This Week in Giants Baseball History

The final preseason edition!!! Some last-minute trades, and some Opening Day memories.

March 27
Tavarez Goes South With a Future All-Star: Two years removed from being a member of the San Francisco Giants, reliever Julian Tavarez was traded from the Chicago Cubs on this date in 2002 to the Florida Marlins in exchange for pitchers Antonio Alfonseca and Matt Clement.  The Cubs threw in three prospects to spice up the deal – one of which was a young lefthander from the East Bay named Dontrelle Willis.

March 28
Speaking of Former Cubs and Giants: Heavy-hitting but light-spoken former Giant Glenallen Hill was traded on this date in 2001 from the New York Yankees to the Anaheim Angels for minor league outfielder Darren Blakely.  At this point Hill was just about done as a Major Leaguer – Hill would spend 16 games as an Angel, bat .136, and was given his release on June 1.

March 29
Not Funny, Part II: On this date in 2000, former Giant Matt  Williams again broke the exact same bone in his right foot while foul-tipping a pitch, this time playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks.  His previous fracture was an initially laughable moment as a Giant in 1995, which didn’t turn out very funny, as he missed 68 games because of the injury that year.

March 30
Nearly Twelve Years Before Donning Orange and Black for the Second Time: Now two-time Giant Jose Vizcaino started the day on this date in 1994 as a Cub, and ended up a member of the New York Mets in exchange for pitcher Anthony Young.  Young would go on to make Major League history that season by extending his consecutive losses to 27 straight decisions.

March 31
Opening Day in March?: Sure; it happened in 2003, when the defending NL champs defeated the San Diego Padres at Qualcomm Stadium 5-2.  Ray Durham led off the season with a home run, and Benito Santiago and J.T. Snow broke a tie ballgame by hitting consecutive home runs in the ninth inning.

April 1
Party at Lance’s Uncle’s Place: Hall of Fame knuckleballer Phil Niekro was born on this date in 1939, in Blaine OH.  The brother of Joe Niekro and the uncle of Giants first baseman Lance Niekro won 318 games in a 24-year Major League career.  Neither he nor his brother ever played for the Giants.

April 2
Livo Begins the Sweep: The 2001 season started off on a great note in San Diego, as Livan Hernandez pitched 7+ effective innings in a 3-2 victory over the Padres.  Barry Bonds homered off of Woody Williams in the fifth inning, and Marvin Benard drove in the game-winner in the sixth with a single that scored catcher Bobby Estalella.  The Giants would go on to take the next two games to start out the season with a road sweep of the Pads.

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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