This Week in Giants Baseball History

Soon, Giants fans. Can't you just smell 2006 Giants baseball right around the corner?

January 30
Kong Out of New York: Former San Francisco Giants draft pick and classic high risk (K) / high reward (HR) free swinger Dave Kingman was released by the New York Mets on this date in 1984. “Kong” would then sign as a free agent with the Oakland Athletics, and go on to have three 30+ seasons to finish out his career.

January 31
Amidst Some Tall Trees: On the same day that Jackie Robinson, Ernie Banks, and Nolan Ryan was born, former Giants pitcher Jim Willoughby was born on this date in 1949, in Salinas CA. Drafted in the 11th round by San Francisco in 1967, Willoughby spent the first four seasons of an 8-year Major League career as a Giant.

February 1
The Uribe Era Begins: For parting with slugger Jack Clark on this date in 1985, the Giants received in return four players, one of whom was a shortstop named Jose Gonzales. With the Giants, Gonzales went on to use his mother’s maiden name to become Jose Uribe, prompting then-Giants coach Rocky Bridges to quip that Uribe is indeed “the player to be named later.”

February 2
Never Too Youngs for the Hall: Described by legendary New York Giants manager John McGraw as his “greatest outfielder,” Ross Youngs was posthumously selected for entry into the Hall of Fame by the Commission of Baseball Veterans on this date in 1972. Youngs’s 10-year career was cut short by a kidney ailment that turned out to be fatal – the ailment would take his life in 1927 at age 30.

February 3
Five Games as a Giant Is Good Enough to Make This Column: Former All-Star pitcher Joe Coleman was born on this date in 1947, in Boston MA. The 2-time 20-game winner began the 1979 season - his final - as a Giant, but was released in late April. He then finished out his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

February 4
Fourteen Games as a Giant Is More than Good Enough to Make This Column: Former Giants catcher Randy Gomez was born on this date in 1957, in nearby San Mateo CA. The University of Utah grad was drafted by the Giants in 1980, and got 30 at-bats with the big league ball club in 1984.

February 5
Not to Be Confused with Johan Santana: Former Giants shortstop Andres Santana was born on this date in 1968, in San Pedro de Marcoris, Dominican Republic. Signed as a free agent in 1985, Santana played the only six games of his Major League career with the Giants in 1990.

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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