This Week in Giants Baseball History

As indicated by the examples below, baseball shopping sprees go far beyond the holiday season. Some this week worked out quite well (look for the phrase "the eventual NL champs"), while others fizzled or outright stunk. But hey, if you're a Major League franchise with a checkbook, you gotta roll the dice sometime, right?

January 22
Chez Rey: Still unsure about giving the full-time shortstop job to youngster Rich Aurilia, the San Francisco Giants signed slick-fielding veteran infielder Rey Sanchez on this date in 1998.  Taking few pitches (16 walks all season!), Sanchez nevertheless performed well at the plate (batting .285) and in the field.  However, Aurilia eventually emerged as the primary shortstop by the end of the season, thereby making Sanchez's San Francisco stay just one season long.

January 23
Not that We Didn't Have Enough Lefties Already, But: Happy birthday to former Giant bullpen denizen Alan Embree, born on this date in 1970, in The Dalles, OR.  Instead of joining the big reunion as most of his old Giants teammates, Embree instead opted to sign with the cross-bay Oakland Athletics this offseason.

January 24
The Coming of TK: In a trade of backstops, the Giants sent Bob Melvin to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for veteran Terry Kennedy on this date in 1989.  In the majors since age 22, the former All-Star didn't have his former bat, but he nevertheless was the primary catcher for the eventual NL champs.

January 25
Desi, We Hardly Knew Ye: Shortly a month after acquiring him in the trade that sent Shawn Estes to the New York Mets, the Giants dealt utilityman Desi Relaford to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for infielder David Bell on this date in 2002.  The trades turned out quite well – playing mostly third base in 2002, Bell exhibited some timely pop and stellar defense for the eventual NL champs.

January 26
Gott Him: Perhaps going for youth, the Giants traded away long-time reliever and former All-Star Gary Lavelle to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Jim Gott and two minor leaguers on this date in 1985.  The trade eventually benefited neither team – Lavelle's career lasted just two more seasons, Gott's mediocre stay in San Francisco lasted just a little longer, and the minor leaguers never blossomed to Major League fruition.

January 27
A Flier on Mike: Like the Los Angeles Dodgers before them and the Montreal Expos after, the Giants took a chance and signed pitcher Mike Johnson to a one-year deal on this date in 2003.  And like the Dodgers and Expos, the Giants found that Johnson couldn't crack the Major League roster, and released him.

January 28
No Last Hurrah for the Quiz: Former Kansas City Royals icon (don't laugh; they really were great in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s) Dan Quisenberry signed with the Giants on this date in 1990.  At age 37 that season, the former All-Star pitched ineffectively in very limited appearances, and 1990 proved to be his final season in the majors.

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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