2018 will be a year-long celebration of 60 years of Giants Baseball in San Francisco. Giants players and coaches will wear a commemorative patch on their jerseys all season, as AT&T Park will host several celebrations, promotions and special events around this historic year. We are excited to pay homage to the players, alumni and fans who have joined us over 60 historic years of San Francisco Giants Baseball! Please check back soon as we will be adding more events and announcements shortly!
60th Anniversary Season Overview
To honor and commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the San Francisco Giants, an extraordinary museum of treasured and coveted artifacts related to Giants heritage has been installed within AT&T Park.
2018 Season Ticket Artwork
Sixty seasons in The City by the Bay, where Giants fans have witnessed some of the most memorable players and moments in baseball history.
As a special tribute, the Giants' 60th Anniversary season tickets feature photos of some of the greatest Forever Giants, portrayed against a visual backdrop reflecting the artistic look of their decade.
60th Anniversary Promotions
The organization will spend the season celebrating our history, prompting the addition of some items specific to certain timeframes.
60th Anniversary VIP Experiences (Ticketed Events in Triples Alley)
60th Anniversary Videos
Giants clinch NL West
9/27/97: Giants clinch the NL West in front of electrified crowd at Candlestick Park
Ishikawa's walk-off homer
10/16/14: Travis Ishikawa crushes a three-run walk-off homer to send the Giants to the World Series
Mitchell makes barehanded catch
4/26/89: Giants outfielder Kevin Mitchell makes a spectacular barehanded grab in left on Ozzie Smith's pop fly
Lincecum tosses first no-hitter
7/13/13: Tim Lincecum records 27 outs without giving up a hit, notching his first career no-hitter in a 9-0 win over the Padres
Bonds' 756th career homer
8/7/07: Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron's all-time record with home run No. 756 off Mike Bacsik in the fifth inning
Candlestick Park memories
A look back at some of the greatest baseball moments in Candlestick Park's history
Ichiro's inside-the-park homer
7/10/07: Ichiro Suzuki hits an inside-the-park home run during the top of the fifth inning for the American League All-Stars
Giants win 2014 World Series
10/29/14: Madison Bumgarner gets Salvador Perez to foul out to give the Giants their third World Series title in the last five seasons
Scutaro's clutch RBI single
10/28/12: Marco Scutaro loops a flare into shallow center, driving in Ryan Theriot with the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th
Wilson's Game 5 save
11/1/10: Brian Wilson shuts down the Rangers in the ninth to pick up the save and clinch the World Series title for the Giants
Lofton's walk-off wins NLCS
10/14/02: Kenny Lofton hits a walk-off single and sends the Giants to the 2002 World Series
Matt Cain Completes Perfect Game
6/13/12: Matt Cain gets Jason Castro to bounce out to third base for the final out of his perfect game against the Astros
Upon their move from New York, the Giants retained the same uniform look as their New York uniforms, replacing the "New York" with "San Francisco" and "NY" with "SF" on the cap fronts.
Fifteen years after their inaugural season, the Giants changed their uniform for the first time in San Francisco. The slight modification saw the uniform lettering colors reverse positions.
The Giants adopted Major League Baseball's style change, switching from traditional button down jersey and belted pants to a pullover top and beltless trousers. The Giants also implemented new logos, using a script "Giants" in orange and black on the uniform fronts, a uniform number on the jersey front and an alternate home jersey in black. The road jerseys were orange and included a block San Francisco on the front with jersey number.
A minor change - the team switched the block "San Francisco" lettering on the road jerseys to a script "Giants," matching their home uniforms.
Discarding the pullover jerseys of the '70s, the Giants returned to a more classic uniform style - button down uniform tops and belted pants, basic white home jerseys and gray road jerseys. The Giants also unveiled a new nontraditional logo with block-like typography.
Keeping up with trends, the Giants changed their uniform look unveiling a more traditional logo, similar to those of the Giants past. The block lettering incorporated chiseled serifs, keeping the uniform look "modern but traditional." The road jerseys replaced the monogram SF with a spelled-out version of San Francisco across the chest.
The Giants' latest change stays consistent with the "traditional but modern" theme, reflecting traditional uniforms from their past, while incorporating modern accents. On the home uniforms, the Giants players' names no longer appear on the jersey back and the uniform color changes from white to cream, a color used during the Giants early days. In addition, the typography on the uniforms is consistent to that used throughout Giants history and is in standard letter form. The lettering adds an accent color of gold to the orange and black outline and both home and road uniforms use black and orange piping around the collar.
Continuing the traditional but modern theme, the Giants add an alternate version of both of the home and road uniform, featuring a black uniform top and an alternate cap with a raised SF monogram logo in black outlined with the traditional orange piping. Worn with the regular-uniform pant (cream at home, gray on the road), the alternate jerseys are identical in design to the regular uniforms except for the color. The Giants only wore the black uniform top for road games in 2002 and abandoned them altogether after the season.
Franchise Timeline 1958-present
San Francisco greets its new baseball team with a huge parade and a raucous opener at cozy Seals Stadium.
Fans packed Seals Stadium from the first day of big league ball on the West Coast. On April 15, in that historic opener, Ruben Gomez shut out the Dodgers, 8-0, and a rookie first baseman from Puerto Rico hit a home run in his second Major League at-bat.
Orlando Cepeda, "the Baby Bull," went on to win Rookie of the Year honors and overshadowed the astounding Willie Mays, whom many fans viewed as New York's star, not their own.
Mays still turned in a brilliant season, batting a career-best .347 and hitting 29 homers. But without the spacious outfield of the Polo Grounds, the "Say Hey Kid" had few chances to show off the unbelievable catches for which he had been known. Fans voted Cepeda as team MVP over Mays.
Although the Giants finished 12 games out in third place, they still tallied a respectable 80-74 record. More importantly, they beat the transplanted Dodgers 16 out of 22 times, keeping alive a 75-year-old rivalry.
April 30: Future Hall of Famer Willie McCovey goes 4-for-4 in his Major League debut en route to Rookie of the Year honors.
Sam Jones and Mike McCormick both toss rain-shortened no-hitters.
Another move -- the last one for 40 years -- takes place, as the Giants relocate to what is known at the time as their new gem of a stadium, Candlestick Park.
For the first two years of their tenure in the City by the Bay, the Giants would occupy Seals Stadium, a former minor league ballpark.
Owner Horace Stoneham left New York primarily because the Polo Grounds had inadequate parking and attendance was suffering. But Seals Stadium also lacked parking, so it would only serve as a temporary residence. The city of San Francisco promised to build the Giants a new stadium, and a piece of land on Candlestick Point was chosen as the site for the ballpark.
On April 12, 1960, the Giants first took the field at Candlestick Park. On hand to christen the new stadium were Vice President Richard Nixon, who threw out the first pitch, and Hall of Famer Ty Cobb.
Nixon declared it "the finest ballpark in America," but like most launches, the opening wasn't a perfectly smooth endeavor.
"[Opening Day] was exciting because we had a brand-new ballpark, but it was not without its problems -- wind being one of them," said Mike McCormick, who pitched the second game at Candlestick Park. "I think people were surprised how windy it was.
"There were a lot of design problems -- things were leaking, things weren't working, pipes that weren't right," McCormick said. "Some of the bathrooms didn't work. They had put thermal heat in the concrete under box seats and that didn't work."
The toilet in the Giants' dugout had no door, but one was quickly added once it was noted that fans in some box seats could see into the dugout. In the third inning, the umpires protested the placement of the new park's foul poles, which they claimed were completely in fair territory.
But the flaws could hardly dampen the festive atmosphere that permeated the day. The Giants did their part by defeating the St. Louis Cardinals, 3-1, behind a three-hitter from Giants starter "Sad" Sam Jones.
The Cardinals' Bill White (who later became president of the National League) had the honor of getting the first hit at Candlestick Park, but fittingly, the first Giants player to get a hit was homegrown star Orlando Cepeda. He smacked a two-run triple in the bottom of the first inning.
On that first sunny day, spirits were high despite the wind, but relief pitcher Stu Miller noted the honeymoon was short-lived.
"Everybody loved Seals Stadium. It was a nice, cozy ballpark," recalled Miller. "But here comes the new ballpark. We thought, 'Oh man!' -- but that didn't last long.
"We said, 'Wait a minute, it's a little windy here,'" Miller said with a chuckle. "We thought maybe the first windy day was an aberration, but after a week, we said, 'It looks like it's going to be that way all the time!'"
Willie Mays continued to be an offensive star despite the winds, cracking 29 homers and driving in 103 runs with a .319 average. Mays, Cepeda and Willie McCovey were joined by another future Hall of Famer when Juan Marichal made his debut midseason with a one-hit shutout against the Phillies.
Willie Mays smacks four home runs in one game at Milwaukee's County Stadium. He is also chosen to start in the outfield for the All-Star Game, held at San Francisco's new ballpark.
Just one year after opening their new ballpark at Candlestick Point, the Giants played host to the Midsummer Classic, the first All-Star Game of 1961.
It was the third year of a four-year experiment in which Major League Baseball played two All-Star games each season. The second game that year was held three weeks later in Boston.
The National League All-Stars had taken both games in 1960, and with Milwaukee's Warren Spahn taking the hill to start the '61 game, it looked like the Nationals might continue their dominance. For the first five innings, Spahn and the Reds' Bob Purkey held the American League stars hitless and didn't walk anyone.
Meanwhile, National League batters had put two runs on the board. The American League broke through in the sixth when Minnesota's Harmon Killebrew tagged the Giants' Mike McCormick with the only hit he would give up -- a solo home run, the Americans' first hit of the game.
When the Cubs' George Altman homered in the eighth to put the National League on top by a score of 3-1 (and with the American League having mustered only one hit), it looked like the game was just about over.
The American League managed to scratch out a run in the ninth to narrow the score to 3-2. With two men on base, the Giants' Stu Miller became a legendary part of Candlestick lore.
"The flag was straight down. But around the seventh inning, the flag started to flutter. By the eighth inning, it was blowing straight out. It turned out to be the best day and the worst day. I had never seen the wind blow that hard.
"By the time I got in there, it had gotten worse. I came in and anchored myself. There was a man on first and second with one out. Before I threw a pitch, I went into a stretch position and then there was an extra gust of wind and I just wavered a bit," Miller said.
No balk was called until the American League players started yelling at the umpires for a call. So Miller threw a slow curve to batter Rocky Colavito, who swung and missed. The American League players hollered some more and the umps convened to make the balk call, advancing the two runners.
"I don't think any of the fans knew what happened. They were probably wondering why the hell did those runners move up," Miller said. "Anyhow, the next day in the papers the headline says, 'Miller Blown Off Mound.'
"I wonder to this day, why didn't the first-base umpire or the third-base umpire, who was looking right at me, see me do that," Miller said. "I didn't move a helluva lot. The papers made it sound like I was pinned against the center-field fence."
The wind then supposedly blew a grounder out of the reach of the Cardinals' Ken Boyer at third base, allowing the tying run to score on the error.
In the 10th, a Boyer error again almost cost the National League the game. His throw to first flew into the outfield, and the go-ahead run scored from first.
But in the bottom of the inning, knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm of Baltimore (a former Giant) gave up hits to Hank Aaron and Willie Mays to tie the score. Mays then scored the winning run on Roberto Clemente's single, ending the game in a 5-4 National League victory.
Skipper Alvin Dark leads perhaps the greatest team in San Francisco Giants history to its first World Series by the Bay. The team again downs the Dodgers in a three-game playoff and nearly pulls out the championship against the Yankees.
In some ways, the 1962 World Series was anticlimactic compared to the thrilling pennant race with the Los Angeles Dodgers that preceded it. The Giants staged a remarkable comeback after being four games out of first place with seven games remaining to pull into a tie with the Dodgers. With identical records of 101-61, the rivals met in a best-of-three playoff series.
Billy Pierce blanked the Dodgers in Game 1 while Willie Mays drilled two clouts to provide an 8-0 romp at Candlestick. Los Angeles returned home for the second game and plated seven runs in the sixth and won 8-7.
The Giants found themselves trailing 4-2 in the top of the ninth in Game 3. Third baseman Jim Davenport drew a bases-loaded walk to cap a four-run rally that gave San Francisco a 6-4 victory in the decisive game at Los Angeles, earning a ticket to the World Series against the Yankees.
But the team's celebration was kept to a minimum since they had to take a midnight flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco and prepare for Game 1 of the World Series the following day at Candlestick Park.
"We had scrambled so much and then we got into the playoff series with the Dodgers. Then we took two out of three games from the Dodgers," said Davenport. "It did, in a way, take a lot of excitement away from the World Series."
San Francisco fans, however, were exuberant, anxious to see the home team appear in its first World Series. And what a treat they got. In a nail-biting series, the two teams traded victories, neither of them winning two in a row.
"The '62 World Series was so exciting. I went crazy," said Gloria McKay, who worked as an usherette at Candlestick Park since 1960. "I was so excited that I went out and bought a pair of shoes!"
The Yankees jumped out in front first, winning, 6-2, behind lefty Whitey Ford. Yankees third baseman Clete Boyer knocked in a go-ahead solo home run in the seventh inning to break a 2-2 tie.
Giants right-hander Jack Sanford roared back in the second game, tossing a three-hitter and shutting down the Yankees, 2-0. Second baseman Chuck Hiller scored the Giants' first run in the first inning, while Willie McCovey blasted a solo homer in the seventh to lock up the game.
In Game 3, Giants starter Billy Pierce and the Yanks' Bill Stafford pitched shutout ball for six innings at Yankee Stadium. In the end, the Bronx Bombers would prevail, breaking the stalemate with three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Giants made a ninth-inning bid by scoring two on Mays' double and Ed Bailey's two-run dinger, but couldn't hold on. They lost 3-2.
The Giants staged another pitching gem as Juan Marichal tossed four innings of scoreless ball against Ford. Unfortunately, the Dominican Dandy left the game after getting hit on the index finger while bunting. The injury sidelined him for the rest of the series.
"I wish I could have finished the game and had the chance to pitch a second game," said a disappointed Marichal. "But that happened and that was it."
The Giants did, however, go on to win the game, 7-3, behind Hiller's grand slam off Yankees right-hander Jim Coates.
In Game 5, the Yankees' Ralph Terry and Sanford dueled to a 2-2 tie after seven innings until the Yanks' Tom Tresh's three-run homer cracked the game open in the eighth. The Giants' 5-3 loss gave the Yankees a one-game advantage and sent the Series back to the 'Stick for Game 6.
Four rain-drenched days put the Series on hold. Desperate to play ball, team officials instructed two helicopters to hover five feet above the wet field. Their hope was that the choppers' powerful propellers would create enough wind to blow dry the soggy surface.
"There was a lot of water settled on the field. They thought, 'If we come in with the helicopters, we could move that water to make it drain better,'" said pitcher Mike McCormick, who didn't play in the Series due to shoulder problems. "It was still bad. I think what it really did was to show the fans and the public that they were doing everything they could to play the game."
Once play got underway, the Giants didn't disappoint. They evened the Series at three-all with a 5-2 victory behind Orlando Cepeda, who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
Then came the final game -- Game 7. Close to 44,000 fans watched Terry and Sanford take part in an awesome pitching duel. The Yankees' only run scored on Tony Kubek's double-play grounder in the fifth inning. But the Giants threatened to score -- and win -- in the bottom of the ninth inning with a man on second and third with two out and slugger McCovey at the plate.
"I was hoping they would walk him and get to me," said Cepeda, who was on deck.
Terry decided to throw to McCovey. The rest is history. A loud crack from McCovey's bat brought the Giants to their feet, anticipating victory. Terry threw down his glove in disgust. It wasn't until he turned around to see that Bobby Richardson had snagged the hard liner for the final out of the game did he know that the exciting series had come to an end -- in the Yankees' favor.
The Giants, meanwhile, were shocked.
"It happened so quick. It was over in such a split second," Davenport said. "You always think back, 'If the ball had been that much further, we'd have had a championship ring on our fingers.'"
Juan Marichal establishes himself as one of the premier pitchers of all time with a 25-win season, including two of the greatest games ever pitched at Candlestick Park.
On June 15, Juan Marichal etched his name in the history books by pitching the only no-hitter of his career. Not only was he the first player to spin a no-no in San Francisco, the "Dominican Dandy" was the first Latin player to do so in the Major Leagues.
It had been more than 34 years since the last Giants no-hitter when Marichal took the mound against the Houston Colt .45s that day. He had already established himself as capable of pitching gems; his debut three years earlier had been a one-hit, 12-strikeout shutout.
Marichal needed only 89 pitches to finish off Houston, but his teammates were finding it equally difficult to break through on the scoreboard. The game was scoreless into the eighth inning, when Jim Davenport and Chuck Hiller provided the game's lone run with a pair of doubles.
The 1-0 victory was but one highlight of a stellar season for Marichal, who finished with a record of 25-8, a 2.41 ERA and 248 strikeouts. Two weeks after his no-hitter, he would engage in -- and win -- an epic 16-inning pitching duel with the Milwaukee Braves' Warren Spahn.
You couldn't ask for a better faceoff than the one in which Marichal and Spahn battled on July 2 at Candlestick Park. The two All-Star hurlers dazzled 15,921 fans with their fine display of pitching prowess. They matched each other pitch for pitch for 16 scoreless innings, neither one conceding to a reliever.
The standoff was just another example of the amazing arms these two pitchers had. Marichal entered the game with an eight-game win streak and a 12-3 record. He had thrown a no-hitter the previous month. Meanwhile, Spahn, who was then 42 years old, showed no signs of old age; he entered the game with an 11-3 record and five straight victories.
Inning after inning, the two great pitchers dominated each other's lineup. After nine innings, Milwaukee manager Bobby Bragen asked Spahn to come out of the game. Spahn refused. On the other side of the field, Giants manager Alvin Dark also suggested that Marichal give way to the bullpen. Marichal, too, refused.
"A 42-year-old man is still pitching," the 25-year-old Marichal reportedly told Dark. "I can't come out."
As the innings went by, "you couldn't help but get into the game. ... We knew that this was something special," said first baseman Orlando Cepeda, who went 2-for-6 that night. "I'll never forget that game."
The long, cold night game finally came to an end five hours later at 12:31 a.m. when slugger Willie Mays broke up the shutout with a one-out, solo home run in the bottom of the 16th inning.
"It was a long night; we were glad to go home," Cepeda said.
In the end, both pitchers posted stellar numbers: Marichal tossed 16 innings, gave up eight hits and four walks and fanned 11; Spahn surrendered nine hits and one walk and struck out two. Unfortunately for Spahn, that ninth hit was the one that handed the game to the Giants.
Longest Game: The Giants swept New York-NL in a double header that included one of the longest games in Giants history. Juan Marichal threw a complete game in the Giants' 5-3 victory over the Mets in game one. Game two was a 23 inning marathon that lasted seven hours and 23 minutes. With the game tied 6-6 in the top of the 23rd inning, Jim Davenport tripled, Cap Peterson was intentionally walked, Del Crandall recorded a pinch-hit double to score Davenport. Jesus Alou then singled to score Peterson to give the Giants an 8-6 victory.
Sept. 10, 1963: Jesus, Matty and Felipe Alou comprise the first all-brother outfield in Major League history.
September 1, 1964: Masanori Murakami becomes the 1st Japanese player to play in the Major Leagues
The Giants continue to string together stellar seasons (their second of four in a row with at least 90 wins) only to fall short by two games. Willie Mays wins his second MVP Award.
Lefty Mike McCormick wins the franchise's only Cy Young Award as well as Comeback Player of the Year. Despite Willie McCovey's 31 homers (including three grand slams) and 91 wins, the Giants finish 10 1/2 games behind the remarkable St. Louis Cardinals led by former Giant and NL MVP Orlando Cepeda.
While the team again settles for a runner-up finish, several Giants enjoy dramatic personal achievement, including Gaylord Perry's no-hitter, Juan Marichal's 26 wins and Bobby Bonds' brilliant debut.
With Juan Marichal leading the way with 26 wins and a 2.43 ERA, the Giants' pitching staff established a San Francisco record with a team 2.71 ERA. Bob Bolin, the fifth starter, won 10 games and posted the lowest ERA in San Francisco history at 1.98.
Five years after Marichal had tossed a no-hitter, Gaylord Perry found himself in a defensive struggle against the St. Louis Cardinals. In the first inning, the Giants' Ron Hunt smacked a solo home run off the Cards' legendary Bob Gibson, but San Francisco was held scoreless after that.
Thankfully, Perry picked that day -- Sept. 17, 1968 -- to toss his only no-hitter. It was the 14th victory of Perry's 16-win season, in which he had a 2.44 ERA and pitched 19 complete games.
The euphoria of his accomplishment didn't last long, however. The Cardinals' Ray Washburn stunned the Giants the very next day by pitching a no-hitter of his own.
Offensively, Willie McCovey led the league with 36 home runs and 105 RBIs, and outfielder Bobby Bonds dazzled in his debut, cracking a grand slam for his first-ever hit (fittingly, against the Los Angeles Dodgers). No player had done that in 70 years.
But for the fourth year in a row, the Giants finished in second place, causing manager Herman Franks to retire (as he had promised he would do if the team failed to win the pennant).
The "Year of the Fox" produces the Giants' first division title despite having neither a .300 hitter nor a 20-game winner.
Bobby Bonds hit 33 home runs and committed only two errors in 1971.
1971 was the "Year of the Fox." That was the year manager Charlie Fox, who had replaced the fired Clyde King 1 1/2 months into the 1970 season, led a team made up of aging stars and rising youngsters to a Western Division title.
Bobby Bonds, who misses becoming baseball's first 40-40 man by one home run, is named The Sporting News' Player of the Year
The Giants got off to a fast start, winning 18 of their first 23 games. The energy and raw talents of youngsters like outfielder Bobby Bonds and shortstop Chris Speier melded nicely with the experience and wisdom of veterans Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey and Willie Mays. Bonds smashed 33 home runs and 102 RBIs. Speier played solid defense, creating a formidable double-play duo with second baseman Tito Fuentes. Meanwhile, pitching ace Marichal continued his domination over batters, notching 18 wins. At age 40 and showing no signs of age, Mays slugged four home runs in his first four games. His production didn't let up as he went on to set a National League career record for runs scored in June.
Southpaw Ron "Bear" Bryant is named Pitcher of the Year after winning 24 games, the most ever by a San Francisco lefty.
Outfielder Gary Matthews wins Rookie of the Year honors as one of three Giants to hit .300 or better.
This winning combination kept the team in first place for almost the entire season; the Giants spent only three days in second place. Despite such steady play, the team began to wear down near the end of the season. They saw their nine-game lead on Sept. 4 dwindle to one game by Sept. 25. It wasn't until the final game of the season that the Giants clinched the NL West title on Marichal's 5-1 gem over the San Diego Padres.
The Giants salivated at the chance to face the Pittsburgh Pirates in the best-of-five championship series. They had beaten the Pirates nine times out of 12 and seemed likely candidates to win the pennant.
"We were happy we were going to play them," McCovey said. "They were fearing us."
The Giants jumped out of the gate full steam ahead. In the series opener at the 'Stick, the home team beat the Pirates, 5-4, in front of 40,977 fans. McCovey and Fuentes fueled the attack, ripping two-run homers in the fifth inning.
But the team wouldn't fare so well in the next three games. In the second game, Pirates first baseman Bob Robertson hit three home runs, leading Pittsburgh to a 9-4 win. The Bucs' win snapped a six-game losing streak at Candlestick Park.
Despite a beautifully pitched four-hitter by Marichal in Game 3, the Pirates won again, 2-1, at Three Rivers Stadium.
Pittsburgh earned their ticket to the World Series by taking Game 4, 9-5, and eliminating the Giants. McCovey's three-run homer and four RBIs weren't enough to pull out a victory.
"It just goes to show you that anything can happen in the playoffs," McCovey said.
Although the team finishes 11 games out of first place, three players win major honors. Bobby Bonds, who misses becoming baseball's first 40-40 man by one home run, is named The Sporting News' Player of the Year, while southpaw Ron "Bear" Bryant is named Pitcher of the Year after winning 24 games, the most ever by a San Francisco lefty. Outfielder Gary Matthews wins Rookie of the Year honors as one of three Giants to hit .300 or better.
After bidding farewell to stars Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal and mired in a string of sub-.500 seasons, the Giants enjoy two refreshing pitching performances, John Montefusco's colorful Rookie of the Year performance and Ed Halicki's no-hitter.
Only three times did Giants fans watch the home team's pitcher throw a no-hitter at Candlestick Park. After two in the '60s, the third -- and most recent -- home no-hitter was spun by Ed Halicki in 1975.
On Aug. 24, the Giants squared off against the New York Mets in a doubleheader. After the Mets nabbed the opener by the score of 9-5 on the strength of a Dave Kingman grand slam off "Gentleman" Jim Barr, Halicki took the mound for Game 2 of the twin bill.
Willie Montanez, obtained earlier in the season from the Phillies for Garry Maddox, got the Giants on the board in the first inning with a two-run single. It would be all the 6-foot-7 Halicki would need.
In his first full season in the Majors, the right-hander dominated the New Yorkers in front of 24,132 fans, striking out 10 on his way to the 6-0 victory. It was the first no-hitter thrown in the National League in over two years.
Halicki ended the '75 season with a 9-13 record and a 3.49 ERA. He pitched in 24 games, striking out 153 batters. His no-hitter stood out in an otherwise ordinary season, in which the Giants finished at 80-81, 27 1/2 games out of first place, good for third in the NL West.
Bob Lurie saves the Giants from a possible move to Toronto by heading a group that buys the team and keeps it in San Francisco.
Willie McCovey returns to the Giants and wins the Comeback Player of the Year Award with a team-best 28 home runs at the age of 39.
July 6, 1980: Willie McCovey takes his final at bat before 46,244 adoring fans, delivering a sac fly off Rick Sutcliffe to cap his Hall of Fame career spanning over 4 decades.
Frank Robinson becomes the first black manager in the National League when he is named to head the Giants.
First Croix handed out: The first Croix de Candlestick pins were handed out to fans that stayed for the entire 10 innings of the Giants 3-2 victory over the Dodgers. The pins featured a snowy Giants' "SF" logo along with the Latin slogan "Veni, vidi, vixi" ("I came, I saw, I survived"). The Croix de Candlestick pins were created as a promotion to reward fans for staying the entire duration of extra-inning night games.
A 96-loss season is brightened somewhat by the 1984 All-Star Game at Candlestick Park, which includes Chili Davis and Bob Brenly as Giants representatives. Crazy Crab makes his one-year appearance as the Giants' "anti-mascot."
The '70s may have brought us bell bottoms and disco, but they also saw the beginnings of the mascot craze in professional baseball. In 1984, the Giants decided to try their hand at the mascot game, but with their own special twist: They created an "anti-mascot."
The creature they unleashed was the now-legendary (and infamous) Crazy Crab. The idea was to poke fun at traditional mascots, and television commercials depicted manager Frank Robinson having to be restrained from attacking the poor crustacean. Fans were encouraged to boo and hiss the phony mascot, who was portrayed by actor Wayne Doba.
The prodding worked all too well. With a 96-loss season soothing no souls, Crazy Crab became the object of hatred and abuse. The crowd would hurl all sorts of things at the beast, both verbally and literally, and even players got into the act, dumping drinks and other things into the suit.
Broadcasters Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper, both players during the year of Crazy Crab, were asked in an online chat if they ever had trouble with him. Their response: "No, we used to drill him with the resin bag daily, so he was scared of us."
Catcher Steve Nicosia once donned the suit while he trashed the volatile Jeffrey Leonard's locker. While playing the Crab, Doba was even tackled by a San Diego Padres player and ended up filing a lawsuit against the team for back injuries.
On the final day of the 1984 season, as he stood on the field in the suit before the game, Doba reportedly told a Giants executive, "I hope there's nobody up there with a gun."
The nightmare for the bug-eyed object of foam derision ended after just one season. The Giants would not attempt another mascot, "anti" or real, until 1997, when Lou Seal made his cautious debut. But no mascot will likely ever again as sharply define the term "love-hate" as the vaunted Crazy Crab.
Bad goes to worst as the Giants falter to the only 100-loss season in their history. Reliever Scott Garrelts leads the staff with a measly nine wins, and the team bats a league-worst .233.
Manager Roger Craig and GM Al Rosen begin a remarkable turnaround with their crew of "You Gotta Like These Kids" players. Rookies Will Clark and Robby Thompson jump over the Triple-A level to earn starting jobs, and Clark cracks a home run off Nolan Ryan in his first big league at-bat. Pitcher Mike Krukow wins 20 games and earns an All-Star bid.
April 8, 1986: Will Clark's first Major League swing results in a home run off Nolan Ryan on Opening Night at the Astrodome
Just two years after a wretched 100-loss season, the Giants win the division thanks to late-season pitching acquistions by Al Rosen.
After an amazing 1986 season, in which manager Roger Craig transformed the Giants from a 100-loss club into the "Humm Baby" crew with an 83-79 record, good things were expected in 1987.
But after leading or being near the top of the division for the first two months of the season, the Giants began to slide. When they fell a season-high 5 1/2 games behind division leader Cincinnati on the Fourth of July, general manager Al Rosen decided to shake things up and engineered a blockbuster trade, acquiring Kevin Mitchell, Dave Dravecky and Craig Lefferts from the Padres.
Two more trades in the next few weeks added pitchers Rick Reuschel and Don Robinson, and San Francisco regained the division lead for good in mid-August. They would win the West by six games with a 90-72 record and head into the National League Championship Series to face the St. Louis Cardinals.
In late July, the Giants had swept the Cardinals in a four-game series, so hopes were high as the teams opened play in St. Louis. But Cardinals pitcher Greg Mathews allowed only four hits and struck out seven in 7 1/3 innings while driving in two runs to lead his club to a 5-3 victory in Game 1.
Game 2 saw Giants slugger Jeffrey Leonard crack his second homer in as many games as part of a 3-for-4 day. Will Clark added a home run of his own, and Dravecky pitched a sparkling two-hit shutout to even the series at a game apiece.
When the series shifted to San Francisco for Game 3, the Giants jumped out to an early 4-0 lead. But the Cards battled back with a two-run Jim Lindeman homer in the sixth off starter Atlee Hammaker, and an inning later, they scored four more off Hammaker and reliever Robinson. San Francisco got within one by adding a run in the bottom of the ninth, but St. Louis held on to capture a 2-1 series lead.
The next two games, both at Candlestick Park, put the Giants on the verge of their first World Series berth in 25 years. Three home runs -- including Leonard's fourth consecutive game with a dinger, an LCS record -- and Mike Krukow's complete-game two-hitter gave the Giants a 4-2 victory in Game 4. In Game 5, Leonard didn't homer but Mitchell did, and Joe Price pitched five innings of one-hit ball in relief of Reuschel to collect the 6-3 win.
But a four-run fourth inning in Game 5 would be the last time the Giants would score in the series. Despite another spectacular pitching performance from Dravecky, who struck out eight while allowing only five hits and a single Cardinals run in six innings, the Giants fell in Game 6, 1-0.
They were blanked again in Game 7 (setting a dubious NLCS record with 22 straight innings of scoreless baseball). The Cards' Danny Cox pitched a complete game, and losing pitcher Hammaker gave up four in the second inning. The Giants emptied the bullpen, using six more pitchers in the game, but without any offense, the cause was hopeless. The Cardinals clinched the pennant with a 6-0 drubbing of the Giants at Busch Stadium.
Leonard, whose "one-flap-down" home trot was the story of the series, received the unusual, but somewhat hollow, honor of being named MVP in the losing cause. The Cardinals would later fall to the Twins in the 1987 World Series in seven games.
Aug. 10, 1989: Dave Dravecky completes a miraculous recovery from surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his pitching arm and defeats the Reds in front of a teary-eyed Candlestick Park crowd. But in his next start, his arm snaps while delivering a pitch and later breaks again when he bumps into a teammate during the NLCS victory celebration. He retired after the season, and two years later, his arm was amputated.
October 9, 1989: NLCS Game 5 - Will Clark singles to drive in the game winning run in the bottom of the 8th vs the Chicago Cubs, sending the Giants to the World Series
"Twenty-seven years of waiting come to an end" when San Francisco heads for its first World Series in nearly three decades.
October 17, 1989: World Series Game 3 is halted by a 7.1 earthquake at 5:04PM - play resumes 10 days later, and the Giants get swept.
Owner Bob Lurie, after failing in numerous attempts to get a downtown ballpark built, agrees to sell the team to a group that would relocate the franchise to the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. But a local investment group, led by Peter Magowan, saves the franchise by buying the team instead. Before the deal is even officially done, Magowan's group attracts superstar Barry Bonds to the squad.
January 12, 1993: Peter Magowan and a new group of investors bought the team from previous owner, Bob Lurie, saving the team from moving to Florida and eventually landing free agent superstar, Barry Bonds.
Matt Williams is on pace to break Roger Maris' record of 61 home runs, and the Giants are challenging for first place when the players' strike wipes out the rest of the season. Rod Beck, who had saved a franchise-record 48 games the previous year, is halted at 28-for-28 in save chances.
July 31, 1994: The Giants become the first professional sports team to host an AIDS benefit game, "Until There's a Cure" Day. The event has been repeated every year since, raising nearly a half-million dollars for AIDS education, care and service organizations and international AIDS research.
Barry Bonds joins two exclusive clubs in an otherwise miserable 94-loss season.
April 27, 1996: Bonds becomes the fourth member of the prestigious 300-300 Club, launching his 300th and 301st home runs.
As his nine All-Star selections, eight Rawlings Gold Glove awards and three MVP trophies during that decade attest, this future Hall of Famer's performance at the plate and in the field ranked among baseball's elite. But it was his combination of raw speed and power that made him a threat at the plate and on the basepaths. Named "Player of the Decade" by The Sporting News, Bonds struck fear in pitchers and catchers alike.
On April 27, 1996, Bonds became the fourth member of the prestigious 300-300 Club, launching his 300th and 301st home runs off Florida Marlins starter John Burkett en route to a 6-3 win at Candlestick Park. With the blasts, Bonds became one of only four players in Major League history to hit more than 300 home runs and steal more than 300 bases. (He swiped his 300th base two years prior.) Other members of this exclusive club include: Willie Mays (660 HR, 338 SB), Andre Dawson (436 HR, 314 SB) and his late father, Bobby Bonds (332 HR, 461 SB).
That year, Bonds also became only the second player to join the 40-40 Club (Jose Canseco was the other member; they have since been joined by Alex Rodriguez), knocking in 42 homers and nabbing 40 bases. All told, Bonds has had five seasons with 30 or more round-trippers and stolen bases.
But Bonds didn't stop there. On Aug. 23, 1998, he became the founding member of the 400-400 Club, clubbing his 400th dinger off Florida's Kirt Ojala. The solo shot made him the first player to reach 400 home runs and 400 stolen bases. He had stolen base No. 400 on July 26, 1997, against the Pittsburgh Pirates in front of the home crowd at the 'Stick.
After tallying his 500th career homer on April 17, 2001, Bonds established the 500-500 Club when he swiped his 500th base on June 23, 2003.
After two straight last-place finishes, GM Brian Sabean faces vilification by trading fan favorite Matt Williams, forcing him to declare "I am not an idiot" to the press. The "Team of Dustiny" proves him right by winning the division nine days after Brian Johnson's now-legendary 12th-inning homer to beat the Dodgers.
A second straight last-place finish in '96, this time with a devastating 94 losses, meant something had to change. On Nov. 13, new general manager Brian Sabean did what many Giants fans considered unthinkable -- he traded fan favorite Matt Williams to the Indians for Jeff Kent, Jose Vizcaino, Julian Tavarez and a player to be named (Joe Roa).
Sporting the slogan "It's Giants baseball; anything can happen," the team charged out to a 16-5 record at the start of the '97 season, en route to a six-game advantage over Los Angeles at the All-Star break. In the span of just three weeks, their lead evaporated (thanks to an 8-13 post-break performance) and they were tied with the Dodgers.
For the next six weeks, the teams battled back and forth, with neither club able to lead by more than 2 1/2 games. In one of the most memorable series in Giants history, capped by Brian Johnson's 12th-inning, game-winning homer, they swept Los Angeles to again pull into a tie.
In the history of the Giants, few home runs rival the drama of catcher Johnson's shot on Sept. 18. His blow not only pulled San Francisco into a first-place tie with Los Angeles, it entered Johnson's name into the annals of legendary Giants shots, ranking up there with Bobby Thomson's 1951 "Shot Heard 'Round The World," also hit against the Dodgers.
When the Dodgers came to town on Sept. 17 for a two-game set, they were leading the division by two games. The Giants cut the deficit to a single game by taking a taut night opener, 2-1. Barry Bonds' upper-deck home run in the first inning off Chan Ho Park gave the Giants both of their runs, and Kirk Rueter allowed only four hits and a single run (a homer by Raul Mondesi) in his seven-plus innings of work. Roberto Hernandez, acquired at the trade deadline, finished off the game with his sizzling fastball.
With baseball fever seizing much of the Bay Area, manager Dusty Baker turned to Terry Mulholland (another late-season pickup) for the series finale. He gave up a home run to the second batter he faced (Otis Nixon), but his club battled back.
With two out in the bottom of the first, Bonds hit a triple and then scored on Glenallen Hill's single. J.T. Snow snapped the tie with a leadoff homer in the fourth, and the Giants broke it open when Bonds smacked a three-run round-tripper off Dodgers starter Tom Candiotti in the fifth.
In the sixth, the normally sure-handed Snow dropped a ball while trying to tag out Nixon as he ran up the first-base line, and the error later allowed two unearned runs to score. Still, Mulholland left with a 5-3 lead. But Julian Tavarez allowed runners to reach second and third with one out in the seventh, and Baker had no choice but to bring in Hernandez, despite his two innings of work the previous night and a sore shoulder.
The gamble failed, however, as Mike Piazza tied the game with a two-run single. Neither squad could unknot the score in nine innings, and after two scoreless innings of relief from Doug Creek, Baker turned to his beleagured closer, Rod Beck, for the 10th.
Beck, who had blown a save and taken the loss two games earlier, entered to a smattering of boos from the crowd, and things turned downright ugly when Piazza, Eric Karros and Mondesi all singled to load the bases with none out. With the huge crowd voicing their disapproval of Beck's continued presence in the game, Baker went to the mound and told his pitcher to dig down deep for something special.
The man nicknamed "Shooter" delivered, striking out Todd Zeile. Facing pinch-hitter Eddie Murray, Beck got the member of the 500-homer club to hit a slow grounder to second, where Jeff Kent picked it up and fired home for one out. Johnson's throw to first beat the aging Murray to end the inning.
With the fans now screaming their support of the mustachioed pitcher, Beck left the field with a roar and then pitched two hitless innings.
After more than four hours of baseball, the teams were still stuck at five runs each when Johnson came to the plate to lead off the bottom of the 12th. Reliever Mark Guthrie threw one pitch, and Johnson clobbered it. It rode toward the wall in left, but having already seen an earlier Dodgers blow to nearly the same spot look like a sure home run, only to be knocked down by the Candlestick Park wind, the 52,140 in attendance held their breath.
When the ball cleared the fence and landed in the left-field bleachers, the ballpark erupted. It's possible cars on nearby Highway 101 thought an earthquake was happening as the frenzied crowd celebrated wildly while Johnson circled the bases. The catcher later said he didn't even feel his feet hitting the ground as he ran, and when he crossed the plate, his teammates mobbed him. The scoreboard itself almost seemed alive as it displayed the current NL West standings, with the Giants and Dodgers in a flat-footed tie.
Leading the charge from the dugout was the almost-forgotten earlier hero of the game, Bonds, who burst from the dugout and bear-hugged Baker. He celebrated so enthusiastically, he momentarily popped his shoulder out of its socket. Luckily, the injury didn't keep him out of the lineup, as Giants fans and their team all knew much more work lay ahead in the final 10 days of the season.
The Giants took the division lead the next day with a win against San Diego, and although they lost the next day, the Dodgers were in the midst of losing three straight to the Rockies. With two more wins over the Padres and a split of two games against the Rockies, the Giants enjoyed a 2 1/2-game lead as they headed home for their final three-game set of the season.
With a win over the Padres on Friday night and a Dodgers loss to the Rockies, the Giants would clinch the division. Bonds hit his 40th home run of the season to put him over the 100 RBIs mark, giving San Francisco its first 100 RBIs trio in Bonds, Kent and Snow, and Shawn Estes notched his 19th win of the season in a 17-4 drubbing of San Diego. But the Dodgers refused to die, and their victory meant San Francisco was only guaranteed a tie for first place.
"Dustiny" (a term coined by Beck) could not be denied; one win by the Giants would seal the title. On Saturday, Sept. 27, midseason acquisition Wilson Alvarez took the mound for San Francisco and allowed only two hits in the first seven scoreless innings. Mark Lewis and Glenallen Hill manufactured a run in the fourth, and a Johnson bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the sixth tacked on another run. Pitcher Alvarez singled home another.
Thoughts of a clinch gripped the minds of the more than 48,000 fans in attendance when the Giants added another three runs in the seventh, thanks in part of Snow's two-run double. Although Hernandez gave up a run in the eighth, the Giants entered the ninth with a 6-1 lead.
Despite his recent struggles and the emergence of Hernandez as an alternate closer, Baker gave the ball to Beck for the final inning. He set down the first two batters and faced Greg Vaughn as the potential title-clinching out.
With a 2-2 count and the crowd in a frenzy, Beck blazed a pitch by Vaughn, who swung and missed, setting off the celebration. Beck threw his arms in the air, and the Giants dogpiled in the center of the field. Bonds knelt in prayer in left field before joining the frenzy, and he later leaped atop the dugout to embrace fans.
The renewed Giants made their first postseason appearance in eight years when they faced National League Wild Card entry Florida Marlins in the Division Series. Despite losing all three games of series, San Francisco gave Florida its toughest test en route to its first world championship.
Both Games 1 and 2 came down to the last at-bat, with Florida taking advantage of being the home club and posting 2-1 and 7-6 victories, respectively.
Despite two solo home runs by Kent in Game 3, the Marlins finished off the sweep on strength of Devon White's sixth-inning grand slam off Alvarez.
But the sweetness of securing a title showed the team had clearly established a new winning tradition.
"That day was again needed because of how close we came in '93," said Baker. "In '94, '95 and '96, most of the team was gone and we finished last. It saved my career again because they were talking about getting a new manager. That was another big turning point that propelled this organization to success and into being one of the finer organizations around."
Although they trail NL West winners San Diego by nine games at season's end, the Wild Card gives the Giants hope for postseason play. They make up a five-game deficit in the final 10 games of the season to force a one-game playoff with the Cubs.
After trailing Chicago by five games on Sept. 17, the Giants went 8-2 over their final 10 regular-season contests to catch the Cubs and force a Wild Card tiebreaker game Sept. 28 at Wrigley Field. San Francisco had a chance to win the Wild Card outright on the last day of the season, but the Rockies stormed back from a 7-0 deficit to defeat the Giants, 9-8, and send them to Chicago for the playoff.
San Francisco dropped a 5-3 outcome and just missed making their second consecutive postseason appearance.
Barry Bonds hit a laser shot to right field with the bases loaded and none out in the ninth, but it was snagged by MVP Sammy Sosa to result in only a sacrifice fly.
After entering the top of the ninth trailing 5-0, the Giants almost mounted another comeback. San Francisco plated three runs and had the tying run at the plate when the game ended.
The Giants became only the third club in history to overcome a four-game deficit with seven contests remaining (1951 New York Giants and '62 San Francisco Giants).
Injuries to Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent and Ellis Burks slow the Giants, who finish 14 games back despite a 22-6 run starting in mid-August. But five players bash 20-plus homers and drive in at least 80 runs. With the team out of contention, however, the focus is on the end of the Giants' stay at Candlestick Park.
It has been said that while many fans won't miss Candlestick Park, they'll certainly miss the memories of the great players that roamed its grass and dirt and the phenomenal events that the park has hosted.
Add to those memories a magnificent closing ceremony, a poignant, nostalgia-drenched celebration that began with team president and managing general partner Peter Magowan noting the special breed that has made the park their second home these many years.
"No fans were as loud, no fans stayed as late, no fans endured as much as you did," he said. Indeed, Magowan can count himself among the hardy; he began following the Giants as a child and later took his grandson to games.
"I guess I'm getting old, but what a nice way to do so."
As broadcasters Lon Simmons and Jon Miller introduced dozens of former players, the ghosts of Candlestick came to life with each man running out to assume his former position. The cream-colored jerseys of the '50s and '60s mingled with the crisp whites of the later uniforms, joining the decades of baseball that have been played at the park.
Dusty Baker and his 1999 squad joined the alumni, laughing and playing with old friends and longtime heroes alike. The final introductions were of the truly immortal Giants, four of the Giants' Hall of Famers: Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey (who had left the game early due to his continuing knee problems) and the greatest Giant of them all, Willie Mays.
The assembled players gathered at the pitching mound, and after a fitting 24-second countdown, Mays threw the last-ever pitch at Candlestick Park. Behind the plate was his godson, the Giants' All-Star left fielder Barry Bonds, who received the ball at 5:24 p.m. and handed it to one of the Giants' most dedicated and loyal fans, Marge Wallace of San Francisco.
As streamers shot from air cannons flew through the air, home plate was dug up and Baker gave the trophy to Magowan and executive vice president/chief operating officer Larry Baer. As they strode to center field, an orange-and-black-adorned helicopter gently landed on the field. California Highway Patrol Commissioner Dwight "Spike" Helmick received the prize and the chopper began its trip to the Giants' new home in China Basin.
The crowd joined in one final group sing of "Bye-Bye Baby" as players current and former took one last lap around the field throwing balls to the fans.
As the JumbroTRON showed the chopper landing at Pacific Bell Park, Simmons offered one closing comment: "I guess all I can say is 'Tell It Goodbye'."
The plate took its rightful spot at Pacific Bell Park as the strains of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" played. Equipment manager Mike Murphy, a 42-year veteran of the team, locked the clubhouse doors, and a flickering candle on the JumboTRON was blown out, simultaneously blowing out the Candlestick era of Giants baseball.
The Giants christen the spectacular Pacific Bell Park in inauspicious fashion, losing the first six games in the new yard and 11 of their first 15 games overall. But with the support of 3.3 million fans who sell out every game at the rookie park, San Francisco wins its second division title in four years. Jeff Kent wins the NL MVP while Dusty Baker captures his third Manager of the Year Award.
San Francisco won its second National League West title in four years as the club posted a Major League-best 97-65 mark, only to see its October run stopped short by the Wild Card New York Mets, a club that would eventually win the NL flag.
The Giants enjoyed a truly magical regular season, their first in their new jewel of a home, Pacific Bell Park. Playing in front of 81 straight sellouts that accounted for a franchise-record 3,315,330 fans, San Francisco rattled off a 55-26 ledger, matching the Mets for the best home mark in the Majors.
Dusty Baker won his third NL Manager of the Year award after guiding his troops to a Major League-best 51-26 record after the All-Star break, resulting in an 11-game cushion, the Giants' largest winning margin since 1913.
San Francisco produced its most prolific offensive attack in 70 years, led by National League Most Valuable Player Jeff Kent. Teammate Barry Bonds, who finished second in the MVP voting, clubbed 49 clouts.
The Giants jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the NLDS with a 5-1 victory in front of a raucous Game 1 crowd at Pacific Bell Park. Livan Hernandez held New York to one run over 7 2/3 innings while Ellis Burks clubbed a three-run, third-inning homer off the left-field foul pole.
J.T. Snow's dramatic three-run, pinch homer in the bottom of the ninth tied Game 2, 4-4, but the Mets would rally to win, 5-4, in 10 innings and even the series at a game apiece.
Unfortunately for San Francisco, its offense went south when the club went east, as the Giants could manage only two runs in 22 innings at Shea Stadium. New York's Benny Agbayani gave the Mets a 3-2 victory in Game 3 with a 13th-inning solo home run, and Bobby Jones hurled a one-hit shutout for a 4-0 win in the Game 4 clincher.
The Giants battle for a playoff spot into the season's final weekend, but most eyes are trained on the team throughout the season because of Barry Bonds' phenomenal homer binge. With 39 homers at the All-Star break and three homers on Sept. 9 to put him at 63, it was only a matter of time before the San Francisco slugger broke Mark McGwire's three-year-old record of 70 homers. Bonds ended up bashing 73 long balls that year.
San Francisco makes the playoffs as the Wild Card and then knocks off the NL East champion Braves in a thrilling five-game series to advance to the National League Championship Series. The Giants shock the Central champ Cardinals by winning the first two games in St. Louis, eventually winning the pennant in five games to earn a berth in their first World Series in 13 years. They can't hold a late five-run lead in Game 6 vs. the Angels, losing that game and then Game 7.
Following a 3-0 loss at Florida on Aug. 18, a stagnant San Francisco club stood at 66-56, four games behind Los Angeles in the NL Wild Card chase. From then on, the Giants would play like champions, going 29-10 down the stretch to capture the league's fourth playoff spot by 3 1/2 contests over the Dodgers.
Despite a 95-win campaign that tied for the fourth-most victories in San Francisco history, the Giants entered the NLDS as heavy underdogs to the Atlanta Braves, who captured their 11th consecutive division crown by an astounding 19-game margin.
Undaunted by their opponents and buoyed by the right arm of starter Russ Ortiz, the Giants stormed into Turner Field and won the series opener by an 8-5 count as Rich Aurilia, Benito Santiago and J.T. Snow all collected two RBIs apiece.
Yet, the hope of Game 1 quickly turned into despair, as Atlanta backed the stout pitching of Kevin Millwood and Greg Maddux, respectively, with 17 combined runs in a pair of routs to take a 2-1 series lead.
Facing the prospect of a long winter, San Francisco turned to past playoff hero Livan Hernandez to work his magic once again in Game 4 at Pacific Bell Park. The big right-hander responded by hurling 8 1/3 strong innings, while Aurilia finished 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs as the Giants won 8-3 to force a return trip to Atlanta.
In the decisive Game 5, five-time MVP Barry Bonds exorcised his demons of postseasons past, singling and scoring the Giants' first run in the second and clubbing an opposite-field, solo homer in the fourth that gave San Francisco a 2-0 lead. Ortiz became the first Giants pitcher to win two games in the same postseason series since Carl Hubbell went 2-0 in the 1933 World Series, yet San Francisco's 3-1 victory was in doubt until the end. With two men on and none out in the ninth, closer Robb Nen struck out Gary Sheffield then induced Chipper Jones to ground into a series-ending double play.
Following their furious late-season run to capture the Wild Card berth and that stirring five-game NLDS victory over Atlanta, the Giants provided the only truly fitting encore -- they won the club's first NL pennant in 13 years by defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in a scintillating and highly competitive five-contest NLCS.
San Francisco began its run to the Fall Classic by winning each of the first two contests in St. Louis. The Giants pounded Cardinals ace Matt Morris early and often en route to a 9-6 victory in Game 1, while Jason Schmidt turned in a dominating Game 2 performance. The right-hander struck out eight and carried a shutout into the eighth inning, while Aurilia's two-homer, three-RBI effort spurred a 4-1 triumph.
Despite Bonds' dramatic three-run, fifth-inning homer into McCovey Cove that briefly tied Game 3 at Pacific Bell Park, a solo clout by St. Louis' Eli Marrero and stingy pitching by the Cardinals bullpen gave the visitors a 5-4 win and renewed hope.
St. Louis jumped out to a 2-0, first-inning lead in Game 4 and appeared on its way to evening the series until a pair of Giants veterans turned the tide. In the sixth, Snow delivered a two-out, two-run double that knotted the contest. Following a two-out intentional walk to Bonds in the eighth, Santiago cemented his series MVP honors by clubbing a full-count offering from Rick White into the left-field bleachers for a 4-2 lead. Nen struck out the final two hitters in the ninth to strand the tying run at third and close out a 4-3 San Francisco victory.
Giants lefty Kirk Rueter and Morris engaged in a classic October pitchers' duel in a Game 5 that was scoreless until St. Louis broke through with a run in the seventh. Bonds tied the contest, 1-1, with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly, thus setting the stage for one of the most dramatic moments in San Francisco history.
Morris retired the first two Giants hitters in the bottom of the ninth inning but was chased by consecutive singles from David Bell and Shawon Dunston. St. Louis turned to reliever Steve Kline, and Kenny Lofton greeted the southpaw by lining his first pitch into right-center field for a single that scored a sliding Bell as the jubilant NL champion Giants poured onto the field.
In the first World Series between two Wild Card teams, the Giants and Anaheim Angels lived up to the moniker, combining to set numerous offensive records in a memorable seven-game Fall Classic.
Anaheim emerged from the fireworks with the first world championship in franchise history, while San Francisco was saddled with heartbreak after seeing a title slip away just five outs from the pinnacle.
The clubs split the first two contests in Anaheim, with Bonds grabbing the spotlight in his first appearance on the World Series stage. San Francisco's left fielder clubbed a solo homer in his first at-bat to spark a 4-3 Giants win in Game 1, then connected for a mammoth ninth-inning shot in Game 2. Not to be outdone, the Angels' Tim Salmon homered twice as Anaheim won an 11-10 slugfest to even the series.
When the scene shifted north, the Angels seemed to take control with a convincing 10-4 win in Game 3. As they had all season, the Giants battled back in Game 4, rallying from a 3-0 deficit to earn a 4-3 victory on Bell's two-out, RBI single in the eighth inning.
Game 5 belonged to San Francisco, as the home club delighted the 42,713 fans at Pacific Bell Park with a 16-4 rout. Jeff Kent tied Giants World Series records with four runs, two homers and four RBIs, Aurilia drove in three runs to establish a franchise playoff mark with 17 RBIs overall, and Snow had two of his series-high 11 hits.
The Giants were eight outs from their first World Series title since 1954, as Dunston's two-run homer, Bonds' record eighth postseason clout (fourth of the Series), and Kent's RBI single propelled San Francisco to a 5-0 lead in Game 6. But the ultimate prize was wrested away as Scott Spiezio's three-run, seventh-inning homer and series MVP Troy Glaus' two-run, eighth-inning double highlighted Anaheim's rally to a 6-5 victory.
San Francisco scored first in Game 7 but ultimately could not overcome the pitching of John Lackey and the bat of Garret Anderson, who delivered the deciding three-run, third-inning double in Anaheim's 4-1 triumph.
Under new manager Felipe Alou, the Giants become the ninth team in Major League history to lead their division from start to finish, posting 100 wins to capture the NL West. The Wild Card Marlins upstage the Giants, however, winning their National League Division Series three games to one en route to winning their second world championship.
For the first time since 1936-37, the Giants earned consecutive appearances in postseason play, as the club won its third National League West title in seven years and became only the second team in franchise history to go wire-to-wire with an overall finish of 100-61.
A flurry of offseason moves brought new faces to San Francisco as the team introduced first-year manager Felipe Alou and four new starters to the lineup. The revamped club breezed by their opposition, ending their campaign 15 1/2 games ahead of the Dodgers for the Giants' largest advantage in 91 years.
General manager Brian Sabean garnered Executive of the Year accolades for constructing the team with the third best record in baseball and Barry Bonds earned his unprecedented sixth National League Most Valuable Player Award.
Headed into Game 1 of the NLDS rested and primed for success, pitching ace Jason Schmidt thrived in the intense atmosphere at SBC Park, tossing a complete-game three-hitter as the Giants blanked the visiting Marlins, 2-0.
A sudden turn of events plagued the Giants in Game 2, as San Francisco saw its 4-1 lead quickly vanish as Gold Glovers made costly miscues and the Marlins escaped SBC Park with a 9-5 win.
Knotted up at 1, both teams headed to South Florida, but the Giants' run of bad luck seemed to follow. After taking a 3-2 advantage in the 11th inning of Game 3, San Francisco let the Marlins slip back into the contest after a dropped fly ball by Jose Cruz Jr. allowed the tying run on base. With two out, the bases loaded and a 1-2 count on Ivan Rodriguez, Tim Worrell's next pitch was drilled into right field for a game-winning, two-run single.
In Game 4, San Francisco's furious comeback in the ninth fell short as J.T. Snow was thrown out at the plate on Jeffrey Hammonds' two-out single to left, giving the Marlins a 7-6 victory and ending the Giants' hopes for another playoff run.
The Giants slog out to a dismal start, sitting eight games under .500 and behind the league leaders on May 18. But after Jason Schmidt's one-hit shutout of the Cubs that day, the Giants rip off the fourth-best record in the Majors and put themselves squarely in playoff contention. The Dodgers hold off the Giants for the division title, and only a scorching run by Houston keeps San Francisco out of the Wild Card slot.
Barry Bonds' three right-knee surgeries in the offseason, combined with a bacterial infection, served as a portent to what would prove a disappointing season for the Giants. Bonds didn't take the field for the Giants until September, and by then, it was too little, too late. There were, however, signs of improvement and growth that should encourage Giants fans. Center fielder Randy Winn, whom the Giants acquired from Seattle just before the trade deadline, and young pitchers Matt Cain, Noah Lowry and Brad Hennessey all excelled in the second half. After finishing just seven games back in the division, the Giants have every reason for optimism in 2006.
The Giants ultimately met with frustration, finishing third in the NL West at 76-85 after being 74-72 and only three games out of first place in mid-September. But the season included some redeeming aspects. Shortstop Omar Vizquel won his 11th Gold Glove award. Matt Cain (13-12, 4.15) tied for fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting. Jason Schmidt set a franchise record with 16 strikeouts against Florida on June 6. And Barry Bonds hit 26 home runs to hike his career total to 734, 21 behind all-time leader Hank Aaron.
The Giants struggled to their first last place finish since 1996, logging a 71-91 record. Barry Bonds eclipsed Major League Baseball's all-time home run record, finishing with 762 clouts in his final season with the Giants. The emergence of young starters Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum became a bright spot for the club under new manager Bruce Bochy.
This was a year of transition for the Giants, who endured their fourth consecutive losing season while placing fourth in the NL West with a 72-90 record. They played their first full season without home run king Barry Bonds since 1992. The team received an influx of youth, as a franchise-record 16 rookies made their Major League debuts. But San Francisco appeared to get the hang of things toward the end of the season, posting a 28-27 mark in the final two months. Performers such as rookie Pablo Sandoval, who hit .345 in 41 games, hastened the Giants' strong finish.
It was also a year of personal achievement, led by Tim Lincecum -- the first Giant to win the Cy Young Award since Mike McCormick in 1967. The right-hander impressed by finishing 18-5 with a Major League high 265 strikeouts. Lincecum, playing his first full Major League season, made the NL All-Star team, as did closer Brian Wilson, who tied for second in the NL with 41 saves. Omar Vizquel, the popular and respected veteran, established a Major League record on May 25 by playing his 2,584th game at shortstop, eclipsing fellow Venezuelan Luis Aparicio.
The Giants surprised a lot of observers by finishing 88-74 and remaining in the Wild Card race through most of the season. Pitching was the big story, as Giants hurlers led the Majors with 1,302 strikeouts and 18 shutouts. But the offense ranked 13th in scoring, which cost hitting coach Carney Lansford his job. Nevertheless, Pablo Sandoval picked up where he left off after the previous season, finishing second in the NL with a .330 batting average and leading the team with 25 homers and 90 RBIs. The Giants, who finished below .500 at home in three of the previous four seasons, went 52-29 at AT&T Park, the NL's best home record. After the season, general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy received two-year contract extensions.
Almost every starter performed with distinction. Lincecum became the first pitcher in history to win the Cy Young Award in each of his first two full Major League seasons. Though he went only 15-7, he trimmed his ERA to 2.62 to 2.48 and led the league with 261 strikeouts. He started the All-Star Game and was joined in St. Louis by Matt Cain, who went 14-8 after posting a 15-30 mark in the previous two years. Jonathan Sanchez took a perfect game into the eighth inning against San Diego on July 10 and finished with the Giants' first no-hitter in 33 years. Randy Johnson joined the Giants as a free agent and not only sparked the club with his competitive spirit but also won his 300th game.
The 2010 season was the one many Giants fans had awaited literally all their lives. Not only did the Giants capture the National League West, clinching the division on the season's final day to finish 92-70, but they also went 11-4 in the postseason against Atlanta, Philadelphia and Texas en route to winning the World Series. It was the franchise's first triumph in the Fall Classic since 1954 and, obviously, the first since the Giants moved to San Francisco in 1958.
San Francisco's success revolved around its formidable pitching, which led the Majors with a 3.36 ERA. Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez finished a combined 42-30 and rookie Madison Bumgarner won seven games in what amounted to the season's second half. They formed the first "homegrown" quartet of starting pitchers in the postseason since the 1986 Red Sox. Brian Wilson, who saved a Major League-high 48 games in the regular season and six more in the postseason, was nothing short of dominant as he anchored an effective bullpen. General manager Brian Sabean's midseason deals for left-hander Javier Lopez and right-hander Ramon Ramirez helped bolster the relief corps.
Catcher Buster Posey, the first Giant to be named National League Rookie of the Year since 1975, sustained a 21-game hitting streak in July to stimulate the club. He complemented leading run producers Aubrey Huff (.290, 26 home runs, 86 RBIs) and Juan Uribe (.248, 24, 85). Left fielder Pat Burrell (.266, 18, 51) joined the team in June and, like Posey, provided a necessary spark. Outfielder Cody Ross, claimed on waivers in August, became indispensable during the postseason as he was voted Most Valuable Player of the League Championship Series. Shortstop Edgar Renteria followed by winning World Series MVP honors in an effort capped by his three-run homer in the fifth and deciding game.
The Giants not only failed to repeat as World Series champions, they also missed the postseason, despite spending 81 days in first place. San Francisco settled for its third consecutive winning season, finishing second in the National League West at 86-76.
Outstanding pitching remained the Giants' hallmark. Four of their starters ranked among the league's top 11 in ERA. Three of them -- Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong -- made the NL All-Star team, where they were joined by closer Brian Wilson. But the staff's 3.20 ERA, second-best in the league, was nullified by the offense, which scored a NL-low 570 runs.
Injuries dogged the Giants, who used the disabled list a Major League-high 25 times. Season-ending injuries to catcher Buster Posey and second baseman Freddy Sanchez before the season was halfway over ultimately grounded the Giants. Without them, the team's most dynamic offensive performer was Pablo Sandoval (.315, 23 homers, 70 RBIs in 117 games), who also was a finalist for the Gold Glove award at third base.
Through it all, the fans remained ardent, still stoked by the club's first Series triumph in its San Francisco history. The Giants sold out every home game while setting an AT&T Park record with a total attendance of 3,387,303.
The Giants didn't field their greatest team ever in 2012. Just their guttiest.
San Francisco captured its second World Series in three years by winning six consecutive elimination games in the postseason. The 1985 Kansas City Royals were the only other team to accomplish this feat. The Giants' typically strong starting pitching fueled the team's surge, as Ryan Vogelsong, Barry Zito, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner combined to record a 0.99 ERA in the last seven postseason contests, including a four-game World Series sweep of Detroit.
Buster Posey (.336, 24 home runs, 103 RBIs) won the National League's batting title and Most Valuable Player award, becoming the first catcher to capture those honors in 70 and 40 years, respectively. Others who recorded significant achievements included Marco Scutaro, who hit .362 in 61 games after the Giants obtained him from Colorado on July 27. Scutaro also hit .500 in the NLCS against St. Louis to earn series MVP honors. Right fielder Hunter Pence, another Trade Deadline acquisition, drove in 45 runs in 59 games. Center fielder and leadoff hitter Angel Pagan set a San Francisco-era record with 15 triples. Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt distinguished themselves in their first full Major League seasons by improving steadily as the year progressed. Outfielder Gregor Blanco made his mark as a clutch performer by contributing multiple outstanding defensive plays. And Pablo Sandoval saved his best for last, homering three times in Game 1 of the World Series to set the triumphant tempo for the Giants. Sandoval ultimately was named Series MVP.
Cain made history by pitching the 22nd perfect game in history on June 13 against Houston. He, Vogelsong, Bumgarner and Zito each won 14 games or more. Tim Lincecum slumped to a 10-15 mark, but the two-time Cy Young Award winner thrived in the postseason by yielding one earned run in 13 innings spanning five relief appearances. Though closer Brian Wilson was lost to an elbow ailment and Tommy John surgery in early April, Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo, among others, combined to compensate for the loss of the three-time All-Star.
The Giants absorbed another personel loss on Aug. 15 when left fielder Melky Cabrera, the All-Star Game MVP who was batting a league-high .346, was suspended 50 games for testing positive for testosterone. Rather than give up, the Giants finished 30-14 to run away with the NL West.
As good as that seemed, the best was yet to come.
A late-season surge prevented the Giants from becoming the only team besides the 1998 Marlins to finish in last place one year after capturing the World Series.
Nevertheless, the Giants still made the year a memorable one. Tim Lincecum threw the seventh no-hitter in the club's San Francisco history, subduing the Padres while striking out 13 on July 13 at San Diego. Yusmeiro Petit nearly eclipsed Lincecum on Sept. 6 by maintaining a perfect game until pinch-hitter Eric Chavez singled with two outs in the ninth inning.
Madison Bumgarner was the team's most consistent starter, posting a 13-9 record with a 2.77 ERA. Sergio Romo converted 38 save opportunities and left-hander Javier Lopez recorded a 1.83 ERA in a club-high 69 appearances. Otherwise, the Giants' renowned pitching staff slumped, finishing with a 4.00 ERA that ranked 13th in the National League.
Injuries hampered numerous position players, including second baseman Marco Scutaro, third baseman Pablo Sandoval and outfielders Angel Pagan and Andres Torres. A bright spot was right fielder Hunter Pence, who accumulated a team-high 178 hits, 27 home runs and 99 RBIs. Pence became the first Giant since the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958 to start all 162 games.
The Giants delivered their finest offensive performance in a Sept. 14 victory over Los Angeles when they scored 19 runs -- the most ever tallied in a single game at Dodger Stadium.
The Giants have long been known for their legendary performers. More recently, they've been associated with championships. In 2014, they deepened their history in both areas as left-hander Madison Bumgarner burst into stardom to help San Francisco win its third World Series in five years. Bumgarner excelled as San Francisco captured the World Series in seven games against the Kansas City Royals, yielding one run in 21 innings for a 0.43 ERA. That was the lowest figure among pitchers who worked at least 15 innings in a Series since Sandy Koufax recorded a 0.38 ERA for the 1965 Dodgers. Bumgarner locked up Series Most Valuable Player honors by pitching a four-hit shutout in Game 5 before blanking the Royals for the final five innings on two days' rest in Game 7. Bumgarner was 2-0 with one save in the Series after also winning the MVP trophy in the National League Championship Series. That followed a regular season in which Bumgarner posted an 18-10 mark and was named an NL All-Star.
It was an extremely good year for Bumgarner and a year of extremes for the rest of the Giants. The bullpen thrived despite a change in closers from Sergio Romo to Santiago Casilla in late June. Starters Tim Hudson and Ryan Vogelsong finished a combined nine games under .500 and Tim Lincecum was moved to the bullpen in August. However, Hudson performed well enough in the first half to make the All-Star team, and Lincecum pitched a no-hitter against San Diego on June 25.
The Giants seemed destined for the title they ultimately won when their record crested at 43-21 on June 8 following a 32-11 binge. By Aug. 12, however, the Giants slipped to six games over .500 (63-57) and appeared in danger of missing the postseason entirely. But Trade Deadline acquisition Jake Peavy won six of his final seven decisions, Buster Posey hit a Major League-high .354 after the All-Star break and rookie second baseman Joe Panik batted .305 in 73 games to help the Giants recover enough to reach the Wild Card Game against Pittsburgh.
San Francisco won that showdown, 8-0, as Bumgarner pitched a four-hit shutout, Brandon Crawford bashed a grand slam and Brandon Belt drove in three runs. That was the first of a record 12 posstseason triumphs the Giants secured en route to winning it all.
Predictably - for those who believe in the club's tendencies in odd- and even-numbered years -- the Giants could not defend their World Series title, finishing second in the National League West with an 84-78 record. Due to numerous injuries and third baseman Casey McGehee's ineffectiveness, manager Bruce Bochy's projected Opening Day lineup played exactly one game together.
Yet, San Francisco's season featured considerable individual achievement. Madison Bumgarner followed up nicely on his 2014 World Series heroics, finishing 18-9 with a 2.93 ERA. He and his batterymate, Buster Posey, made the National League All-Star team, along with shortstop Brandon Crawford and second baseman Joe Panik. It was another banner year for the bullpen as right-hander Santiago Casilla amassed 38 saves and left-hander Javier Lopez limited opponents to a .145 batting average. Crawford became the first Giant to win the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards in the same season since Barry Bonds in 1997. Matt Duffy supplanted McGehee as the regular third baseman in May and proceeded to hit .295, good for a second-place finish in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting. Duffy also won the Willie Mac Award as the team's most inspirational player, an honor never before bestowed upon a rookie.
Other rookies also excelled. Right-hander Chris Heston no-hit the Mets on June 9 for one of his 12 wins. Outfielder Jarrett Parker sustained a late-season hitting binge that included a three-homer outburst at Oakland on Sept. 26.
But injuries undermined these and other accomplishments. Right fielder Hunter Pence went on the disabled list three times and was limited to 52 games. When Pence was healthy enough to start, the Giants went 35-17. Other Giants missing considerable playing time included Panik, outfielders Nori Aoki and Angel Pagan, right-handers Jake Peavy and Matt Cain, catchers Andrew Susac and Hector Sanchez, first baseman Brandon Belt, right-hander Tim Lincecum and left-hander Jeremy Affeldt.
An odd season ended the Giants' stretch of success in even-numbered years. After winning the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014, they reached the postseason for the 12th time since the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958. But erratic offense and a faulty bullpen prevented the Giants from returning to the Fall Classic. The story of this year's postseason was brief for the Giants, who won the Wild Card game at New York, 3-0, as Madison Bumgarner pitched a four-hitter and Conor Gillaspie homered in the ninth inning to account for all of the scoring. The Giants proceeded to lose the Division Series to the eventual World Series champion Chicago Cubs in four games. San Francisco dropped the final game in cruel yet fitting fashion. The Giants led, 5-2, entering the ninth inning. But their bullpen, which set a dubious franchise record with 30 regular-season blown saves, surrendered four runs.
Nevertheless, it was a fruitful year for many Giants. Led by Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto, San Francisco's starters recorded a 3.71 ERA, fifth-best in the Majors. Bumgarner (15-9) made the All-Star team for the fourth consecutive season and struck out 251 batters, smashing the franchise record for left-handers set in 1898 by Cy Seymour. Cueto (18-5) started the All-Star Game for the NL and threw a league-high five complete games. San Francisco's pitching was supplemented by effective defense, as three members of its up-the-middle combination -- shortstop Brandon Crawford, second baseman Joe Panik and catcher Buster Posey -- won Rawlings Gold Glove awards for defensive excellence. Crawford also drove in 84 runs, a team high, for the second year in a row.
Widely considered legitimate contenders entering the season, the Giants endured a surprisingly subpar year as they finished last in the NL West. The club's 64-98 record was its second-worst since the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958, eclipsed only by 1985's infamous 62-100 finish -- the lone 100-loss season since the team's inception in 1883.
The Giants' problems were especially pronounced on the road, where their .321 winning percentage (26-55) was the Major Leagues' worst. Moreover, the Giants floundered against the teams they needed to beat the most, finishing 29-47 against their division rivals.
The Giants' defining moment didn't even occur on the field. It unfolded at a dirt-bike track outside of Denver on April 20, a scheduled off-day. Finishing a recreational spin, ace left-hander Madison Bumgarner lost control of his bike and sprained his throwing shoulder, besides bruising ribs. The four-time All-Star didn't pitch again until July 15. By then, the Giants' fate was sealed.
Every member of the Giants' Opening Day lineup spent time on the disabled list, exacerbating Bumgarner's injury. Lacking continuity and depth, the Giants floundered offensively. They ranked last in the Majors in homers (128) and slugging (.380). They finished next-to-last in runs (639) and on-base percentage (.309) and were 23rd in batting average (.249).
Catcher Buster Posey quite literally provided the season's silver lining, batting .320 to win the Silver Slugger award as the league's outstanding offensive performer at his position. Shortstop Brandon Crawford continued to strengthen his reputation for defensive excellence by winning his third consecutive Gold Glove award.