SAN FRANCISCO -- Dave Dravecky, who starred in one of the most stirring events in Giants franchise history, recently gained election to the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.Dravecky earned a permanent place in Giants lore with a single victory. During 1988, the left-hander's seventh big league season, he learned
SAN FRANCISCO -- Dave Dravecky, who starred in one of the most stirring events in Giants franchise history, recently gained election to the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.
Dravecky earned a permanent place in Giants lore with a single victory. During 1988, the left-hander's seventh big league season, he learned that he had a desmoid tumor in his throwing arm, requiring surgical removal of half the deltoid muscle. Dravecky resumed pitching in '89 and thrilled a Candlestick Park audience of 34,810 on Aug. 10 by allowing four hits in eight innings as the Giants defeated Cincinnati, 4-3.
"It was probably the most emotional game I've played. Ever," said Will Clark, San Francisco's first baseman from 1986-93.
In a start at Montreal five days later, Dravecky's humerus bone snapped as he threw a sixth-inning pitch. The cancer reoccurred in Dravecky's arm after he broke it again during the Giants' on-field celebration of their 1989 National League pennant. Eventually, this required the amputation of Dravecky's pitching arm.
Dravecky's athletic career was over. But his life, in many ways, was just beginning. The will he demonstrated captured the imagination of thousands. "I share this [Hall of Fame honor] with them," he said.
Dravecky has continued sharing his inspirational experience as a Christian motivational speaker and as a community representative for the Giants. In 1989, Dravecky received the prestigious Hutch Award, which recognizes ballplayers who demonstrate integrity and inner fortitude. He also won that year's Willie Mac Award, given annually to the San Francisco player who best exemplifies the competitiveness and class of franchise legend Willie McCovey.
"My story," Dravecky has said, "is one of finding hope, courage and perseverance in the midst of dark and overwhelming uncertainty."
Before his playing career ended, Dravecky established himself as one of the National League's steadiest left-handers. He reached the Major Leagues in 1982 with San Diego and compiled a 64-57 record with a 3.13 ERA in 226 appearances, including 146 starts. He joined the Giants as part of a seven-player trade in July '87, and helped them win the NL West for the first time in 16 years, with a 7-5 record with a 3.20 ERA in 18 starts down the stretch.
Dravecky became the 16th athlete with ties to the Giants to gain election to BASHOF, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1979 which has raised more than $3 million to support San Francisco Bay Area youth groups since its inception.
At least one Giant has been enshrined in BASHOF for five consecutive years. Those honored in the previous four years were Barry Bonds and Dusty Baker (2015), Jeff Kent ('16), Matt Williams ('17) and Matt Cain ('18).
Dravecky will be officially inducted during a fundraising banquet at the Westin St. Francis Hotel on May 2.
Chris Haft has covered the Major Leagues since 1991 and has worked for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat.