June 18 - Top 5 Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Sunday, June 18, 2017


What is this all about?

Here are the top 5 June 18 moments in San Francisco Giants history.

Walk off 1971 home vs. Padres, 17 over .500 and 5.5 games up after taking the front end of the doubleheader, we were up 5-4 headed to the 9th, in the top, the Padres scored 5 to go up 9-5, but in the bottom, now down 9-7 with 2 out and the bases loaded, Dick Dietz clears them with a game winning double off of Fred Norman.  Dietz got blackballed.  The best season for a San Francisco catcher not named Posey was Dietz in 1970 and he kept hitting the ball in '71 with an OPS+ of 130, so of course, 3 days before the '72 season we released him.  We didn't have a season from a catcher better than Dick Dietz in 1971 for another 13 seasons, but we cut a 29 year old starting catcher coming off a very good season and just a year removed from, at that point, the best season for a Giants catcher since the move to San Francisco.  And then he signed with the Dodgers.  Why did we do it?  Dietz was our player rep and was active in the labor stoppage that postponed the season in '72.  Here's what happened to those player reps.

Among the 24 player representatives who authorized the 1972 strike, four were given their release before the end of the season (including Billy CowanJack AkerJim Merritt, and Russ Gibson). Five others were traded within a year (Ray FosseJoe KeoughDon MincherDal Maxvill, and Bob Barton), making a total of nine players who were sent packing within a 12-month period of time. 

We let our starting catcher go as union busting.  Goddamn Giants. Dietz only played 27 games with the Dodgers before breaking his wrist and was out of the league after his age 31 season.

Walk off 1977 home vs Pirates, 12.5 games out, it's 5-5 in the bottom of the 12th (a Jack Clark homer tied it in the 11th) Gary Thomasson hits a 2 run homer off of Terry Forster and we win it 7-5.  We drafted Thomasson when he was 17, brought him up for a cup of coffee when he was 20, this is 5 years later, it's his best season as a Giant, it's not great, he has a 117 OPS+, but he's worth two and a half wins and gets 500 plate appearances backing up at 4 spots.  We sell him high, he moves with a half dozen other players to the A's for Vida Blue before the next year (yeah, dog, we trade 7 guys for a 28 year old Vida Blue and not for nothing, even though he's never the guy he was when he was 21, it was a good trade.)

Walk off 1978 home vs. Mets, 18 over .500 with a 2 game lead in the west, we won the front half of this doubleheader on a Sunday afternoon, 3-3 in the 10th inning, Rob Andrews singes home Mike Sadek off of Dale Murray with the winning run.  We got Andrews from Houston the year before for Willie Crawford and made him our starting second baseman, he was replacement level and moved to the bench in '78 - '79 was his last season in the bigs, we released him and he never made it back up

1996 home vs. Marlins, we're 2 out of first, we beat the Marlins 1-0 the day before, this one goes 4 and a half hours, 15 innings, the two teams combining for 34 hits.  It ended with a wild pitch - former Giant Pat Rapp threw one away pitching to Matt Williams with 2 out in the bottom of the 15th, allowing Marvin Benard to score and the Giants to win 9-8.  Rapp came up through the system and threw 10 innings for us as a 24 year old in '92, the Marlins then took him in the expansion draft and he stayed in their rotation until coming back to the Giants in a deadline deal in '97.  He got a half dozen starts, didn't pitch well, and was gone again after the season.

2016 at Tampa, 16 over .500, 6.5 games up, 3-3 with 2 outs in the 9th, Joe Panik hits a 3 run homer off of Alex Colome, we win it 6-4.  In the 5th, Panik was hit in the head by future teammate Matt Moore, resulting in a concussion that cost him a month of games. Panik was 4th in the Rookie of the Year race in 2014 and then was better in 2015, his 3 and a half WAR made for the 32nd best season for a second baseman in franchise history.  But his bat gave way in both '16 and to this date, even more in '17.

See you tomorrow.  Go Giants!

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