This Week in Giants Baseball History, 3/28-4/3

The final preseason edition!

March 28
Bad Buy: On this date back in 1969, the Chicago Cubs signed third baseman Charley Smith, who had spent all of three months in a Giants uniform. Smith would reinjure a bad knee and play his final game in April. Before retiring, however, he became one of two men (Dick Tidrow being the other) to play for both New York and both Chicago ballclubs.

March 29
Bad for Florida, Good for SF: Four days prior to the start of the 1996 regular season, the Giants signed veteran pitcher and current bench coach Mark Gardner, who had just been released by the Florida Marlins. Gardner went on to win 12 games for the Giants in what was otherwise a mostly forgettable (68-94) season.

March 30
The Hammaker Era Begins: On this date in 1982, the Giants traded away pitchers Vida Blue and Bob Tufts to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for three pitchers – Renie Martin, Craig Chamberlain, and Atlee Hammaker. Martin and Chamberlain didn’t amount to much in orange and black, but Hammaker made the All-Star team the following season and showed some signs of brilliance in eight injury-filled seasons as a Giant.

March 31
Besting the Killer B’s to Begin: In one of the two March opening days for the Giants in the last 25 years (the other in 2003), Jeff Kent’s 5-hit day led San Francisco to a 9-4 victory at the Astrodome.

April 1
Nobody’s Fool: Matt Herges was born on this date back in 1970, in Champaign, IL. Chances are that he’ll have more to celebrate soon after his birthday this year, when the Fighting Illini cut down the nets in St. Louis.

April 2
Quite Possibly the Best Way to Start the Season: Barry Bonds homered twice (he would repeat this feat the very next day) and the Giants slapped the Dodgers 9-2 in opening day 2002. Amazingly, after the third inning of this game the Dodgers would cease scoring for the duration of the three-game series, as San Francisco proceeded to shut out LA 12-0 and 3-0 in the next two days for an easy sweep.

April 3
Pop Song 89: The Giants opened their 1989 World Series campaign on the right foot with a 5-3 victory in San Diego. Kevin Mitchell homered and Rick Reuschel pitched six serviceable innings for the victory.

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 to commiserate, cheer, and complain.

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