Brother, Can You Spare a Letter: former Giants trivia answer William VanLandingham (13) defeated former Pirate and current Giants lefty Jason Christiansen (12) in a 4-3 victory at Candlestick Park in 1995. The combined letters in the surname of both pitchers of record (25) represent the most in any major league game in history.
Houston, We Have a Caveman Problem: On this date in 1988, 31-year old Don Robinson recovered from his worst start of the year five days prior in Atlanta to pitch a complete game 1-hitter against Houston in the Astrodome. The Caveman allowed a single to Terry Puhl in the first inning, then proceeded to pick Puhl off and allow only one more runner to reach base (via a strike three/wild pitch) for the rest of the game, striking out 8 Astros in a 5-0 gem.
The Swamp Fox Is Born: On this date in 1962, the Giants beat the Dodgers 5-4 at Candlestick Park, but this is a classic example of how a box score alone does not do justice to describe a baseball game's complexity. Willie McCovey hit a pinch-hit 3-run home run off of Don Drysdale, and thereby snapped the pitcher's 11-game winning streak. And perhaps in the ultimate game of gamesmanship, the Dodgers accused Giants manager Alvin Dark of over-watering the basepaths in an effort to slow down Dodgers speedster Maury Wills. The game was played under protest, and Dark's moniker "Swamp Fox" became part of Giants-Dodgers lore.
Maybe They Should Have Called it the Mathewson Award: Only 124 years ago today, Hall of Fame pitcher Christy Mathewson was born in Factoryville, PA. Some of the numbers that appear on the back of his baseball card are mind-boggling in today's context, including a 37-win, 259-K, 1.43 ERA effort during the 1908 season.
He Probably Quit to Run Around with Frodo Instead: Jack Aragon, the son of Angel Aragon, made his Giants debut back on this date in 1941, appearing only once as a pinch runner. He never played in another major league game.
The Barber Begins: Later known for "shaving" hitters with pitches around their chins, Sal Maglie made his first major league start on this date in 1945, and defeated the Cincinnati Reds 5-2 at the Polo Grounds.
An Admirable Comeback Cut Short: Dave Dravecky beat cancer to pitch again, but broke his arm after throwing a pitch to Tim Raines in the sixth inning of a 3-2 victory in Montreal on this date in 1989. Dravecky won the game, but he would never pitch in the majors again.
Don Shin eats, breathes, thinks, and bleeds in Orange and Black. Pac Bell Park officially opened on his 25th birthday (the one year he decided to move out of the Bay Area!!!). For the 2000 playoff drive, he dyed his hair orange while studying in Korea. He watched Game 6 of the '02 World Series at a restaurant in LA, and couldn't finish his meal afterwards. Feel free to write him at email@example.com to commiserate, cheer, and complain.
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