full of tragedy and embarrassment, we finally get to focus on the diamond and watch the Giants play baseball for the next 6 months.
Usually I try to put together some previews before the season and we generally have an idea who is on the team. This year has not been the same. I have absolutely no feel for what kind of team the Giants will be in 2019.
The only certainty at this point, is Bruce Bochy is retiring after this season and I’m damn sure going to miss him. I’ll get to him before the home opener. Continue reading
Opening Day is only 48 days away!
San Francisco Giants Opening Day is 48 short days away. That’s less than 7 weeks. Seven! Pitchers and catchers are reporting to Scottsdale next Wednesday the 13th, and full squad workouts start on Tuesday, February 19th. Cactus League play gets underway Saturday, February 23 in Tempe against the Angels.
There’s all your important dates for markers leading up to the season. The one I didn’t mention is Fan Fest, which kicks off this weekend at Oracle Park. Whoa. Typing “Oracle” instead of “AT&T” was a little weird there. Will get used to that.
Anyway, Fan Fest. That’s this weekend at Oracle Park. It’s usually the kick off point for any Giants baseball season. Continue reading
Photo: @SFGiants Twitter
When a line drive struck the pinky of Madison Bumgarner’s left hand, there was some concern among the fan base that we’d be looking at another 2017. Even with the new additions via trade, San Francisco Giants fans were not sold that the 2018 club is a winning one.
On our season preview show, we laid out the possibility that if the Giants could just hang around .500 until Bumgarner returned, they’d have a shot at winning the NL West, and short of that a spot in the NL Wild Card crapshoot game.
Last week, with the Giants at exactly .500 (30-30), the great conquering hero Madison Bumgarner returned to the rotation against the DBacks at AT&T Park. Continue reading
The San Francisco Giants currently sport a 24-26 record, good enough for third place in the tightly packed NL West. At the moment, Colorado holds first place by a half game over Arizona. The Giants are 2 games back, and LA is just another game and a half behind the Giants. That’s four teams, all within 3.5 games of each other.
The Giants have been stuck in 3rd place since beating LA on Friday, April 27. That victory moved the Giants to 12-13 and 6 games back of the DBacks. Apparently, no team wants to run away with this division. All 4 contenders in the west have struggled in May. Continue reading
@Phillies on Twitter
The San Francisco Giants are in a rut. After sweeping the Braves in Atlanta, the Giants lost 4-straight in Philadelphia to the Phillies. None of the games felt particularly close. The Giants were outscored 32-8 over the 4-game series, and generally looked like a team trying to hit the world’s best wiffle ball pitcher.
The Giants are back at the .500 mark, now 19-19 on the season. They are still in 3rd place, 5.5 games back of the first place DBacks and still 2.5 games up on fourth place LA. Currently, the Giants are on a 10-game road trip, and after starting 3-0, are now 3-4 after 7 games heading into Pittsburgh for Andrew McCutchen’s return.
The Giants looked like a team ready to roar through this entire trip. Continue reading