This Week in Giants Baseball History

As the awards season is wrapping up and the free agency period just beginning, here's some tidbits of both from the not-too-distant past. Some big-time distinctions (and one close one), some comings and goings, and a few birthdays to boot – all in a history week's work!

November 13
Schmitty Second: Despite winning the NL ERA crown for the season, San Francisco Giants ace pitcher Jason Schmidt was the runner-up to the 2003 NL Cy Young Award, presented on this date to Los Angeles Dodgers closer Eric Gagne.  Schmidt also led the league in win-loss percentage (77% with a 17-4 record) and was fourth in the league with 208 Ks.

November 14
A Gold Purchase at Shortstop: The Giants signed free agent and defensive wizard Omar Vizquel to a 3-year contract on this date in 2004.  All Vizquel has done since then is provide the team with much-needed situational hitting, great leadership, and two consecutive Gold Glove awards (for a career total of 11).

November 15
Most Valuable Seven Times Over: Barry Bonds was awarded the 2004 NL MVP Award on this date, extending his record to seven such distinctions.  You just can’t buy that kind of production… wait, now you can, for the right price!

November 16
The Beginning of Fun on the Basepads: Sure, his legendary baserunning gaffe happened in 2003, but Ruben Rivera was actually a part of the Giants for a very brief period in 2001, when they claimed him off of waivers from the Cincinnati Reds on this date.  Rivera’s first tenure with the team lasted just over a month, as he was released in December.

November 17
Erring for Free Agency: Former Giants premier set-up man Scott Eyre took the money and signed a 3-year deal with the Chicago Cubs on this date in 2005.  His reward thus far?  A last-place finish, the departure of Dusty Baker, and really, really getting to know the term “lovable loser.”

November 18
A Tiny Giant for a Little While: Mike Felder was born on this date in 1961, in nearby Vallejo, CA.  The diminutive (5’8”) utility player spent two somewhat productive seasons with the Giants during 1991-92.

November 19
Rounding Out the 2007 Giants Rotation: Jonathan Sanchez was born on this date in 1982, in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.  The young lefthander surprised everyone in 2006 by pitching effectively in the Majors as a reliever and spot-starter.

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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