Franchise Timeline


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.

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.