Giants Vault: Williams takes over Game 4

January 12th, 2022

MLB.com is digging back into its massive video vault to uncover classic plays that you have loved, forgotten about or, perhaps, are discovering for the very first time. Watch these moments and many, many more on the MLB Vault YouTube page.

Oct. 8, 1989: Williams' go-ahead NLCS shot
Matt Williams
delivered a pair of go-ahead hits in Game 4 of the 1989 National League Championship Series against the Cubs, including a decisive two-run home run off Steve Wilson in the bottom of the fifth inning at Candlestick Park. Williams ended an epic 12-pitch at-bat by blasting a fastball out to left field for a tiebreaking shot that carried the Giants to a 6-4 win and put them on the brink of their first World Series appearance since 1962.

May 2, 1995: Thompson ties it up in the 15th
This classic tussle between the Giants and Dodgers featured an impressive Major League debut from Hideo Nomo, but San Francisco ended up spoiling the Japanese rookie's effort thanks to extra-inning heroics from second baseman Robby Thompson. The Dodgers scored three runs in the top of the 15th to break a scoreless tie, but Thompson promptly erased the deficit by smashing a game-tying, three-run shot off Greg Hansell with two outs in the bottom half of the inning. Barry Bonds followed with a single and capped the comeback by scoring on Matt Williams' double to lift the Giants to a dramatic 4-3 win in 15 innnings at Candlestick Park.

July 18, 1970: Mays reaches 3,000 hits
Willie Mays became the 10th member of the 3,000-hit club with a single off Expos pitcher Mike Wegener at Candlestick Park. The Say Hey Kid is the only player in MLB history with at least 3,000 hits, a .300 batting average, 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases.

June 30, 1978: McCovey belts 500th home run
Willie McCovey joined the exclusive 500-homer club with a solo shot off Braves left-hander Jamie Easterly at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. McCovey, who was in the midst of his second stint with the Giants, was just the 12th player to reach 500 blasts at the time. Two years later, he hit his 521st and final career homer to tie fellow Hall of Famer Ted Williams on the all-time list.

July 10, 1934: Hubbell fans 5 future HOFers in a row
Known for his famed screwball, lefty Carl Hubbell showcased his dominance during his three-inning stint at the 1934 All-Star Game, which was held on his home turf at the Polo Grounds. After giving up a single to Charlie Gehringer and walking Heinie Manush to open the game, Hubbell quickly locked in, striking out five future Hall of Famers in a row: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin.

May 24, 2000: Estes' grand slam
Left-hander Shawn Estes stole the show in the Giants' 18-0 rout of the Expos, as he tossed a seven-hit shutout and became the first pitcher in the franchise's San Francisco era to hit a grand slam. Estes added an RBI single with the bases loaded in the eighth inning to help the Giants secure their largest shutout victory of the Modern Era. “That is probably the best performance I’ve seen by a pitcher,” manager Dusty Baker said.

May 13, 2003: Pérez scores on infield-fly gaffe
This play was so wacky that it compelled Expos manager Frank Robinson to walk out onto the field to chastise not the umpires, but his own players. With the bases loaded and one out, Barry Bonds popped the first pitch he saw from Expos reliever Dan Smith straight into the air. Third baseman Fernando Tatis raced in, but the ball ended up dropping between him and catcher Michael Barrett. Tatis fielded the ball and stepped on home plate, assuming he had forced the runner on third -- Neifi Pérez -- out. That wasn't the case, as the infield fly rule had been called. Bonds was automatically out, but Pérez had the option of staying at third or risk being tagged out while attempting to score. Tatis and Barrett, though, were apparently unaware of the rule, as they turned away and allowed Pérez to reach home safely, tying the game, 4-4, in the fifth.

May 27, 2003: Rivera's baserunning adventure
Rubén Rivera is synonymous with an all-time blunder, as he made about three different gaffes during this infamous play. He was on first base when Marquis Grissom sent a drive to deep right-center field that evaded leaping D-backs outfielder David Dellucci. Rivera initially thought Dellucci caught the ball and backtracked toward first, only to spin back around once he realized the ball had dropped. He missed second base in haste and had to go back and touch the bag before heading to third, where D-backs third baseman Alex Cintrón mishandled the relay throw. Rivera pushed his luck further by charging toward home, where he was easily thrown out on a 9-4-5-6-2 putout.

April 26, 1989: Mitchell's no-glove defensive gem
Kevin Mitchell captured the 1989 National League MVP Award after slashing .291/.388/.635 with 47 home runs and 125 RBIs over 154 games for the Giants, but he also delivered a web gem for the ages in a 3-1 loss to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. After the light-hitting Ozzie Smith sliced a fly ball down the left-field line, Mitchell raced into the corner to try to track it down, but he initially looked like he might have overrun it. Just as the ball was about to sail over his head, Mitchell shot his right hand up and plucked the ball out of the air to make the stunning play.

Sept. 18, 1997: Johnson's walk-off HR ties up NL West race
We're throwing it back to a raucous mid-September afternoon at Candlestick Park, when catcher Brian Johnson played hero with a 12th-inning, walk-off home run against the Dodgers that tied the Giants with Los Angeles atop the NL West standings with nine games left to play. Every win was critical during the 1997 division race, and this win proved to be a difference-maker as the Giants eventually topped L.A. by just two games.