50 Years of the Giants in San Francisco-1967

A Cy Young winner, plus Mays, McCovey, and Marichal – what more could you want, right? The 1967 Giants had plenty of talent, but they ended up seeing a lot of "red."


Record: 91-71 (2nd, National League)
Ballpark: Candlestick Park
Manager: Herman Franks
All-Stars (3):Tom Haller, Juan Marichal, Willie Mays
Awards: NL Cy Young Award – Mike McCormick
NL Gold Glove – Willie Mays

Another 90+ win season for the San Francisco Giants under Herman Franks – however, in 1967 this wasn't even close enough to take the pennant, as a former player took revenge in a major way.

The 1967 Opening Day Lineup:

  1. Ken Henderson RF
  2. Jesus Alou LF
  3. Willie Mays CF
  4. Willie McCovey 1B
  5. Jim Ray Hart 3B
  6. Tom Haller C
  7. Jim Davenport SS
  8. Hal Lanier 2B
  9. Juan Marichal P

The most significant new Giant turned out to be a former Giant – lefty Mike McCormick; however, the rest of the lineup remained mostly intact from the previous season.  In lieu of replacing the traded Orlando Cepeda with a veteran player, Franks started a youthful corner outfield tandem around Willie Mays, consisting of early- or mid-20s players Jesus Alou, Ollie Brown, Ken Henderson, and even regular third baseman Jim Ray Hart, who sometimes gave way to the much better fielding Jim Davenport at the hot corner.

Willie McCovey (.276/31/91) and Hart (.289/29/99) led the offense – fourth in the NL at 4.02 runs per game – but at age 36 father time finally began to catch up with Willie Mays (.263/22/70), who put up his weakest full-season numbers since his rookie season in 1951.  Mays would continue to be productive into his forties; however, he would never top 30 home runs or 100 RBIs again.

In pitching, however, the Giants reigned supreme in the NL in 1967.  Four Giants starters – Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry, Mike McCormick, and Ray Sadecki – finished the season with ERAs under 3.00.  McCormick (22-10, 2.85, 5 shutouts) surprised everyone by having a stellar career year – one good enough to be awarded the NL Cy Young award (1967 was the first season the award was awarded in both leagues).  Despite being limited to 26 games by injuries, Marichal (14-10, 2.76) still had a productive season.  Perry (15-17, 2.61) had the best ERA of the four despite having a losing record.  And closer Frank Linzy (7-7, 1.51, 17 saves) had a superb season after slipping a bit in the previous season.

The 1967 season started poorly for the Giants, as they began the season 1-7, including a 6-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Opening Day.  The ballclub didn't reach .500 until winning a doubleheader against the Houston Astros on May 14 at Candlestick Park to complete a four-game sweep.  This put them in a tie for fifth place, behind the Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, and the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Giants finally started playing better beginning in the second half of May, splitting or winning every series to crawl up to 30-21 and second place behind the Reds on June 8.  However, they mostly treaded water throughout the rest of June until winning four in a row – including a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Candlestick – to enter the All-Star break at 45-38.  Marichal (12-7, 2.29 at that point, including eight wins in a row) started the 1967 Midsummer Classic in Anaheim, a 15-inning 2-1 National League victory that turned out to be the longest All-Star Game ever.  McCormick, who had gone 11-3 up to that point, including six in a row leading up to the game, slipped under the radar and wasn't invited.

The beginning of the second half included a three-game sweep at the hands of the Cubs at Candlestick Park which pushed the Giants back to fifth on July 17, and the team languished there until winning six games in a row in the beginning of August to take over second place.  That honor, however, still meant that they were eight and a half games behind the Cardinals, who had sat atop the NL standings ever since defeating the Giants on June 18, and put together winning streaks of seven, six, and five games to pad that lead by early August.  Even without an injured Marichal (who was able to pitch only twice after July), the Giants managed to put together a seven-game winning streak in early September – however, this only got them to within 10 ½ games of the Cardinals, which was the same margin at the end of the season.  St. Louis did all this riding the Baby Bull – former Giant Orlando Cepeda (.325/25/111) was batting in the high .340s as late as September, and his clutch hitting earned him the 1967 NL MVP award.  The Cards continued their bull ride into the World Series that year, which they won in dramatic fashion in seven games over the Boston Red Sox.

The cynical historian has to wonder how different Giants history would have been in 1967 if a) the team had kept Cepeda, and b) Marichal hadn't gotten hurt late in the season.  But the '67 offseason included another trading of a Giants All-Star – this time, catcher Tom Haller to the Dodgers in exchange for All-Star second baseman Ron Hunt and infielder Nate Oliver.  Would this trade, coupled with a return to health of Marichal, make things any better in '68?  Stay tuned.

The complete 1967 roster:

#1 Bob Barton
#2 Dick Dietz
#5 Tom Haller
#7 Jack Hiatt
#10 Bob Schroder
#12 Jim Davenport
#14 Jesus Alou
#15 Ken Henderson
#16 Jim Ray Hart
#17 Bobby Etheridge
#17 Cesar Gutierrez
#18 Dave Marshall
#18 Bill Sorrell
#19 Ty Cline
#19 Frank Johnson
#20 Dick Groat
#22 Hal Lanier
#23 Tito Fuentes
#24 Willie Mays
#25 Ollie Brown
#27 Juan Marichal
#28 Joe Gibbon
#29 Norm Siebern
#31 Cesar Gutierrez
#31 Don Mason
#33 Frank Johnson
#34 Ron Herbel
#35 Frank Linzy
#36 Gaylord Perry
#37 Ray Sadecki
#39 Lindy McDaniel
#40 Mike McCormick
#41 Don Mason
#42 Bobby Bolin
#44 Willie McCovey
#45 Bill Henry
#48 Rich Robertson
#49 Ron Bryant
#50 Nestor Chavez

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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