This Week in Giants Baseball History

Some golden oldies this week, including a ball four that wasn't.

May 15
4Ks = 3 Outs: One of the rarer feats in baseball happened for the first time on this date in 1906, as Hooks Wiltse of the New York Giants became the first pitcher in the modern era to strike out four batters in an inning during a 4-1 Giants victory over the Cincinnati Reds at the Palace of the Fans.  Wiltse struck out Jim Delahanty to begin the bottom of the fifth inning, but Delahanty reached base via an error by Hall of Fame catcher Roger Bresnahan.  No problem – not only did Wiltse strike out the next three batters to retire the side, but he also struck out the side in the sixth inning for a total of seven strikeouts in two innings.

May 16
Maybe Bonds Should Try This Sometime: In the first game of a doubleheader at Candlestick Park, Pete Rose drove in the eventual winning run in the eighth inning while the San Francisco Giants were trying to intentionally walk him!  How?  What was supposed to be ball four by pitcher Ron Bryant came close enough for Rose to take a swat at it.  Startled third baseman Jim Ray Hart could not handle the chopper, which scored Dave Concepcion from third to give the Reds a 4-2 lead.  The Giants would rally for a run in the bottom of the inning, but the Reds would hang on for a 4-3 victory.

May 17
15Ks Eventually Does in the Mets: It took four Giants pitchers throwing fifteen strikeouts in eleven innings, but the Giants defeated the New York Mets 4-3 on this date in 1963 at Candlestick Park.  Joey Amalfitano’s solo home run in the bottom of the eleventh won it for a young Gaylord Perry, who pitched two innings of shutout relief.

May 18
Say Hey Kid Swipes Four at Crosley: Way, way before celebrating his 75th birthday, Willie Mays set the franchise mark by stealing four bases in a game on this date in 1957.  Oh, and he also homered, scored twice, and drove in two runs to lead the Giants to a 6-3 victory over the Reds.

May 19
Brawl at Sportsman’s Park: After nearly beaning Giants outfielder Jimmy Ripple with a pitch, legendary St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Dizzy Dean outright tackled Ripple when Ripple tried to beat out a bunt single.  The benches cleared, and fights ensued.  When the dust eventually cleared, the Giants and Carl Hubbell defeated Dean and the Cards 4-1 on this date in 1937.

May 20
Record Attendance in 1923: A newly expanded Polo Ground housed a then-record 42,000+ fans for a game against the Cardinals on this date in 1923.  The fans left the yard happy, as the Giants spanked the Cards 14-4.

May 21
A Shakedown Victory at the Stick: Despite Montreal Expos pitching, Henry Rodriguez’s 17th home run of the year, and an earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale, the Giants defeated the Expos 8-5 at Candlestick on this date in 1996.  Matt  Williams’s 3-run home run in the fifth off of future Giant Jeff Fassero tied the game at 5-5, and the Giants pushed the winning run through in the sixth off of loser Derek Aucoin, who was making his Major League debut.

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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