This Week in Giants Baseball History

The coming of the New Year often brought newcomers to the Giants organization, and below are a smattering of signings from the past. Some worked out, some didn't, and some never really had a chance. But such is the crapshoot of free agency, no?

January 8
Sanders' Stop Number Five: The San Francisco Giants signed veteran outfielder Reggie Sanders on this date in 2002.  Sanders would last all of one season in orange and black, playing an above-average right field and posting somewhat decent numbers (.250/23/85).  He finished the 2006 season with the Kansas City Royals, and to this date has played for eight different teams in 16 big league seasons.

January 9
Dunston's First Stint: Rocket-armed, quick-swinging shortstop Shawon Dunston signed with the Giants on this date in 1996, after spending the first 11 years of his Major League career with the Chicago Cubs.  Dunston would return to the Cubs after his 1996 season with the Giants, but he would rejoin the Giants two more times before retiring at the age of 39 – briefly in 1998 and for the final two years of his career in 2001-02.

January 10
Marvin Benard Just Wasn't Cutting It: The Giants tried to fill a hole in the leadoff position by signing veteran outfielder Darryl Hamilton on this date in 1997.  Compared to his career averages, Hamilton had a down year in his first year as a Giant (.270/78 runs scored/.354 OBP), but turned it around in 1998 – well enough for the Giants to trade him at the trading deadline to the Colorado Rockies for slugger Ellis Burks.

January 11
Eric the Orange?: The Giants signed veteran slugger Eric Davis on this date in 2001, which turned out to be the final season of his 17-year career.  Battling age, injuries, and having beaten cancer and recovering from being a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Davis didn't have much left in his once lightening-quick bat at age 39, and his numbers that season showed it (.205/4/22 in 74 games).

January 12
A Typical Pre-Barry Zito Signing: Searching the bargain basement bins, the Giants signed veteran pitcher Brett Tomko to a 2-year deal on this date in 2004.  As he has done throughout his career, Tomko showed flashes of brilliance in his two seasons as a Giant, but could not put it all together for any prolonged period of time, and his 15 losses in 2005 tied him for third worst in the NL.

January 13
Have Mullet, Will Travel: Having traded away former league MVP Kevin Mitchell in December, the Giants signed his replacement, Cory Snyder, on this date in 1992 – which just happened to be Mitchell's 30th birthday.  Snyder showed a surprising versatility by playing outfield as well as all four infield positions as a Giant, but fell quite short of living up to Mitchell's offensive prowess.

January 14
Hard-Nosed Player Managing a Hard Team: Hall of Famer Frank Robinson was announced as the manager of the Giants on this date in 1981.  Robinson lasted 3+ seasons in San Francisco until he was fired in August 1984.



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 dongsoo411@yahoo.com to commiserate, cheer, and complain.

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