San Francisco Giants

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San Francisco Giants
2019 San Francisco Giants season
Established in 1883
Based in San Francisco since 1958
San Francisco Giants Logo.svgSan Francisco Giants Cap Insignia.svg
Team logoCap insignia
Major league affiliations


Current uniform
MLB-NLW-SF-Uniforms.png
Retired numbers
Colors
  • Black, orange, metallic gold, cream[1][2]
                       
Name
Other nicknames
  • The Orange and Black, Los Gigantes, The G-Men, The Boys from the Bay
Ballpark
Major league titles
World Series titles (8)
NL Pennants (23)
West Division titles (8)
Wild card berths (3)
Front office
Owner(s)San Francisco Baseball Associates LLC[3][4]
ManagerBruce Bochy
General ManagerVacant
President of Baseball OperationsFarhan Zaidi

The San Francisco Giants are an American professional baseball team based in San Francisco, California. Founded in 1883 as the New York Gothams, and renamed three years later the New York Giants, the team eventually moved to San Francisco in 1958. The Giants compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) West division.

As one of the longest-established and most successful professional baseball teams, the franchise has won the most games of any team in the history of American baseball.[5] The team was the first major league team based in New York City, most memorably playing at the legendary Polo Grounds. They have won 23 NL pennants and have played in 20 World Series competitions – both NL records. The Giants' eight World Series championships rank second in the National League and fifth overall (the New York Yankees are first with 27, then the St. Louis Cardinals (the National League record-holders) with 11, and the Oakland Athletics and the Boston Red Sox both with 9). The Giants have played in the World Series 20 times – 14 times in New York, six in San Francisco – but boycotted the event in 1904.

Playing as the New York Giants, they won 14 pennants and five World Series championships behind managers such as John McGraw and Bill Terry and players such as Christy Mathewson, Carl Hubbell, Mel Ott, Bobby Thomson, and Willie Mays. The Giants' franchise has the most Hall of Fame players in all of professional baseball.[6] The Giants' rivalry with the Dodgers is one of the longest-standing and biggest rivalries in American sports.[7][8] The teams began their rivalry as the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers, respectively, before both franchises moved west for the 1958 season.

The Giants have won six pennants and three World Series championships since arriving in San Francisco. Those three championships have come in 2010, 2012, and most recently in 2014, having defeated the Kansas City Royals four games to three during the 2014 World Series.[9][10]

The Giants are the only major professional sports team based in the City and County of San Francisco, following the San Francisco 49ers' relocation to Santa Clara in 2014. They will be joined by the Golden State Warriors once they move to the Chase Center in 2019.

From 1883 to 2018, the Giants' overall win–loss record was 11,088–9,602 (a winning "percentage" of 0.536).[11]

Franchise history in New York City[edit]

Early days and the John McGraw era[edit]

1888 New York Giants

The Giants began as the second baseball club founded by millionaire tobacconist John B. Day and veteran amateur baseball player Jim Mutrie. The Gothams, as the Giants were originally known, entered the National League in 1883, while their other club, the Metropolitans played in the American Association. Nearly half of the original Gothams players were members of the disbanded Troy Trojans, whose place in the National League the Gothams inherited. While the Metropolitans were initially the more successful club, Day and Mutrie began moving star players to the Gothams, and in 1888 the team won its first National League pennant, as well as a victory over the St. Louis Browns in a pre-modern-era World Series. They repeated as champions the next year with a pennant and Championship victory over the Brooklyn Bridegrooms.

A contemporaneous account claims that after one particularly satisfying victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, Mutrie, who was also the team's manager, strode into the dressing room and exclaimed, "My big fellows! My giants!"[12] From then on, the club was known as the Giants.

The Giants' original home stadium, the Polo Grounds, dates from this early era. It was originally located north of Central Park adjacent to 5th and 6th Avenues and 110th and 112th Streets, in Harlem in upper Manhattan. After their eviction from that first incarnation of the Polo Grounds after the 1888 season, they moved further uptown to various fields they also named the Polo Grounds located between 155th and 159th Streets in Harlem and Washington Heights, playing in the Washington Heights Polo Grounds until the end of the 1957 season, when they moved to San Francisco.

1904–07
1908–16, 1919–22, 1928–29
1923–27, 1930–31, 1947–54
1954–57. This version was later adopted by the New York Mets.

The Giants were a powerhouse in the late 1880s, winning their first two National League Pennants and World Championships in 1888 and 1889. But nearly all of the Giants' stars jumped to the upstart Players' League, whose New York franchise was also named the Giants, in 1890. The new team even built a stadium next door to the Polo Grounds. With a decimated roster, the National League Giants finished a distant sixth. Attendance took a dive, and the financial strain affected Day's tobacco business as well. The Players' League dissolved after the season, and Day sold a minority interest in his NL Giants to the defunct PL Giants' principal backer, Edward Talcott. As a condition of the sale, Day had to fire Mutrie as manager. Although the Giants rebounded to third in 1891, Day was forced to sell a controlling interest to Talcott at the end of the season.

Four years later, Talcott sold the Giants to Andrew Freedman, a real estate developer with ties to the Tammany Hall political machine running New York City. Freedman was one of the most detested owners in baseball history, getting into heated disputes with other owners, writers, and his own players, most famously with star pitcher Amos Rusie, author of the first Giants no-hitter. When Freedman offered Rusie only $2,500 to play in 1896, the disgruntled hurler sat out the entire season. Attendance fell off throughout the league without Rusie, prompting the other owners to chip in $50,000 to get him to return for 1897. Freedman hired former owner Day as manager for part of 1899.

In 1902, after a series of disastrous moves that left the Giants 53½ games behind, Freedman signed John McGraw as player-manager, convincing him to jump in mid-season from the Baltimore Orioles of the fledgling American League and bring with him several of his teammates. McGraw went on to manage the Giants for three decades until 1932, one of the longest and most successful tenures in professional sports. Hiring McGraw was one of Freedman's last significant moves as owner of the Giants, since after the 1902 season he was forced to sell his interest in the club to John T. Brush. McGraw went on to manage the Giants to nine National League pennants and three World Series championships in 1905, 1921, and 1922).

The Giants already had their share of stars in the 1880s and 1890s, such as "Smiling Mickey Welch, Roger Connor, Tim Keefe, Jim O'Rourke, and John Montgomery Ward, the player-lawyer who formed the renegade Players' League in 1890 to protest unfair player contracts. McGraw, in his three decades managing the Giants, cultivated a new crop of baseball heroes with names like Christy Mathewson, "Iron Man" Joe McGinnity, Jim Thorpe, Red Ames, Casey Stengel, Art Nehf, Edd Roush, Rogers Hornsby, Bill Terry, and Mel Ott.

The Giants under McGraw famously snubbed their first modern World Series chance in 1904, refusing the invitation to play the reigning world champion Boston Americans because McGraw considered the new American League as little more than a minor league and disliked its president, Ban Johnson. He also resented his Giants' new intra-city rival New York Highlanders, who lost the pennant to Boston on the last day of the season, and stuck by his refusal to play whoever won the 1904 AL pennant. Of note, McGraw had managed the Highlanders in 1901 and 1902, when they were the Baltimore Orioles.

The ensuing criticism resulted in Brush's taking the lead to formalize the rules and format of the World Series. The Giants won the 1905 World Series over the Philadelphia Athletics, with Christy Mathewson nearly winning the series single-handedly with a still-standing record three complete-game shutouts and 27 consecutive scoreless innings in a single World Series, a feat unlikely ever to be duplicated.

The Giants then had several frustrating years. In 1908, they finished in a tie with the Chicago Cubs due to a late-season tie game with the Cubs resulting from the Fred Merkle baserunning "boner". NL president Harry Pulliam ordered the game replayed if the teams otherwise ended the season in a tie, and after disgruntled Giants fans had set fire to the Polo Grounds stands the morning of the game, the Giants lost to the Cubs, who went on to win the World Series. That game was further darkened by a story that someone on the Giants had attempted to bribe umpire Bill Klem. This could have been a disastrous scandal for baseball, but because Klem was honest and the Giants lost the duel between Christy Mathewson and Mordecai "Three-Fingered" Brown 4–2, it faded over time.

The Giants experienced a mixture of success and hard luck in the early 1910s, losing three straight World Series in 1911–13. Two seasons later, both the Giants, decimated by the short-lived Federal League signings of many of their stars, finished in last place. After losing the 1917 World Series to the Chicago White Sox, the Giants played in four straight World Series in the early 1920s, winning the first two over their Polo Grounds tenants, the New York Yankees, who won the first two of their many pennants and were led by young slugger Babe Ruth, then losing to the Yankees in 1923 after Yankee Stadium had opened that May. They also lost in 1924, to the Washington Senators.

1930–57: Five pennants in 28 seasons[edit]

McGraw handed over the team to Bill Terry after the 1932 season, and Terry played for and managed the Giants for ten years, winning three pennants, defeating the Washington Senators in the 1933 World Series but swept by the Yankees in consecutive fall classics in 1936 and 1937. Aside from Terry himself, the other stars of the era were slugger Mel Ott and pitcher Carl Hubbell. Known as "King Carl" and "The Meal Ticket", Hubbell gained fame in the first two innings of the 1934 All-Star Game, by striking out five future AL Hall of Famers in a row: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin.

Ott succeeded Terry as manager in 1942, but the war years proved to be difficult for the Giants. Midway during the 1948 season Leo Durocher left as Dodgers manager to manage the Giants, not without controversy. Not only was such a midseason managerial switch unprecedented, but Durocher had been accused of gambling in 1947 and subsequently suspended for that whole season by Commissioner Happy Chandler. Durocher's ensuing eight full seasons managing the Giants proved some of the most memorable for their fans, particularly because of the arrival of five-tool superstar Willie Mays, their two pennants in 1951 and 1954, their unexpected sweep of the 111–43 Cleveland Indians in the 1954 World Series, and arguably the two most famous plays in Giants history.

1951: The "Shot Heard 'Round the World"[edit]

The "Shot Heard 'Round the World", or Bobby Thomson's come-from-behind ninth-inning walk-off home run that won the National League pennant for the Giants over their bitter rivals, the Brooklyn Dodgers, in the deciding game of a three-game tiebreaker series ending one of baseball's most memorable pennant races. The Giants had been 13 1/2 games behind the league-leading Dodgers in August, but under Durocher's guidance and with a 16-game winning streak, caught the Dodgers to tie for the lead on the next-to-last day of the season.

Mays' catch and the 1954 Series[edit]

In Game 1 of the 1954 World Series at the Polo Grounds against the Cleveland Indians, Willie Mays made "The Catch", a dramatic over-the-shoulder catch of a fly ball by Vic Wertz after sprinting with his back to the plate on a dead run to deepest center field. At the time the game was tied 2–2 in the eighth inning with runners on first and second and nobody out. Mays caught the ball 450 ft (140 m) from the plate, spun around and threw the ball to the infield keeping the lead runner, Larry Doby, from scoring. Although Doby took third after the catch, he was stranded there and the Giants won 5–2 on Dusty Rhodes' tenth-inning pinch-hit walk-off home run.

The underdog Giants went on to sweep the series despite the Indians' 111–43 regular season. The 1954 World Series title was their last appearance in the World Series as the New York Giants, with the team moving to San Francisco to start the 1958 season.

New York Giants of the 1950s[edit]

In addition to Bobby Thomson and Willie Mays, other memorable New York Giants of the 1950s include Hall of Fame manager Leo Durocher, coach Herman Franks, Hall of Fame outfielder Monte Irvin, outfielder and runner-up for the 1954 NL batting championship (won by Willie Mays) Don Mueller, Hall of Fame knuckleball relief pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm, starting pitchers Larry Jansen, Sal Maglie, Jim Hearn, Marv Grissom, Dave Koslo, Don Liddle, Max Lanier, Rubén Gómez, Al Worthington, and Johnny Antonelli, catcher Wes Westrum, catchers Ray Katt and Sal Yvars, shortstop Alvin Dark, third baseman Hank Thompson, first baseman Whitey Lockman, second basemen Davey Williams and Eddie Stanky, outfielder-pitcher Clint Hartung and utility men Johnny Mize, Bill Rigney, Daryl Spencer, Bobby Hofman, Joey Amalfitano, Tookie Gilbert, and 1954 Series hero Dusty Rhodes, among others. In the late 1950s and after the move to San Francisco two Hall of Fame first basemen, Orlando Cepeda and Willie McCovey, joined the team.

1957: Move to California[edit]

The Giants' final three years in New York City were unmemorable. They reached third place the year after the World Series win in 1954 after which attendance fell off precipitously. While seeking a new stadium to replace the crumbling Polo Grounds the owners began to contemplate a move from New York, initially considering Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota, which was home to their top farm team, the Minneapolis Millers. Under the rules of the time the Giants' ownership of the Millers gave them priority rights to a major league team in the area. The Washington Senators wound up there as the Minnesota Twins in 1961.

At that time, the Giants were approached by San Francisco mayor George Christopher. Despite objections from shareholders such as Joan Whitney Payson, majority owner Horace Stoneham entered into negotiations with San Francisco officials around the same time the Dodgers' owner Walter O'Malley was courting the city of Los Angeles. O'Malley had been told by the other National League team owners that the Dodgers could not move to Los Angeles unless a second team moved to California, out of concern regarding travel costs.[13] He pushed Stoneham toward relocation, and so in the summer of 1957 both the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers announced their moves to California, ending the three-team golden age of baseball in New York City.

New York remained a one-team town with the New York Yankees until 1962, when Payson founded the New York Mets and brought National League baseball back to the city. Owners Payson and M. Donald Grant, who became the Mets' chairman, had been the only Giants board members to vote against the Giants' move to California. The "NY" script on the Giants' caps and the orange trim on their uniforms, along with the blue background used by the Dodgers, was adopted by the Mets, honoring their New York National League forebears with a blend of Giants orange and Dodgers blue.[14]

1958–2009: San Francisco Giants—decades of struggle[edit]

As with the New York years, the Giants' fortune in San Francisco has been mixed. Though recently the club has enjoyed sustained success there have also been prolonged stretches of mediocrity along with two instances when the club's ownership threatened to move the team away from San Francisco.

1958–61: Seals Stadium and Candlestick Park[edit]

When the Giants moved to San Francisco, they played in Seals Stadium for their first two seasons. The stadium had been the home of the Pacific Coast League San Francisco Seals in their last years the AAA minor league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, 1931–1957. In 1958, first baseman Orlando Cepeda won Rookie of the Year honors. In 1959, Willie McCovey won the same award.

In 1960, the Giants moved to Candlestick Park, a stadium built on Candlestick Point in San Francisco's southeast corner overlooking San Francisco Bay. The new stadium quickly became known for its strong, swirling winds, cold temperatures and thick evening fog that made for a formidable experience for brave fans and players, as well as its built-in radiant heating system which did not work. Candlestick's reputation was sealed in the ninth inning of the first 1961 All-Star Game when the winds picked up and a strong gust caused Giants relief pitcher Stu Miller to slip off the pitching rubber during his delivery, resulting in a balk, and a baseball legend that Miller was "blown off the mound."

1962 World Series[edit]

In 1962 after another memorable pennant chase with the Dodgers which resulted in a second three-game tiebreaker between the two teams. The Giants again won by coming from behind with four runs in the ninth inning of Game 3. The Giants brought a World Series to San Francisco, but lost 4–3 to the New York Yankees. Game 7 went to the bottom of the ninth inning, with the Yankees ahead 1–0. With Matty Alou on first base and two out, Willie Mays sliced a double down the right field line. Right fielder Roger Maris quickly got to the ball and rifled a throw to the infield preventing Alou from scoring the tying run and keeping him at third base. With Mays on second, well known for his speed, any base hit by the next batter, Willie McCovey would likely have won the series for the Giants. McCovey hit a line drive right at second baseman Bobby Richardson who caught it after taking one step, ending the game and Series.

1963–84[edit]

Giants pitcher Ron Herbel in a 1963 issue of Baseball Digest.

Although the Giants did not play in another World Series until 1989, the teams of the 1960s continued to be pennant contenders thanks to several future Hall-of-Famers. These included Gaylord Perry, who pitched a no-hitter with the Giants in 1968; Juan Marichal, a pitcher with a memorable high-kicking delivery; McCovey, who won the National League MVP award in 1969, and Mays, who hit his 600th career home run in 1969. A Giants highlight came in 1963 when Jesús Alou joined the team, and along with Felipe and Matty, for one late inning of one game, formed the first all-brother outfield in major league history. In 1967, pitcher Mike McCormick became the first Giants Cy Young Award winner.

The Giants' next appearance in the postseason came in 1971. After winning their division, they were defeated in the League Championship Series by the Pittsburgh Pirates and Roberto Clemente.

During this decade, the Giants gave up many players who became successful elsewhere, including Garry Maddox, George Foster, Dave Kingman and Gaylord Perry. Two Giants became Rookies of the Year – outfielder Gary Matthews Sr. in 1973 and pitcher John Montefusco in 1975.

In 1976, in an eleventh-hour deal,[15] Bob Lurie bought the team, saving it from being moved to Toronto.[16] Toronto was awarded an expansion team, the Blue Jays which began play the next year, but San Francisco baseball fans' worries about losing their beloved Giants had not completely gone away

The rest of the 1970s was generally disappointing for the Giants, as they finished no higher than third place in any season. In 1978, thanks to young star slugger Jack Clark, veteran first baseman Willie McCovey, second baseman Bill Madlock who was acquired from the Chicago Cubs, shortstops Johnnie LeMaster and Roger Metzger, and third baseman Darrell Evans. Veteran pitchers Vida Blue, John Montefusco, Ed Halicki and Bob Knepper rounded out the starting rotation with Blue leading the way with 18 wins. The most memorable moment of that season occurred on May 28, 1978. With the Giants trailing 3–1 in the sixth inning, pinch hitter Mike Ivie hit a grand slam off of Dodgers ace Don Sutton before Candlestick Park's highest paid attendance of 58,545. They led the National League West for most of the season until the Los Angeles Dodgers got hot late to win the division.

In 1981, the Giants became the first National League team to hire a black manager, Frank Robinson, although he lasted less than four years and was generally unsuccessful. The Giants finished a game over .500 in the strike-shortened 1981 season. The next season, the Giants acquired veterans Joe Morgan and Reggie Smith, got hot late and ended up in a three-team pennant race with the Dodgers and Braves. The day after the Dodgers eliminated them, Morgan hit a homer against the Dodgers on the last day of the season, giving the NL West to Atlanta.

1985–89[edit]

The 1987 Giants, pictured above at Candlestick, led the club to its first postseason appearance since 1971.

In 1985, owner Bob Lurie threatened to move the team out of the city of San Francisco to another location in the San Francisco Bay Area. Locations under consideration were Redwood City, San Jose, and Milpitas.[17]

The 1985 Giants lost 100 games, the most in franchise history, under unsuccessful rookie manager Jim Davenport, and Lurie responded by hiring Al Rosen as general manager and Roger Craig as field manager. Rosen began in 1986 by bringing up promising rookies such as Will Clark and Robby Thompson and followed up in 1987 with trades for stars like Kevin Mitchell, Dave Dravecky, Candy Maldonado, and Rick Reuschel.

Craig managed the Giants from late 1985 to 1992. In his first five full seasons with the Giants, the team had winning records. The Giants won 83 games in 1986 and won the NL West Division title in 1987, losing the NLCS to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. The one bright spot in that defeat was their slugging outfielder Jeffrey Leonard, who was named the Most Valuable Player for the series in a losing effort. In Leonard's own faltering words, the prize money ($50,000) meant nothing to him, but only the win that eluded him and his team.

1989: Will the "Thrill", World Series and the earthquake[edit]

Although the team used fifteen different starting pitchers in the regular season, the 1989 Giants won the National League pennant. They were led by NL All-Star Game starting pitcher Rick Reuschel, closer and NL ERA leader Scott Garrelts, NL Most Valuable Player Kevin Mitchell, and Will Clark.

The Giants beat the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS, 4–1. In Game 1, first baseman Will Clark hit a grand slam off Greg Maddux in the fourth inning after reading Maddux's lips telling his catcher which pitch he was going to throw. In Game 5, Clark, who was the series MVP for batting .650 with eight RBI, came through in the clutch with a bases-loaded, two-out single off hard-throwing lefty closer Mitch Williams to break a 1–1 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning. With two outs in the top of the 9th inning, Giants closer Steve Bedrosian gave up three straight singles and a run before getting Ryne Sandberg to hit a first-pitch groundout straight to Robby Thompson at second, who threw easily to Clark for the final out, stranding the tying run at second, as longtime Giants radio voice Hank Greenwald proclaimed, "27 years of waiting have come to an end. The Giants have won the pennant!"

The Giants faced their cross-town rivals, the Oakland Athletics in the unforgettable "Bay Bridge Series", best remembered by the October 17, 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake which struck at 5:04 p.m. just before the scheduled Game 3 at Candlestick Park. After a ten-day delay, Oakland finished its sweep of the Giants, winning Games 3 & 4 at San Francisco. The Giants never led in any of the games.

1992: Farewell San Francisco?[edit]

Will Clark preparing to bat for the Giants at Candlestick Park in 1992. That year, the Giants came close to relocation, with an empty stadium ready to be filled in Tampa.
A "Save Our Giants" banner hanging from San Francisco City Hall

In the wake of the disappointing 1989 World Series sweep, a local ballot initiative to fund a new stadium in San Francisco failed, threatening the franchise's future in the city. After the 1992 season, owner Bob Lurie, who had previously saved the franchise from moving to Toronto in 1976, put the team up for sale. A group of investors from St. Petersburg led by Vince Naimoli reached an agreement to purchase the team and move them to the Tampa Bay area, but the National League owners voted against the acquisition.[18] San Francisco mayor Frank Jordan made it a top priority to retain the team, and recruited local real estate billionaire Walter Shorenstein to help organize a local team of investors.[19] Wally Haas, the owner of the Oakland Athletics at the time, agreed to grant the Giants exclusive rights to the South Bay so the Giants could explore all potential local sites for a new stadium and at least help to keep the team in the Bay Area. The team was instead sold in another last-minute deal[20] to an ownership group including managing general partner Peter Magowan, former CEO of supermarket chain Safeway, and Harmon and Sue Burns.

In addition to the anticipated move to downtown San Francisco, the Giants' ownership also made a major personnel move to solidify fan support. Before even hiring a new general manager or officially being approved as the new managing general partner, Magowan signed star free agent Barry Bonds away from the Pittsburgh Pirates, a move which was initially blocked by Major League Baseball until terms were negotiated to protect Lurie and Bonds in case the sale failed.[21]

1993: "The last pure pennant race"[edit]

The Barry Bonds era began auspiciously as Bonds put up the numbers for the third MVP of his career: 46 home runs, 129 runs, 123 RBI, .336 batting average, .458 on-base percentage, .677 slugging percentage. All exceeded his numbers from previous years with Pittsburgh.[22] Matt Williams excelled as well (38 home runs, 110 RBI, .294 batting average), with veterans Robby Thompson and Will Clark, the latter in his last season with the Giants, providing additional offensive support. John Burkett and Bill Swift won more than 20 games apiece, and closer Rod Beck was dominant with 48 saves and a 2.16 ERA.[23] All this led the Giants to a 103–59 record in Dusty Baker's first year as manager, which earned him the Manager of the Year award. But despite the Giants' great record, the Atlanta Braves — fueled by solid seasons from David Justice, Ron Gant, Deion Sanders and their key midseason acquisition of Fred McGriff — came back from a ten-game deficit to pass the Giants win the NL West by a single game.[24] The Braves also had two 20+-game winners, Tom Glavine and Cy Young Award-winning Greg Maddux.

Desperately needing a win against the Dodgers in the final game of the year to force a tiebreaker game with the Braves, the controversial choice of rookie pitcher Salomón Torres proved disastrous for the Giants as he gave up three runs in the first four innings of a 12–1 loss. The only other rested Giants starter, Scott Sanderson, was not chosen because he was considered a fly-ball pitcher and the Dodgers were a fly-ball-hitting team. After the major leagues' establishment of the three-division playoff format with a fourth wild card entry after the 1993 season, New York Times sports columnist Dave Anderson captured the feeling of many baseball purists regarding the thrilling – and for Giants fans, heartbreaking – winner-take-all outcome of the last two-division NL West when he characterized the 1993 National League regular season as "the last pure pennant race."

1994–2007: The Barry Bonds era[edit]

The 1994 to 1996 seasons were not good for the Giants. The strike denied Matt Williams a chance to beat Roger Maris's single season home run record: He had 43 home runs in the Giants' first 115 games, and was thus on pace for 60, one short of Maris' record, when the strike hit with 47 games left to play. But the rest of the team wasn't as good as their two sluggers, with no other player having even 10 home runs or even 40 RBI that late into the season although they were still in contention, not far from the division lead, when the strike ended play in mid-August.[25] When Commissioner Bud Selig refused to budge in negotiations with the owners, a radio sports talk-show host quipped, "Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo couldn't cancel the World Series [in World War II], but Selig did!"[citation needed]

The Giants finished in last place in both 1995 and 1996. [[Barry Bonds continued as the Giants' driving Matt Williams and Glenallen Hill were the only other Giants with at least 20 home runs, and the rest of the team had mediocre offensive numbers. [26]

1996 was highlighted by Bonds' joining the 40–40 club as only the second member with 42 home runs and 40 stolen bases, along with 129 runs batted in, 151 walks, and a .308 batting average. Rookie Bill Mueller also provided hope for the future of the club with a .330 average, with 66 hits in 200 at bats over 55 games. The pitching was scarcely better than in 1995. Only Mark Gardner had more than 10 wins, going 12–7 with a 4.42 earned run average, and Rod Beck had 35 saves and a 3.34 ERA but nine losses and the rest of the bullpen was woeful.[27] The low point came in late June when the Giants lost 10 straight games en route to a 68–94 record.

After three consecutive losing seasons, the Giants named Brian Sabean as their new general manager for 1997, replacing Bob Quinn. Sabean's His tenure began with controversy. In his first official trade, he shocked Giants fans by trading Matt Williams to the Cleveland Indians for what newspapers referred to as a 'bunch of spare parts', with a negative reaction great enough for him to explain publicly, "I didn't get to this point by being an idiot... I'm sitting here telling you there is a plan."

Sabean was proven right: The Giants return for Williams — second baseman Jeff Kent, shortstop José Vizcaíno, relief pitchers Julián Tavárez and Joe Roa, and $1 million in cash that enabled them to sign center fielder Darryl Hamilton — and a subsequent trade with the Anaheim Angels for first baseman J.T. Snow – turned out to be major contributors, leading the Giants to the National League West title in 1997. Snow, Kent, and Bonds each had over 100 runs batted in, and pitcher Shawn Estes' 19–5 record led the team. Rod Beck added 37 saves.[28] The Giants' playoff run proved to be short, as they were swept by the Florida Marlins in the first round of the playoffs.

In 1998, the Giants were led by good seasons from sluggers Kent and Bonds, both with 30+ HR and 100+ RBI, and starting pitchers Rueter, Gardner, and newly acquired Orel Hershiser.[29] New closer Robb Nen had 40 saves. A strong September allowed them to tie the [1998 Chicago Cubs season|Chicago Cubs]] after 162 games, but the Giants lost the tied them for the NL wild card, but they lost the tie-breaker game to the Cubs.

In 2000, after 40 years, the Giants left Candlestick Park and moved into a privately financed downtown stadium (Oracle Park, originally Pacific or "Pac" Bell Park, and later known as SBC Park and AT&T Park) on that part of the shoreline of China Basin known as McCovey Cove, at the corner of 3rd and King Streets (with an official address of 24 Willie Mays Plaza in honor of the longtime Giants superstar).

The 2000 Giants not only won the NL West Division title but the best record in MLB. Kent paced the attack with clutch hits (33 HR, 125 RBI) en route to being elected MVP over runner-up Bonds with 49 HR and 106 RBI. The pitching staff included five starters earning at least 10 wins, led by 17 from Livan Hernandez. Closer Robb Nen was nearly perfect, with 41 saves and a 1.50 ERA.[30] However, the Giants lost the NLDS division series to the New York Mets, 3–1. In 2001, the Giants were eliminated from playoff contention late in the season. Slugging shortstop Rich Aurilia put up stellar numbers (37 HR, 97 RBI, .324 BA) in support of Bonds, who once again gave fans something to cheer about with his single-season record 73 home runs, surpassing Mark McGwire's 70 in 1998.

In 2002, the Giants finished second in the NL West behind the Arizona Diamondbacks, bolstered by another MVP season for Bonds (46 HR, 110 RBI, .370 BA, a then-record 198 walks and a .582 OBP) and Kent (37 HR, 108 RBI and .313 BA).[31] Additional roster support was provided by decent seasons from catcher Benito Santiago and Aurilia, aided by new acquisitions third baseman David Bell, outfielder Reggie Sanders and outfielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo, (generally known by last name only), who spent only one season with the Giants before returning to Japan. The pitching staff again proved solid, with five starters winning 12 or more including Jason Schmidt in his first full season in San Francisco. Closer Robb Nen had 43 saves and a 2.20 ERA, and Felix Rodríguez and Tim Worrell were solid out of the bullpen.

The Giants made the playoffs as the NL wild card in the last weekend of the season. They began by defeating the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS 3–2, with Ortíz winning Games 1 and 5 in Atlanta. Snow ended the deciding game by starting a double play with the tying runs on base in the bottom of the 9th.[32] In the NLCS, they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 4–1. Santiago, particularly for his late game-winning home run in Game 4, was elected MVP of the NLCS.

The Giants then faced the American League champion Anaheim Angels in the World Series. The Giants split the first two games in Anaheim, were beaten 10–4 by the visiting Angels in Game 3, then won Games 4 & 5 in Pac Bell Park, 4–3 and 16–4. The Series shifted back to Anaheim for Game 6. With the Giants leading the Series 3–2 and leading 5–0 with one out in the bottom of the 7th inning, manager Dusty Baker removed starter Russ Ortíz after he gave up two straight singles and handed him what Baker hoped would be the "game ball" as he walked off the mound. Moments later, after fouling off numerous fastballs, the Angels' Scott Spiezio hit a three-run home run off reliever Félix Rodríguez. The Giants' closer Robb Nen, pitching with an injured right shoulder, gave up an eighth-inning two-run double to Troy Glaus, who was the Most Valuable Player for the series, and the Angels won the game 6–5 and captured the momentum in the Series. The following night, Anaheim won 4–1 to claim the Series.

After 2002, the Giants went through many personnel changes. Baker's managerial contract was not renewed after ten seasons. Nen's damaged shoulder ended his career, forcing him into early retirement; and Kent, moving on to the Houston Astros, was not re-signed. He had aroused front-office ire earlier in the season with an off-field injury when he fell off the roof of his vehicle while shining it, and by getting into a public scrap with Bonds in the dugout in the middle of a game. Position players David Bell, Reggie Sanders, Tsuyoshi Shinjo and Kenny Lofton, as well as pitchers Liván Hernández, Russ Ortiz, and Aaron Fultz, all went to other teams in 2003 as well.

In 2003, the Giants, under new manager Felipe Alou, won 100 games for the seventh time in franchise history, winning their division for the third time in seven seasons and spending every day of the season in first place, the ninth team to accomplish that feat in baseball history. Their offense was paced by yet another MVP season from Bonds (45 HR, 90 RBI, .341 BA, 148 BB and an OBP of .529). The pitching staff was led by Jason Schmidt (17–5, 2.34 ERA) and Kirk Rueter (10–5, 4.53), but dropped off after that, no other starter earning ten wins.[33]

Once again in the playoffs, the Giants faced the eventual-world-champion Florida Marlins in the NLDS. Schmidt won Game 1 in San Francisco with a low-scoring complete game outdueling Josh Beckett; but the Marlins won the next three games, and the series three games to one, as the Giants bullpen faltered after Game 2 starter Sidney Ponson imploded, blowing a big early Giants lead. As usually reliable outfielder Fred Snodgrass blew the deciding game of the 1912 World Series on the road with the Giants one run ahead going into the last of the tenth with a notorious "muff" of a fly ball by the leadoff hitter ending with the home team Boston Red Sox scoring two runs for a come-from-behind walk-off win, exactly the same scenario happened in the last of the tenth in Florida in Game 3 of the 2003 NLDS with a muff of another easy leadoff fly ball by otherwise slick-fielding José Cruz, Jr, ending with Iván Rodríguez's two-out, two-run, come-from-behind bases-loaded walk-off win for the Marlins off closer Tim Worrell.[34]

In 2004, Bonds broke his own records with 232 walks and a .609 OBP en route to his 7th and last NL MVP award.[35] After sitting out most of the first half of the season with an injury, Snow led the league in hitting after the All-Star Break. The Giants' 2005 season was the least successful of the decade. Bonds missed almost the entire season with a knee injury, closer Armando Benítez was injured for four months, and ace Jason Schmidt struggled after numerous injuries. On July 14, 2005, the franchise won its 10,000th game, defeating the rival Dodgers, 4–3. The Giants became the first professional sports franchise to have a five-figure win total. However, the Giants finished 75–87, their first losing, season since 1996. Despite the disappointing finish, the Giants extended Alou's contract for another year.

The Giants were expected to contend in 2006 with a strong roster. Despite a losing streak in May, and the worst batting performance by Bonds in about 15 years[22] the Giants did contend in the less-than-stellar NL West and by July 23 were in first place. A 3–16 stretch ensued, with nine one-run losses, and combined with a season-ending eight losses in nine games, the team finished in third place with a 76–85 record.[36] After the season, the Giants announced that they would not renew manager Felipe Alou's contract but still offer him the opportunity to stay with them in an advisory role to the general manager and to baseball operations.

With eleven free agents (excluding Jason Schmidt) who signed with the Dodgers for roughly $15 million a year, a new manager on board (Bruce Bochy, division rival San Diego manager since the mid-1990s who left the Padres to manage the Giants), and the loss of veteran catcher Mike Matheny due to complications (cumulative trauma) resulting from concussions sustained during his career,[37] the Giants' prospects for the 2007 season were less than favorable as 2006 came to an end. They then made several deals, re-signing infielders Pedro Feliz, Ray Durham and longtime fan favorite Rich Aurilia, and picking up catcher Bengie Molina, slugger Ryan Klesko and outfielder Dave Roberts. They also signed free-agent pitcher Barry Zito to a lucrative seven-year contract worth $126 million with an $18 million option for an eighth year, the richest pitcher's contract in baseball history at the time. On January 9, 2007, they re-signed pitcher Russ Ortiz to compete for the fifth starting position in spring training, which he won by late March due to his outstanding spring.

The 2007 team during spring training

They got off to a slow start in the regular season, with spurts of promise but more often stretches of mediocre play at best. Pitching was often inconsistent or the offense nonexistent (such as in a pair of 1–0 losses for young star starter Matt Cain, for whom lack of run support was a frequent problem).

The 2007 season was highlighted by Bonds breaking Hank Aaron's record for career home runs. Leading off the top of the second before a sellout crowd in San Diego Padres on August 4, Bonds hit a high fastball off the facing of the upper deck in left field for a home run to tie Aaron at 755 home runs. In the bottom of the fifth at home against the Washington Nationals on August 7, Bonds hit number 756 into the center field bleachers, causing a melee in the crowd scrambling for the ball, which later earned six figures at auction for the young man who came up with it. Aaron, appearing on the big screen, congratulated him personally.

The 2007 season continued discouraging for the Giants, with solid pitching but often without run support. Rookie starter Tim Lincecum, for instance, held the Chicago Cubs to two hits through eight innings on August 21, but the team scored only one run in a 5–1 loss.

On September 22, 2007, the Giants officially announced they would not re-sign Bonds for the 2008 season. After much speculation and debate, owner Peter Magowan announced Bonds' departure at a press conference, stressing the need for youth and offense throughout the lineup.[38] Bonds played the last game of his career on September 26, 2007.

2008–09 Rebuilding[edit]

Tim Lincecum 2008 Cy Young Award Winner.

2008 marked the Giants' first without Barry Bonds since 1992. Their first big move was to sign former Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Aaron Rowand to a 5-year. Barry Zito, in his second year as a Giant, once again got off to a poor start, losing his first eight decisions; but the team found hope with Tim Lincecum in his first full season. After going 7–5 as a rookie in 2007, he won four straight before his first loss on April 29. Lincecum was selected to the 2008 MLB All-Star Game, but could not pitch due to injury. He soon recovered, however, and even went on to win the 2008 NL Cy Young Award, finishing at 18–5 and becoming the first Giant to win the award since Mike McCormick in 1967.[39] The Giants finished the season in fourth place in the NL West with a record of 72–90.

During the 2008–09 off-season, the Giants strengthened their pitching staff with veteran starting pitcher Randy Johnson and relievers Bob Howry and Jeremy Affeldt. They also signed infielders Édgar Rentería and Juan Uribe. Bill Neukom also became the new managing partner. Despite lingering questions about their struggling offense, they were 49–39 by the All-Star Break, good enough for second place in the NL West.

In addition to the Giants' overall performance as a team, the first half of 2009 was memorable for several individuals: Johnson became the 24th major league pitcher to win 300 games, and young starter Jonathan Sánchez tossed a nearly perfect no-hitter on July 10 (the only baserunner reached on Juan Uribe's late infield error, the first Giants no-hitter since 1976. Incredibly, Sánchez accomplished his feat spot-starting in place of injured Randy Johnson and returning to the rotation after a brief demotion to the bullpen, striking out a career-high eleven hitters to boot. It was his first major league complete game and shutout, on only 110 pitches for an 8–0 Giants romp, and the first no-hitter ever thrown at AT&T Park. In fact, 2009's starting rotation was one of the strongest in Giants history, two of whom went to the All-Star Game including successfully defending Cy Young champ Tim Lincecum, who started the game. He won his second straight NL Cy Young Award even though he won only 15 games in 2009, finishing at 15–7, becoming the only pitcher to capture the Cy Young Award in each of his first two full major league seasons.[40]

On July 20, the Giants traded one of their top prospects, AA pitcher Tim Alderson, for Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Freddy Sánchez. Alderson was the first round pick in the 2007 draft and was ranked prospect number four in the Giants' organization by Baseball America,[41] but Sánchez provided a much needed jump for their offense, batting .293 with 41 RBI and 22 walks for the season. On September 11, the Giants added another key player when they brought up their first-round draft pick, catcher Buster Posey, from AAA. Although the 2009 Giants finished only 14 games above .500, they won 16 more games than in 2008. With the emergence of star slugger Pablo Sandoval to provide solid offensive support for their dominant pitching staff, they looked forward to making the playoffs next year for the first time since 2003.[42]

2010–2016: A golden era[edit]

Pat Burrell in the Giants' 2010 World Series victory parade.

At the start of the 2010 season, most baseball experts did not expect the Giants to make the playoffs.[43][44][45]

The Giants won the NL West for the first time since 2003, after trailing the San Diego Padres for most of the season. In the NLDS, the Giants defeated the Atlanta Braves 3–1. The Giants followed that up with a 4–2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS.

Behind Tim Lincecum, the Giants wrapped up the 2010 World Series over the Texas Rangers with a 3–1 Game 5 win for their first World Series championship since 1954 and first since moving to San Francisco.[46] Édgar Rentería was named World Series Most Valuable Player.[47][48] Catcher Buster Posey was named NL Rookie of the Year.[49]

On May 25, 2011, Marlins infielder Scott Cousins aggressively slid into the Giants' catcher Buster Posey to score a run, fracturing Posey's ankle and ending his season.[50] The Giants fought on without Posey and through several other injuries to position players, largely on the strength of their pitching staff. Four starters, Tim Lincecum (ERA 2.74), Matt Cain (2.88), Ryan Vogelsong (2.71) and Madison Bumgarner (3.21) and their bullpen kept the Giants in first place until mid-August. San Francisco finished the season with an 86–76 record in second place in the NL West, eight games behind the division-winning Arizona Diamondbacks.[51]

The Giants started the 2012 season playing barely above .500, trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers for most of the first half of the season.. But a 17–10 June record by the Giants (including a home sweep of the Dodgers) while the Dodgers slumped to 11–17 put the Giants as division leaders at the end of the month.[52] On June 13, Matt Cain pitched the first perfect game in the 130-year history of the franchise, against the Houston Astros.[53] The Giants and Dodgers continued to trade places at the top until August 20, at which point another sweep of the Dodgers gave the Giants the lead for good.

Outfielded Melky Cabrera was named the MVP of the All-Star Game, while Cain was the starting and winning pitcher.[54] At the trade deadline, the Giants acquired right fielder Hunter Pence from the Philadelphia Phillies and second baseman Marco Scutaro from the Colorado Rockies. On August 15, Cabrera was suspended for 50 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Despite the loss of Cabrera and the Dodgers making several big trades, the Giants still won the 2012 NL West Division, led by Scútaro's 20-game hit streak in the last twenty games of the regular season and NL MVP-to-be Buster Posey's league-leading .336.[55]

In the NLDS, the Giants became the first NL team to come back from a 2–0 deficit to beat the Cincinnati Reds in three straight games.[56] The St. Louis Cardinals won three out of the first four games in the NLCS. The Giants won the next three games to advance to the 2012 World Series, and Scútaro was chosen MVP of the NLCS with his .500 average.[57] The Giants finished a 4–0 sweep over the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.[58] Pablo Sandoval, who hit home runs in his first three at-bats in Game 1, and had a .500 average in the World Series, was named the World Series MVP.[59][60]

Early in 2013, the Giants were in first place in the NL West. However, in May, the Giants began a slide into last place. They struggled both offensively and defensively due to several injuries throughout the season, most notably Ángel Pagán, who suffered a hamstring injury mid-season and was out for 12 weeks. Buster Posey, who had won the previous year's National League batting title, experienced a significant drop-off, hitting just 15 home runs (and just two in the second half of the season) and slumping to a .294 average. Although the Giants won the season series over every team in their own division, including going 11–8 over the rival Dodgers who won the division, they went only 32–54 outside of their division. This slide lasted until mid-August when the Giants began to play efficiently again (highlighted by a 19–3 win over the rival Dodgers in Los Angeles) and ended the season in third place after a brief resurgence. The Giants finished the 2013 season with a 76–86 record. The Giants' .469 record marked the second worst records ever for a team that had won the World Series the previous year, besting only the 1998 Florida Marlins.[61] One notable highlight was Tim Lincecum throwing his first no-hitter against the San Diego Padres.

The Giants acquired outfielder Michael Morse and starting pitcher Tim Hudson in the offseason. At one point, the Giants had twice as many wins as they had losses, sporting a 42–21 record.[62] However, their 9.5 game lead over the Dodgers dissipated. Lincecum pitched his second no-hitter, also against the Padres. With a won-loss record of 12–9, Lincecum achieved more wins than his previous 2 seasons,[63] though second-half struggles put Lincecum out of the starting rotation.[64]

The Giants finished the season with an 88–74 record.[62] The Giants defeated the Pirates in the 2014 National League Wild Card Game, with Madison Bumgarner pitching a complete game and Brandon Crawford hitting a grand slam off of Pirates starter Edinson Vólquez.[65] The Giants won the NLDS, defeating the Washington Nationals[66] and passing the Cincinnati Reds' Big Red Machine for a new National League record in consecutive postseason victories.[67] The Giants played the Cardinals in the NLCS, winning in five games. Travis Ishikawa hit a game winning walk-off 3 run homer in game 5. Madison Bumgarner was named MVP of the series.[68] The Giants faced the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 World Series, defeating the AL Champions 4–3.[69] Madison Bumgarner was also named the World Series MVP.[70] The championship was the Giants' third in a five-year span, spurring debate over whether the Giants could be considered a modern-day baseball dynasty.[71][72][73]

During the 2015 offseason, the Giants lost two key contributors, Pablo Sandoval and Michael Morse, who signed with the Boston Red Sox and the Miami Marlins respectively. After Sandoval's departure, there was talk of moving Posey to third base.[74] Marco Scutaro, the Giants injury-plagued second baseman, was also released, with Joe Panik taking his position. Over the offseason, Giants traded for Casey McGehee and Nori Aoki to replace Sandoval and Morse respectively, avoided arbitration with Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford, re-signed Sergio Romo and Jake Peavy, re-signed Ryan Vogelsong, and looked forward to the returns of Matt Cain and Ángel Pagán. Despite the team remaining mostly the same, some concerns existed. The rotation was one of the oldest in the major leagues, and except for Madison Bumgarner, no starting pitcher ended with a winning record in 2014. Many believed McGehee and Aoki couldn't make up for the power lost from the departures Sandoval and Morse. However, the Giants remained in high hopes entering 2015, looking to break the odd-year "curse" established in 2011 and 2013.

Indeed, the 2015 season began poorly for the team, and included an eight-game losing streak.[75] However, a home sweep of the archrival Dodgers lifted the Giants' outlook, and an additional sweep of the Los Angeles Angels in the opening days of May, with Lincecum winning the final game of the series, further improved their prospects.[76][77] By mid-May the team welcomed Hunter Pence, who had broken his arm in spring training, back to the lineup, with a fine debut performance in a lopsided win in Cincinnati. The victory gave the Giants a winning record and another boost to their morale.[78] On June 9, 2015, Chris Heston pitched the 17th no-hitter in Giants history against the New York Mets, making 110 pitches, striking out 11 including three called strikeouts in the 9th inning, with the only baserunners being 3 hit batsmen. Heston also had two hits and drove in two runs in the game. The no-hitter was the third by a Giants rookie and the first by a visiting pitcher at Citi Field.[79]

On June 15, the Giants set a record for most consecutive home losses at AT&T Park at nine straight games. This losing streak was the Giants' longest since an 11-game home losing streak at the Polo Grounds in New York in 1940.[80]

Despite injuries to Aoki, Pagan, Pence, Panik, and Leake, the Giants remained deep in the playoff hunt, due to contributions by rookies Chris Heston and Matt Duffy, as well as Posey's MVP-like season. However, with Pence out again with an oblique strain in the middle of a brutal stretch in the schedule, the Giants faced a major uphill battle. They acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd to deal with Pagan and Pence's absences; he made an immediate impact, almost hitting for the cycle in a 6–4 win against the Wild Card-leading Pirates. However, the Giants still finished 84–78 and missed the playoffs.

In 2016, the Giants started off strong, ending their first half at the All-Star break with the best record in MLB at 57–33. However, due to a struggling bullpen in the second half, they just barely qualified for the 2016 postseason in the second NL Wild Card spot. In the process they blew an 8-game lead to the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.[81] The Giants' run at even-year championships ended with a Game 4 loss to the eventual World Series champion Chicago Cubs in the NLDS. In Game 4, the Giants led 5–2 before they were eliminated after allowing four runs to the Cubs in the 9th. They previously held an MLB-record 10-game winning streak when facing elimination in the postseason. Brandon Crawford, Joe Panik and Buster Posey all received Gold Glove awards at the close of the season.[82]

Recent seasons: 2017 to present[edit]

On December 6, 2016, the Giants signed closer Mark Melancon to a four-year contract.[83] On April 2, 2017, Madison Bumgarner became the first pitcher in MLB history to hit two home runs in an Opening Day matchup.[84] Despite the Giants' recent post-season successes and posting the seventh highest payroll in the league in 2017, they finished 64–98 and fifth in the NL west in a season that was rife with injuries to several key players. This, combined with the failure of the front office to address glaring defensive issues in the outfield, as well as the lowest power-hitting performance in the league at a time when home runs are on the rise, resulted in one of the poorest seasons in Giants history.

Before the 2018 season, the Giants acquired Evan Longoria[85] and Andrew McCutchen in trades that saw Denard Span and the organization's top prospect Christian Arroyo sent to the Tampa Bay Rays in return, along with an additional prospect; the Pittsburgh Pirates received Giants prospects Kyle Crick and Bryan Reynolds as compensation for the final year of McCutchen's contract. The team followed these trades by signing free-agent outfielder Austin Jackson to a two-year contract.[86][87][88] The season, despite moves to compete, ended in a 73–89 record for the Giants, 4th in the NL West. On July 8, Jackson was sent to the Texas Rangers along with pitchers Cory Gearrin and Jason Bahr. On August 31, just before the end of the waiver trade deadline, McCutchen was traded to the New York Yankees for minor leaguers Abiatal Avelino and Juan De Paula. Also in late August, Posey underwent season-ending hip surgery, which caused the Giants to struggle to a 5–21 record in September (including a franchise record 11 straight losses).

Rivalries[edit]

The Giants' rivalry with the Los Angeles Dodgers dates back to when the two teams were based in New York, as does their rivalry with the New York Yankees. Their rivalry with the Oakland Athletics dates back to when the Giants were in New York and the A's were in Philadelphia and played each other in the 1905, 1911, & 1913 World Series, and was renewed in 1968 when the Athletics moved from Kansas City and the teams again played each other in the earthquake-interrupted 1989 Bay Bridge World Series. The 2010 NLCS inaugurated a Giants rivalry with the Philadelphia Phillies after confrontations between Jonathan Sánchez and Chase Utley, and between Ramón Ramírez and Shane Victorino. However, with the Philadelphia Phillies dropping off as one of the premier teams of the National League, this rivalry has died down since 2010 and 2011. Another rivalry that has intensified recently is with the St. Louis Cardinals, whom the team has faced 4 times in the NLCS.

The rivalry between the New York Giants and Chicago Cubs in the early 20th century was once regarded as one of the most heated in baseball,[89] with Merkle's Boner leading to a 1908 season-ending matchup in New York of particular note. That historical rivalry was revisited when the Giants beat the Cubs in the 1989 NL playoffs, in their one-game playoff in Chicago at the end of the 1998 season, and on June 6, 2012 in a "Turn Back The Century" game in which both teams wore replica 1912 uniforms.[90]

Los Angeles Dodgers[edit]

The Giants-Dodgers rivalry is one of the greatest and longest-standing rivalries in team sports, and has been regarded as the most intense in American baseball.[7][8]

The Giants-Dodgers feud began in the late 19th century when both clubs were based in New York City, with the Dodgers based in Brooklyn and the Giants playing at the Polo Grounds in upper Manhattan. After the 1957 season, Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley decided to move the team to Los Angeles primarily for financial reasons.[91] Along the way, he managed to convince Giants owner Horace Stoneham (who was considering moving his team to Minnesota) to preserve the rivalry by taking his team to San Francisco as well.[91] New York baseball fans were stunned and heartbroken by the move.[91][92] Given that the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco have long been competitors in economic, cultural and political arenas, their new California venues became fertile ground for transplantation of the ancient rivalry.

Both teams' having endured for over a century while leaping across an entire continent, as well as the rivalry's growth from cross-city to cross-state, have led to its being considered one of the greatest in sports history.[93][94][95]

The Giants-Dodgers rivalry has been marked by the Giants' slightly better success. While the Giants have more total wins, head-to-head wins, National League pennants and World Series titles in their franchise histories, the Dodgers have won the National League West 5 more times than the Giants since the start of division play in 1969. Both teams have made the postseason as a National League wild card twice. The Giants won their first world championship in California in 2010, while the Dodgers won their last world title in 1988. As of the end of the 2014 baseball season, the Los Angeles Dodgers lead the San Francisco Giants in California World Series triumphs, 5–3, whereas in 20th century New York, the Giants led the Dodgers in World Series championships, 5–1. The combined franchise histories give the Giants an 8–6 edge in MLB championships, overall.

Oakland Athletics[edit]

A geographic rivalry with the cross-Bay American League Athletics greatly increased with the 1989 World Series, nicknamed the "Battle of the Bay", which Oakland swept (and which was interrupted by the Loma Prieta earthquake moments before the scheduled start of Game 3 in San Francisco). In addition, the introduction of interleague play in 1997 has pitted the two teams against each other for usually six games every season since 1997, three in each city (but only four in 2013, two in each city). Before 1997, they played each other only in Cactus League spring training. Their interleague play wins and losses (53–50 in favor of the A's after a Giants sweep of an interleague series from July 24–26, 2015) have been fairly evenly divided despite differences in league, style of play, stadium, payroll, fan base stereotypes, media coverage and World Series records, all of which have heightened the rivalry in recent years.[96] The intensity of the rivalry and how it is understood varies among Bay Area fans. A's fans generally view the Giants as a hated rival, while Giants fans generally view the A's as a friendly rival much lower on the scale. This is most likely due to the A's lack of a historical rival, while the Giants have their heated rivalry with the Dodgers. Some Bay Area fans are fans of both teams. The "split hats" that feature the logos of both teams best embodies the shared fan base. Other Bay Area fans view the competition between the two teams as a "friendly rivalry", with little actual hatred compared to similar ones such as the Subway Series (New York Mets vs. New York Yankees), the Red Line Series (Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox) and the Freeway Series (Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim).

The Giants and A's enjoyed a limited rivalry at the start of the 20th century before the Yankees began to dominate after the acquisition of Babe Ruth in 1920, when the Giants were in New York and the A's were in Philadelphia. The teams were managed by legendary leaders John McGraw and Connie Mack, who were considered not only friendly rivals but the premier managers during that era, especially in view of their longevity (Mack for 50 years, McGraw for 30) since both were majority owners. Each team played in five of the first 15 World Series (tying them with the Red Sox and Cubs for most World Series appearances during that time period). As the New York Giants and the Philadelphia A's, they met in three World Series, with the Giants winning in 1905 and the A's in 1911 & 1913. After becoming the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A's, they met in a fourth Series in 1989 resulting in the A's last world championship (as of 2017).

Historical rivalry[edit]

New York Yankees[edit]

Though in different leagues, the Giants have also been historical rivals of the Yankees,[97][98][99] starting in New York before the Giants moved to the West Coast. Before the institution of interleague play in 1997, the two teams had little opportunity to play each other except in seven World Series: 1921, 1922, 1923, 1936, 1937, 1951 and 1962, the Yankees winning last five of the seven Series. The teams have met four times in regular season interleague play as of the end of the 2016 season: in 2002 at old Yankee Stadium, in 2007 at AT&T Park, in 2013 at new Yankee Stadium, and in 2016 also at new Yankee Stadium. The teams' next meeting will come as a regular season three-game weekend series at AT&T—the first meeting in San Francisco in 11 years—on April 26–28.

In game two of the teams' September 2013 meeting, Alex Rodriguez hit a Grand Slam, breaking Lou Gehrig's grand slam record.

In his July 4, 1939 farewell speech ending with the renowned "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth", Yankee slugger Lou Gehrig, who played in 2,130 consecutive games, declared that the Giants were a team he "would give his right arm to beat, and vice versa."[100]

Baseball Hall of Famers[edit]

As of 2012, the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame has inducted 66 representatives of the Giants (55 players and 11 managers) into the Hall of Fame, more than any other team in the history of baseball.

San Francisco Giants Hall of Famers
Affiliation according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
New York Gothams/Giants

Dave Bancroft
Jake Beckley
Roger Bresnahan
Dan Brouthers
Jesse Burkett
Roger Connor
George Davis
Leo Durocher

Buck Ewing‡1
Frankie Frisch
Burleigh Grimes
Gabby Hartnett
Rogers Hornsby1
Waite Hoyt
Carl Hubbell
Monte Irvin
Travis Jackson

Tim Keefe
Willie Keeler
George Kelly
King Kelly
Tony Lazzeri
Freddie Lindstrom
Ernie Lombardi
Rube Marquard
Christy Mathewson

Joe McGinnity
John McGraw 2
Joe Medwick
Johnny Mize
Hank O'Day†3
Jim O'Rourke
Mel Ott‡1
Edd Roush
Amos Rusie

Ray Schalk
Red Schoendienst
Bill Terry 1
John Montgomery Ward†1
Mickey Welch
Hoyt Wilhelm
Hack Wilson
Ross Youngs

San Francisco Giants

Steve Carlton
Gary Carter

Orlando Cepeda
Rich Gossage
Randy Johnson

Juan Marichal
Willie Mays

Willie McCovey
Joe Morgan
Gaylord Perry

Frank Robinson
Duke Snider
Warren Spahn

  • Players and managers listed in bold are depicted on their Hall of Fame plaques wearing a Giants or Gothams cap insignia.
  • – depicted on Hall of Fame plaque without a cap or cap insignia due to not wearing a cap or playing when caps had no insignia
  • – depicted without a cap or cap insignia, but Hall of Fame recognizes New York Gothams/Giants as "Primary Team"
  • 1 – inducted as player, also managed Giants or was player-manager
  • 2 – inducted as manager, also played for Giants or was player-manager
  • 3 – inducted as umpire, also played for Giants or was player-manager

Ford C. Frick Award recipients[edit]

San Francisco Giants Ford C. Frick Award recipients
Affiliation according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Ernie Harwell
Russ Hodges

Tim McCarver
Jon Miller

Lindsey Nelson
Lon Simmons

  • Names in bold received the award based primarily on their work as broadcasters for the Giants.
  • * Played as Giants

Other[edit]

The following inducted members of the Hall of Fame played or managed for the Giants, but either played for the Giants and were inducted as a manager having never managed the Giants, or managed the Giants and were inducted as a player having never played for the Giants:

  • Cap Anson – inducted as player, managed Giants in 1898.
  • Hughie Jennings – inducted as player, managed Giants from 1924 to 1925.
  • Bill McKechnie – inducted as manager, played for Giants in 1916.
  • Frank Robinson – inducted as player, managed Giants from 1981 to 1984.
  • Casey Stengel – inducted as manager, played for Giants from 1921 to 1923.

Broadcasters Russ Hodges, Lon Simmons, and Jon Miller are permanently honored in the Hall's "Scribes & Mikemen" exhibit as a result of winning the Ford C. Frick Award in 1980, 2004, and 2010 respectively. As with all Frick Award winners, none are officially recognized as an inducted member of the Hall of Fame.

Giants in the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame[edit]

Giants in the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame
No. Name Position Tenure Notes
Bob Lurie Owner 1976–1993 Born in San Francisco
Peter Magowan Owner/President 1993–2008 Attended Stanford University
1, 18 Bill Rigney IF
Manager
1946–1953
1956–1960, 1976
Born and raised in Alameda
2 Dick Bartell SS 1935–1938
1941–1943, 1946
Grew up in Alameda
4 Ernie Lombardi C 1943–1947 Elected mainly on his performance with Cincinnati Reds, grew up in Oakland
6 Tony Lazzeri 2B 1939 Elected mainly on his performance with New York Yankees, born and raised in San Francisco
8 Joe Morgan 2B 1981–1982 Elected mainly on his performance with Cincinnati Reds, raised in Oakland
9, 10, 60 Matt Williams 3B 1987–1996
12 Dusty Baker OF
Manager
1984
1993–2002
14 Vida Blue P 1978–1981
1985–1986
Elected mainly on his performance with Oakland A's
16 Lefty O'Doul LF 1928
1933–1934
Born in San Francisco
18, 43 Matt Cain P 2005–2017
19, 33 Dave Righetti P
Coach
1991–1993
2000–2017
Born and raised in San Jose
20 Frank Robinson Manager 1981–1984 Elected mainly on his performance with Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles
21 Jeff Kent 2B 1997–2002 Attended UC Berkeley
22 Will Clark 1B 1986–1993
24 Willie Mays CF 1951–1952
1954–1972
25 Barry Bonds LF 1993–2007 Grew up in San Carlos
27 Juan Marichal P 1960–1973
30 Orlando Cepeda 1B 1958–1966
36 Gaylord Perry P 1962–1971
43 Dave Dravecky P 1987–1989
44 Willie McCovey 1B 1959–1973
1977–1980

San Francisco Giants Wall of Famers[edit]

The Giants Wall of Fame recognizes retired players whose records stand highest among their teammates on the basis of longevity and achievements.

Those honored have played a minimum of nine seasons for the San Francisco Giants, or five seasons with at least one All-Star selection as a Giant.[101]

Key
Year Year inducted
Bold Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
dagger
Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame as a Giant
San Francisco Giants Wall of Fame
Year No. Name Position(s) Tenure
2008 23, 49 Felipe Alou OF/1B
Manager
1958–1963
2003–2006
46 Gary Lavelle P 1974–1984
33 Jim Barr P 1971–1978
1982–1983
10 Johnnie LeMaster SS 1975–1985
14, 24 Willie Maysdagger CF 1951–1952, 1954–1972
47 Rod Beck P 1991–1997
00, 20, 26 Jeffrey Leonard LF 1981–1988
14 Vida Blue P 1978–1981
1985–1986
8, 17, 19 Kirt Manwaring C 1987–1996
44 Willie McCoveydagger 1B 1959–1973
1977–1980
42 Bobby Bolin P 1961–1969
27 Juan Marichaldagger P 1960–1973
49 Jeff Brantley P 1988–1993
15, 22 Jack Clark RF/1B 1975–1984
29, 40 Mike McCormick P 1956–1962
1967–1970
15, 19 Bob Brenly C 1981–1988
1989
32, 33, 40, 51 John Burkett P 1987
1990–1994
23, 37 Stu Miller P 1957–1962
25 Bobby Bonds RF 1968–1974
30 Orlando Cepedadagger 1B 1958–1966
17, 39 Randy Moffitt P 1972–1981
38, 41 Greg Minton P 1975–1987
7, 9 Kevin Mitchell LF 1987–1991
22 Will Clark 1B 1986–1993
34, 39 Mike Krukow P 1983–1989
12 Jim Davenport 3B
Manager
1958–1970
1985
26, 50 John Montefusco P 1974–1980
30, 33 Chili Davis OF 1981–1987
9, 10, 60 Matt Williams 3B 1987–1996
31 Robb Nen P 1998–2002
2 Dick Dietz C 1966–1971
22, 28, 35, 36 Gaylord Perrydagger P 1962–1971
41 Darrell Evans 3B/1B 1976–1983
16 Jim Ray Hart 3B/LF 1963–1973
48 Rick Reuschel P 1987–1991
6 J. T. Snow 1B 1997–2005
2008
23, 26, 29 Tito Fuentes 2B 1965–1974
42, 45, 46 Kirk Rueter P 1996–2005
31, 43, 50, 52, 54 Scott Garrelts P 1982–1991
6 Robby Thompson 2B 1986–1996
5, 51 Tom Haller C 1961–1967
2, 35 Chris Speier SS 1971–1977
1987–1989
7, 14, 17 Atlee Hammaker P 1982–1985
1987–1990
2009 21 Jeff Kent 2B 1997–2002
2010 33, 35, 57 Rich Aurilia SS 1995–2003
2007–2009
36, 55 Shawn Estes P 1995–2001
2011 7, 56 Marvin Benard OF 1995–2003
29 Jason Schmidt P 2001–2006
2017 25 Barry Bonds LF 1993–2007
2018 18, 43 Matt Cain P 2005–2017
33, 38 Brian Wilson P 2006–2012
14, 32, 51 Ryan Vogelsong P 2000–2001
2011–2015
2019 Peter Magowan Managing General Partner 1993–2008

Retired numbers[edit]

The Giants have retired 11 numbers in the history of the franchise, most recently Barry Bonds' number 25 in 2018.

NY
Christy
Mathewson

P
 
Honored
1988
NY
John
McGraw

3B
Mgr
Honored
1988
3
Bill
Terry

1B
Mgr, GM
Retired
1984
4
Mel
Ott

RF
Mgr
Retired
1949
11
Carl
Hubbell

P
 
Retired
1944
20
Monte
Irvin

LF
 
Retired June 26, 2010
24
Willie
Mays

CF
 
Retired
May 12, 1972
24
Barry
Bonds

LF
 
Retired
August 11, 2018
27
Juan
Marichal

P
 
Retired
1975
30
Orlando
Cepeda

1B
 
Retired
July 11, 1999
36
Gaylord
Perry

P
 
Retired
July 23, 2005
44
Willie
McCovey

1B
 
Retired September 21, 1980
42
Jackie
Robinson
*

All MLB
Honored April 15, 1997

* Retired throughout the major leagues; Robinson actually was traded to the Giants, but retired before playing a game for them.

Of the Giants whose numbers have been retired, all but Bonds have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1944, Carl Hubbell (#11) became the first National Leaguer to have his number retired by his team.[102] Bill Terry (#3), Mel Ott (#4), and Hubbell played and/or managed their entire careers for the New York Giants. Willie Mays (#24) began his career in New York, moving with the Giants to San Francisco in 1958; he did not play in most of 1952 and all of 1953 due to his service in the Korean War.

Also honored[edit]

John McGraw (3B, 1902–06; Manager, 1902–32) and Christy Mathewson (P, 1900–16), who were members of the New York Giants before the introduction of uniform numbers, have the letters "NY" displayed in place of a number.

Broadcasters Lon Simmons (1958–73, 1976–78, 1996–2002 & 2006), Russ Hodges (1949–70), and Jon Miller (1997–current) are each represented by an old-style radio microphone displayed in place of a number.

The Giants present the Willie Mac Award annually to the player that best exemplifies the spirit and leadership shown by Willie McCovey throughout his career.

Team captains[edit]

The Giants have had a number of captains over the years:

Season records[edit]

All-time regular season record: 11,015–9,513 (.537)[103] (through 2017 season)

Current roster[edit]

San Francisco Giants roster
Active roster Inactive roster Coaches/Other

Pitchers
Starting rotation

Bullpen

Closer

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders


Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders


Manager

Coaches

60-day injured list

Restricted list

25 active, 15 inactive

Injury icon 2.svg 7- or 10-day injured list
dagger Suspended list
# Personal leave
Roster and coaches updated July 14, 2019
TransactionsDepth chart

All MLB rosters

Minor league affiliations[edit]

Level Team League Location
AAA Sacramento River Cats Pacific Coast League West Sacramento, California
AA Richmond Flying Squirrels Eastern League Richmond, Virginia
Advanced A San Jose Giants California League San Jose, California
A Augusta GreenJackets South Atlantic League North Augusta, South Carolina
Short Season A Salem-Keizer Volcanoes Northwest League Keizer, Oregon
Rookie AZL Giants Arizona League Scottsdale, Arizona
DSL Giants Dominican Summer League Boca Chica, Dominican Republic

Radio and television[edit]

Giants' television telecasts are split between NBC-owned KNTV (broadcast) and NBC Sports Bay Area (cable). KNTV's broadcast contract with the Giants began in 2008, one year after the team and KTVU mutually ended a relationship that dated to 1961.[104] Jon Miller regularly calls the action on KNTV, while the announcing team for NBCSBA telecasts is Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper, affectionately known as "Kruk and Kuip" (pronounced "Kruke" and "Kype"). During the 2016 season, the Giants had an average 4.71 rating and 117,000 viewers on primetime TV broadcasts.[105]

The Giants' flagship radio station is KNBR (680 AM). KNBR's owner, Cumulus Media, is a limited partner in San Francisco Baseball Associates LP, the owner of the team.[106] Jon Miller and Dave Flemming are the regular play-by-play announcers. In addition to KNBR, the Giants can be heard throughout Northern California and parts of Nevada, Oregon, and Hawaii on the Giants Radio Network. When games are televised on KNTV, Kuiper replaces Miller on the radio, and Miller goes to television. Erwin Higueros and Tito Fuentes handle Spanish-language radio broadcasts on KXZM (93.7 FM).

Home run call glitch[edit]

On May 28, 2006, Flemming called the 715th career home run of Barry Bonds, which moved Bonds into second on the all-time home run list. Unfortunately, the power from Flemming's microphone to the transmitter cut off while the ball was in flight, so the radio audience heard only crowd noise. Greg Papa took over the broadcast and apologized to listeners. Kuiper's TV call was submitted to the Baseball Hall of Fame as an artifact, instead of the usual radio call.

Fight song and other music[edit]

First used for Giants radio broadcasts on KSFO, the team's fight song "Bye, Bye Baby!" is currently used following any Giants home run. The song is played in the stadium, and an instrumental version is played on telecasts when the inning in which the home run was hit concludes. The title and chorus "Bye bye baby!" coming from famed former Giants broadcaster Russ Hodges, which was his home run call.

Following a Giants home win, Tony Bennett's I Left My Heart in San Francisco is played in Oracle Park in celebration.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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General reference[edit]

  • Hynd, Noel (1988). The Giants of the Polo Grounds: The Glorious Times of Baseball's New York Giants. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-23790-1.

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Pittsburgh Pirates
1901 and 1902 and 1903
National League champions
New York Giants

1905
Succeeded by
Chicago Cubs
1906 and 1907 and 1908
Preceded by
Boston Red Sox
1903
World Series champions
New York Giants

1905
Succeeded by
Chicago White Sox
1906
Preceded by
Chicago Cubs
1910
National League champions
New York Giants

1911 and 1912 and 1913
Succeeded by
Boston Braves
1914
Preceded by
Brooklyn Dodgers
1916
National League champions
New York Giants

1917
Succeeded by
Chicago Cubs
1918
Preceded by
Brooklyn Dodgers
1916
National League champions
New York Giants

1917
Succeeded by
Chicago Cubs
1918
Preceded by
Brooklyn Dodgers
1920
National League champions
New York Giants

1921 and 1922 and 1923 and 1924
Succeeded by
Pittsburgh Pirates
1925
Preceded by
Cleveland Indians
1920
World Series champions
New York Giants

1921 & 1922
Succeeded by
New York Yankees
1923
Preceded by
Chicago Cubs
1932
National League champions
New York Giants

1933
Succeeded by
St. Louis Cardinals
1934
Preceded by
New York Yankees
1932
World Series champions
New York Giants

1933
Succeeded by
St. Louis Cardinals
1934
Preceded by
Chicago Cubs
1935
National League champions
New York Giants

1936 and 1937
Succeeded by
Chicago Cubs
1938
Preceded by
Philadelphia Phillies
1950
National League champions
New York Giants

1951
Succeeded by
Brooklyn Dodgers
1952 and 1953
Preceded by
Brooklyn Dodgers
1952 and 1953
National League champions
New York Giants

1954
Succeeded by
Brooklyn Dodgers
1955 and 1956
Preceded by
New York Yankees
19491953
World Series champions
New York Giants

1954
Succeeded by
Brooklyn Dodgers
1955
Preceded by
Cincinnati Reds
1961
National League champions
San Francisco Giants

1962
Succeeded by
Los Angeles Dodgers
1963
Preceded by
Los Angeles Dodgers
1988
National League champions
San Francisco Giants

1989
Succeeded by
Cincinnati Reds
1990
Preceded by
Arizona Diamondbacks
2001
National League champions
San Francisco Giants

2002
Succeeded by
Florida Marlins
2003
Preceded by
Philadelphia Phillies
2009
National League champions
San Francisco Giants

2010
Succeeded by
St. Louis Cardinals
2011
Preceded by
New York Yankees
2009
World Series champions
San Francisco Giants

2010
Succeeded by
St. Louis Cardinals
2011
Preceded by
St. Louis Cardinals
2011
National League champions
San Francisco Giants

2012
Succeeded by
St. Louis Cardinals
2013
Preceded by
St. Louis Cardinals
2011
World Series champions
San Francisco Giants

2012
Succeeded by
Boston Red Sox
2013
Preceded by
St. Louis Cardinals
2013
National League champions
San Francisco Giants

2014
Succeeded by
New York Mets
2015
Preceded by
Boston Red Sox
2013
World Series champions
San Francisco Giants

2014
Succeeded by
Kansas City Royals
2015