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9 must-see Giants artifacts on display at Hall

@goodforball
June 26, 2020

Rich in superstars past and recent, the Giants have found it easy to fill their trophy cases and memorabilia chests. From Christy Mathewson and Willie Mays to Barry Bonds, Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey, the Giants have generated mementos to match the memories they’ve created. The National Baseball Hall of

Rich in superstars past and recent, the Giants have found it easy to fill their trophy cases and memorabilia chests.

From Christy Mathewson and Willie Mays to Barry Bonds, Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey, the Giants have generated mementos to match the memories they’ve created.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s collection of more than 40,000 three-dimensional pieces contains artifacts that tell the story of the game’s legendary players, moments and triumphs. Beginning this summer and running through 2020, the Museum will share some of those memorable artifacts through a new limited time experience: Starting Nine, which features nine artifacts from each of the 30 current MLB franchises. Whether you’ve visited before or you’ve always wanted to check it off your family’s bucket list, this is another great reason to plan a visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum -- the spiritual home of America’s Pastime -- in beautiful Cooperstown, N.Y.

1. To the head of the class
Fun facts: Barry Bonds wore this helmet as he connected on Aug. 7, 2007, at AT&T Park to secure his 756th career home run, a fifth-inning drive off Washington’s Mike Bacsik that broke Hank Aaron’s career record. Bonds, the seven-time National League Most Valuable Player Award winner, extended the record to 762 home runs by season’s end.

2. Taking control
Fun facts: Thanks to Madison Bumgarner, the Giants won the 2014 World Series almost literally single-handedly against Kansas City. The left-hander surrendered one run in seven innings to win Game 1, blanked the Royals on four hits in Game 5 and worked five innings of shutout relief in Game 7 to lead San Francisco to its third Fall Classic triumph in five years. His ERA for the Series was 0.43, leaving his lifetime World Series ERA at 0.25.

3. Lucky seven
Fun facts: Shortstop Brandon Crawford became the first Giants player to record seven hits in a game when San Francisco edged the Marlins, 8-7, in 14 innings on Aug. 8, 2016. Crawford’s final hit, his fifth single of the night, drove in Brandon Belt with the go-ahead run in the 14th.

4. The great Juan
Fun facts: Juan Marichal wore this cap during 1969, the last of his six 20-win seasons. He led the Majors with a 2.10 ERA that year as he hiked his victory total for the decade to 191, tops in the big leagues. The high-kicking right-hander spent 14 seasons with the Giants en route to his Hall of Fame induction in 1983.

5. “Big Six”
Fun facts: Christy Mathewson ranked among the most popular and admired players of his era. The Giants' ace from 1901-14 posted 373 career wins and was given the nickname “Big Six.” The moniker applied to a New York fire engine that was especially consistent at subduing sudden blazes. Mathewson received this pocket watch as a token of appreciation from teammates grateful for his performance in a 1910 postseason exhibition series against the Yankees.

6. “The Glove” for “The Catch”
Fun facts: It remains one of the most iconic images in baseball history. Wearing this glove, Willie Mays raced toward the deepest regions of New York’s Polo Grounds to haul in a drive hit by Cleveland’s Vic Wertz that traveled a projected 460 feet in the eighth inning of the 1954 World Series opener. Mays’ famous jersey number 24 was plainly evident from home plate as he outran the ball to deny Wertz a potential two-run double and preserve a 2-2 tie. New York triumphed, 5-2, setting up a four-game Fall Classic sweep.

7. These shoes were made for slugging
Fun facts: Willie McCovey wore these shoes during 1980, when he retired midseason. The popular first baseman nicknamed “Stretch” hit 521 homers during a 22-year career that spanned four decades. The portion of San Francisco Bay that lies beyond Oracle Park’s right-field wall is known as McCovey Cove, since that’s where many of the pull-hitting, left-handed batter’s drives would have ended up had he played in this era.

8. There’s no masking his success
Fun facts: Buster Posey wore this mask during the 2010 World Series, which the Giants won in five games against the Rangers. It was the first Fall Classic triumph for the franchise since it moved west from New York following the 1957 season, and it represented a satisfying finish for Posey, who also captured the NL Rookie of the Year Award that year.

9. “The Shot Heard 'Round the World”
Fun facts: Like “The Catch” turned in by Mays, this bat represents another signature moment that’s synonymous with Giants success. It’s the lumber that Bobby Thomson swung when he hit his “Shot Heard 'Round the World” -- a three-run, ninth-inning homer in the finale of a three-game playoff against Brooklyn on Oct. 3, 1951, to give the Giants a 5-4 victory and send them to the World Series.

Chris Haft has covered the Major Leagues since 1991 and has worked for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @goodforball.