By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
Quick, what team has the most wins in the history of sports? The New York Yankees? Nope. Boston Celtics? Try again. The answer is the San Francisco Giants, with 11,293 victories and counting. Sure, the Giants had a head start over most other sports franchises – they debuted in 1883 as the New York Gothams – but that shouldn’t take away from their long history of success, which includes eight World Series championships.
Besides their success as an organization, the Giants have featured some of the greatest players to ever Don a baseball uniform. Here is a (very) subjective lineup of the greatest Giants of all time:
C – BUSTER POSEY (2009-Present): The 6x All-Star was the 2012 National League MVP and batting champion. Posey was also the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year and earned 4 Silver Slugger awards. Helped lead the Giants to three World Series championships.
1B – WILLIE MCCOVEY (1959-73, 77-80): Hey, they named a cove after him! The 6x All-Star was the 1959 NL Rookie of the Year and 1969 NL MVP. He also led the league in homers on three occasions. Led the NL in RBIs in 1968 and ‘69.
2B – JEFF KENT (1997-02): The National League MVP in 2000. 3x All-Star and 3x Silver Slugger award winner. Helped the Giants advance to the 2002 World Series.
SS – BRANDON CRAWFORD (2011-Present): A 2x All-Star, 2x World Series champion and 3x Gold Glove winner. In 2014, Crawford became the first shortstop in MLB history to hit a grand slam in the postseason. In 2015, he became the first shortstop to lead the Giants in home runs since Bill Darlene did it in 1905.
3B – MATT WILLIAMS (1987-96): The 4x All-Star led the NL in RBIs in 1991 and home runs in 1994. Was the runner-up to Jeff Bagwell in the 1994 NL MVP race.
RF – MEL OTT (1926-47): The legendary Ott was a 6x NL home run leader and the 1934 NL RBIs leader. Led the Giants to the 1933 World Series crown.
CF – WILLIE MAYS (1951-72): The “Say Hey Kid.” Made 24 All-Star appearances, including 19 straight. Mays was also a 2x NL MVP, 4x NL home run king, 4x NL stolen base champion, 12x Gold Glove winner, and the 1954 NL batting champion. Led the Giants to the 1954 World Series title.
LF – BARRY BONDS (1993-07): Whether you love him or hate him, he belongs on this list. As a Giant, Bonds was a 12x All-Star, 5x NL MVP, 5x Gold Glove winner, 9x Silver Slugger winner, 2x NL batting champion, etc. Hey, Barry, you’ll probably never make it to the Hall of Fame. Consider this your consolation prize.
SP – JUAN MARICHAL (1960-73): A 10x All-Star who led the NL in wins in 1968 and the majors in ERA the next season. In 1963, he pitched the first no-hitter in franchise history.
SP – MADISON BUMGARNER (2009-19): The 2014 World Series hero pitched the Giants to a storybook Game 7 victory. A 4x All-Star, 2x Silver Slugger and, of course, the 2014 World Series MVP.
SP – CHRISTY MATHEWSON (1900-16): One of the greatest pitchers of all time. Was part of the very first class of inductees in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Won 373 games in his career. Won 37 games in the 1908 season. Most known for tossing three shutouts in the 1905 World Series, leading the Giants to the championship.
RP – ROBB NEN (1998-02): A 3x All-Star and 2001 NL saves leader. Recorded 206 saves for the Giants and is the team’s all-time leader in that category. Had 7 saves in 8 opportunities in the 2002 postseason.
MANAGER – BRUCE BOCHY (2007-19): Led San Francisco to 1,052 regular-season wins and three World Series championships. Posted a 36-17 postseason record with the ball club.
# # #