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One more baseball memory and some football 10.28.10

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By Mike Aldridge

This year’s World Series features two teams who seemingly are not often in the Fall Classic.

The Texas Rangers are in for the first time so “seemingly” doesn’t quite fit them.  But the Giants are another story.  While it is true that the San Francisco Giants have been in the series only three times before this year and are yet to win one, the other Giants were in 14 series and won five times. 

The “other “Giants are the New York Giants who moved in 1958 to San Francisco to play in Seals Stadium and then in windy Candlestick Park. The Giants were established in 1883 as the New York Gothams, but so as not to be confused with Gotham City and Batman, the name was changed to Giants in 1885. 

The Giants have not won a World Series since 1954 when they defeated the Cleveland Indians, whose pitching staff of Bob Feller, Early Wynn, Mike Garcia and Bob Lemon, was thought to be nearly impossible to beat. 

That was the series that the “Say Hey Kid” Willie Mays made the famous running over the shoulder catch of Vic Wertz’ deep fly and whirled to throw a runner out. 

Who can forget the 1962 Series when Willie “Stretch” McCovey hit a screaming line drive right at Yankee second baseman Bobby Richardson for the last out of the ninth inning of game seven? One foot either direction and that line drive would have made the Giants World Champs instead of the Yankees. 

Richardson, who would later become the baseball coach in his home state of South Carolina, was positioned perfectly and the ball had enough top spin to fall into his glove. 

The winning pitcher for this game and the series MVP was Ralph Terry, who two years before had given up the series-winning home run to Pittsburgh’s Bill Mazeroski.  

In 1989, the Bay Bridge series had the Giants facing the Oakland A’s. During the third game, an earthquake struck the area so the A’s had to wait 10 days before finishing the four-game sweep of the cross bay rival Giants. 

The third series for the Giants of San Francisco came in their second year in Pac Bell Park when they came as a wild card into the series to face the American League wild card the Anaheim Angels. 

The Giants had a 3-2 game lead returning to Anaheim for the final games. The bottom of the seventh inning of game six had the Giants leading 5-0 when the Giant manager of the day, Dusty Baker, took starter Russ Ortiz out of the game and presented him with the game ball on the mound in front of the Angels and their fans. 

The Angels proceeded to rally against the Giant bullpen and take the game 6-5 to force a game seven. 

The Angels won game seven 4-1 and the San Francisco Giants remained without a World Championship. 

This was to be Baker’s last year as manager of the Giants.  Now the Giants have another chance. 

I have not seen the odds, but I would suspect that the Rangers are favored to win. I wouldn’t count the Giants out though. They have been a really clutch hitting and pitching team and could pull the upset. I for one am hoping they do.

The football comment.  “How about them Cowboys!”  Wade Phillips has got to go.