This Week in Giants Baseball History

More signings and non-signings in this final week of the holiday shopping season. Do the current Giants brass have any stocking stuffers left up their sleeves? The answer remains to be seen; however, these Giants of the past certainly did.

December 18
Schmidt Re-Happened: After showing the San Francisco Giants what he could do by going 7-1 in eleven starts in the final few months of the 2001 season, Jason Schmidt resigned with the team for another five mostly successful seasons on this date in 2001.  The press and some fans may now lament his defection to the Los Angeles Dodgers, but at least to this author, power pitchers entering their mid-30s with diminishing velocity and a history of health problems aren't generally a good signing.

December 19
Chulk Happened First Today: Happy birthday to current Giants reliever Vinnie Chulk, born Charles Vincent Chulk on this date in 1978, in Miami, FL.  The throw-in in the trade that brought over Shea Hillenbrand to the Giants from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for young Jeremy Accardo may actually prove to be the most important of the three to his respective team in the upcoming year.

December 20
Deion Was Free on This Date: Two-sport sensation Deion Sanders left the Bay Area for good on this date in 1995, as he was granted free agency and thus ended his 52-game stint with the Giants.  As a whole, Sanders played quite well in San Francisco – he batted .285 as a baseball player, and won a Super Bowl and an NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors with the San Francisco 49ers during the 1994 season.

December 21
Alfonzo is Gonzo: After three mostly disappointing season as a Giant, Edgardo Alfonzo was traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on this date in 2005 in exchange for 39-year old outfielder Steve Finley, whom the Giants had been trying to obtain for years.  Finley got off to a hot start in his lone season in San Francisco in 2006, but cooled off dramatically.  As for Alfonzo, things only got worse, as he was cut by two teams in 2006 before latching on in July with his original team, the New York Mets, but did not see a Major League at-bat for the remainder of the season.

December 22
I Guess it Was Just as Painful in 1962 as it Was in 2002: Fans still lamenting the Giants' 1962 World Series Game 7 loss to the New York Yankees on this date in 1962 included none other than Santa Rosa's celebrity resident Charles Schultz, whose Peanuts cartoon strip on this date had Charlie Brown lament Willie McCovey's line drive into Yankees second baseman Bobby Richardson's glove that ended the series.

December 23
Fire Hydrant Signing: On this date in 1998, the Giants brought to the Bay Area Frank-Paul Santangelo, by signing him to a one-year deal.  During the 1999, the versatile and likable F.P. took turns roaming the outfield with other diminutive outfielders Marvin Benard and Armando Rios, but also played a few games at second, short, and third base.

December 24
The Sidewinder Slept Well Tonight: Sidearm specialist Steve Reed signed again with his original team – the Giants – on this date in 1997.  However, while enjoying his best season as a pro the following season (1.48 ERA), he was traded to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Shawon Dunston, Al Mormon, and some guy that now likes to throw at Omar Vizquel's head, Jose Mesa.

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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