30 Teams. 30 Posts: San Francisco Giants.
Ok, so I spend a lot of my extra time researching Baseball online and during this time I have saved so much Baseball related stuff onto my hard drives that it is kind of ridiculous. Add all that crap with all the books, magazines and scanned stuff I have and I literally have a small library. Well recently I decided to do a little segment on the blog called “30 Teams. 30 Posts” where I take each current MLB team and do a 5 photo blog post specific to that team in addition to some feelings, memories, thoughts, etc that each specific photo gives me. I still have interviews I am working on, book reviews, and some really cool posts in the works for 90 feet of perfection but this is a little something to spice it up in the mean time as many of those are works in progress. With that said here we go:
The San Francisco Giants: Congratulations to The 2010 World Series Champions and I DO mean that. Any time a team who has not had much post-season success in the past wins the World Series I am happy for them and their fans on a certain level regardless of whether I truly root form them or not. Especially if they are a West Coast team. I am the first to admit that like many, since the Bonds-Era began and even after it ended I have had some serious reservations about this organization that I will never completely get over. However, as a San Diego kid growing up in Northern California I rooted for the Bay Area teams after my Padres for the most part. The Giants and A’s always had many of my favorite players as they were the “local heroes” in a sense up here in Northern California. So here’s to the team in my own backyard and to the Giants players of the past and present and their dedicated fans.
Barry Bonds, April 5th 1994 in Oakland, California. I have looked for photos of this late Spring Training game for a long time but all I can find are these of Bonds courtesy of Sports Illustrated so I apologize for the SI logos on there. On this day the Giants played in throwback San Francisco Seals uniforms and the A’s played in throwback Oakland Oaks uniforms. I wish organizations would honor the old PCL teams more often as I think this is so freaking cool. A few years ago the Padres and Mariners played a regular season inter-league game wearing the PCL Padres and Seattle Rainers uniforms which was awesome, so come on MLB its time for some more PCL throwback days!
J.T. Snow. Now this was one of the players on the Giants during the Bonds years that I could not help but love. As a member of the Angels I loved him and when he came over to the Giants I appreciated him so much more as I got to become much more familiar with him. This dude was awesome as he played the game right and looked so cool while doing so. He could hit and my god could he catch. Some of the plays he made at First Base literally left me shaking my head at times in disbelief. The only First Baseman since then that I have seen with my own eyes with that kind of glove is Adrian Gonzalez. Albert Pujols may be a great First Basemen but I think defensively both Snow and Gonzalez are more talented. Ok back to Snow, I was bummed when the Giants declined to offer him salary arbitration after the 2005 seasons and let him sign to Boston. This dude was a Giant through and through and deserved to finish his career in the black & orange. I was at the game on September 27th, 2008 when they brought him back for a 1 day contract so he could “retire as a Giant” and he took fielding practice before being pulled. It was one of the cooler moments I have seen in my life at a Baseball game. The infielders kept throwing balls in the dirt to screw with him and get him dirty it seemed but he kept coming up with them. All hail J.T. Snow.
Willie Mays. Without a doubt the greatest player to ever put on the Giants uniform, regardless if it said New York or San Francisco on the front. Such a cool photo of the Say Hey Kid. Little did he or anyone else know what kind of legendary career was right around the corner for this young man.
Randy Johnson wrapped up his career as a member of the Giants in 2009 and won his 300th career game on June 4th of the season against the Nationals (This photo was taken from that day) . I can honestly say that if there was one pitcher on Earth that I would have hated to hit against, it would have been the Big Unit. A 6 Foot 10 Southpaw with his intensity who had in his arsenal a 100 Mph Fastball and a Slider that very few hitters could manage to do anything. This was a terrible experience for hitters for 22 seasons.
Will Clark and Kevin Mitchell. Now these dudes were some of my favorite players as a kid. Will Clark made me want to play First Base and Kevin Mitchell wanted me to catch balls bare handed in the Outfield. While they had the Bash Brothers across the Bay with Mcgwire and Canseco, I always liked these guys more. Maybe because they were in the National League, but then again I was always an A’s fan more than the Giants so who knows what my logic was? Maybe as a kid I subconsciously knew that Bash Brothers were roiding over in Oaktown? It was awesome seeing these guys smash for 5 seasons with the Giants. 2 random thoughts to leave you with: I believe #22 needs to be retired by the Giants in honor of Will The Thrill. Also, Mitchell’s 1989 MVP season was one of the most impressive slugging seasons pre-steroid era. (I really doubt Mitchell ever used, he was probably to stubborn to follow the directions to do so even if he tried.)