This Week in Giants Baseball History, April 4-10

Here's to a happy and safe new year – baseball new year, that is!

April 4
Giants, Reds, Scab Umps, And Astroturf: On a new Astroturf in Cincinnati, the Giants and Reds kicked off the 1979 season with an 11-5 Giants victory. Vida Blue picked up the victory, while losing pitcher Tom Seaver was knocked out of the game after giving up eight runs in the second inning. The game was officiated by replacement umpires, as the real McCoys were on strike until May 17th.

April 5
5-for-4?: In the fourth game of the 2002 season, Barry Bonds beat the San Diego Padres in the tenth inning with his fifth home run of the season. By doing so, Bonds matched the record pace of Lou Brock in 1967 for home runs hit in the first five games of a season.

April 6
Now That’s the Way to Start a Season: In the Giants 1971 season opener in San Diego, San Francisco shut out the Padres 4-0. Juan Marichal threw a complete game 5-hit shutout with 8 strikeouts, and Willie Mays homered on the first pitch he saw in the ballgame. Mays would go on to hit home runs in the next three games as well, setting a Major League record for consecutive games with a home run to start out the season.

April 7
Scheduled to Pitch Today, on His 32nd Birthday: Brett Tomko was born on this date back in 1973, in Cleveland, OH. From my third base line seats this past Friday against the A’s, I thought he looked ready for the season. Stay away from those 3-2 counts, and stay healthy, Brett!

April 8
The Thrill Begins: In his first Major League at-bat, rookie Will Clark homered to dead center field against Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan as the Giants beat the Houston Astros 8-3 in the Astrodome on this date back in 1986.

April 9
Some Things Are More Important than Baseball, Even Opening Day: All Major League openers scheduled on this date back in 1968 were postponed in observance of the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated five days earlier.

April 10
Tear Down the Wall: On this day back in 1964, demolition of the Polo Grounds began. The cavernous ballpark of the former New York Giants gave way to housing developments.

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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