This Week in Giants Baseball History, Jan. 3-9

Welcoming the New Year with some classic memories & milestones

January 3
No Ugly Duckling: Former pitcher and local product Russ Swan was born on this date back in 1964, in Fremont. The 9th round selection by the Giants beat the odds and spent six years in the majors, the first two in orange & black.

January 4
Tito Time: Rigoberto Fuentes Peat, better known to Giants fans as Tito Fuentes, was born on this date back in 1944, in Havana, Cuba. The light-hitting infielder played his first nine seasons in San Francisco. In an amazing turn of events, Tito led all NL second baseman in fielding during the 1973 season after leading the senior circuit’s second basemen in errors the previous two seasons. Proof that persistence pays off, people!

January 5
Still Not as Big as J.T. Snow: The 6’ 7” behemoth Damon “Tiny” Minor was born on this date back in 1974, in Canton, OH. The former Giant and current Pittsburgh Pirate showed flashes of absolutely crushing the ball during his San Francisco tenure, but couldn’t unseat the incumbent man with the golden glove at first.

January 6
If He Were Playing Today, He’d Put All Other Contracts to Shame: On this date in 1958, the Giants signed Willie Mays to their priciest contract to date - $65,000.

January 7
The Beginning of the End: One-time Giant and current stand-in radio personality F.P. Santangelo sold his soul to the devil by signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers on this date in 2000. F.P. would try to right the ship by signing with Oakland the following season.

January 8
Greatness Stands Alone: Willie McCovey was elected in to the Hall of Fame on this date in 1986. He was the only new member that year, and at the time only the 16th player to enter the Hall in his first year of eligibility.

January 9
The Toronto Giants, Eh? No!: Nearly two decades before the thwarted moved to St. Petersburg, Giants ownership announced the sale of the franchise to investors in Toronto on this date in 1976. This earlier move was halted by San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, and the idea was eventually nixed. The Giants stayed by the Bay, and the Toronto Blue Jays came into existence in 1977. Whew!

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