This Week in Giants Baseball History, May 23 - 29

Long games, laughers, and the usual oddities.

May 23
When 23 Hits Were Not Enough: On this date back in 1970 at Candlestick Park, the San Francisco Giants scored 16 runs on 23 hits (four hits off the club record) in 15 innings, only to lose to the San Diego Padres 17-16. The Giants were up 8-0 after the second inning, but Juan Marichal and the bullpen could not hold it. The Giants brass couldn’t hold it either, and fired manager Clyde King after the game.

May 24
No Mercy Rule: On a brighter note, the Giants recorded their largest shutout win of the modern era on this date in 2000, as they tattooed the Montreal Expos 18-0 at Pac Bell Park. Shawn Estes pitched all nine innings, striking out seven and even went 2-for-5 at the plate with a grand slam and five RBIs.

May 25
Okay, That’s It; Cut Him: Willie Mays made his Major League debut on this date in 1951 at Philadelphia. The Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-5, but Mays went 0-for-5, with his first-ever at-bat resulting in a strikeout. The kid would recover, however.

May 26
A 14-Inning Shutout Performance: At Candlestick, Juan Marichal kept the Phillies scoreless for fourteen innings in a nail biter until the Giants scored in the bottom of the inning for a 1-0 victory on this date in 1966. Marichal improved to 9-0 for the season. Phillies starter and current Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning matched him for 11 innings.

May 27
7th Inning War Stretch: With the game tied 1-1 in the seventh inning between the Giants and the Boston Braves at the Polo Grounds on this date back in 1941, time was called to broadcast President Franklin Roosevelt’s radio message about the war in Europe. Perhaps inspired by FDR, the Giants went on to win the game 2-1.

May 28
Intentionally Walking in a Run: With a two-run lead in the bottom of the ninth in San Francisco, the Arizona Diamondbacks intentionally walked Barry Bonds with the bases loaded to force home a run. The plan worked, as they retired Jeff Kent to end the ballgame 8-7 on this date in 1998.

May 29
Dad Beats Uncle: This really doesn’t have anything to do with the Giants per se, but on this date back in 1976, the father of current Giant Lance Niekro, Joe, hit his only home run of his career – against his brother, Phil. Joe’s Houston Astros defeated Phil’s Atlanta Braves, 4-3.

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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