This Week in Giants Baseball History

Not such a hot opening week in '07, huh? Take solace – below were some better results for past G-Men teams, and keep in mind that the 1951 team (the "Giants win the pennant!" team) started the season 2-12 and came all the way back to, well, win the pennant!

April 9
Opening Day 1976: Last season's Rookie of the Year John "The Count" Montefusco outdueled future Hall of Famer Don Sutton as the San Francisco Giants downed the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 at Candlestick Park.  Bobby Murcer got the Giants on the board with a home run off of Sutton in the first inning, and after a two-run shot by Gary Matthews in the fourth inning off of Sutton, the Giants never looked back.  Gary Lavelle pitched the final 1 2/3 innings for the save.

April 10
Opening Day 1975: It took ten innings, but the Giants began the 1975 season with a 2-0 victory over the San Diego Padres at San Diego Stadium.  Much of the credit went to starter Jim Barr, who shut out the Padres for all ten innings, closing it out in the bottom of the tenth without incident after a double by Gary Matthews scored Bobby Murcer and a groundout by third baseman Steve Ontiveros scored Matthews in the top of the inning.

April 11
Opening Day 1990: A doubleheader to start out the season?  Why not?  So thought the Giants and Atlanta Braves, who began 1990 by splitting a doubleheader at Fulton County Stadium.  The Giants shut out the Braves 8-0 on the combined strength of pitching (Rick Reuschel, current Cincinnati Reds announcer Jeff Brantley, and Atlee Hammaker) and the right side of the infield (Will Clark and Robby Thompson, who drove in two runs each).  The Braves struck back in the second game with a 4-3 victory, aided greatly by three Giants errors that resulted in all four Braves runs being unearned.

April 12
Opening Day 1966: One of the many powerful Giants squads in the 1960s, the '66 team began the season in grand fashion by spanking the Chicago Cubs 9-1 at Candlestick Park.  Starter Juan Marichal was dominant, hurling a complete game three-hitter with eight strikeouts.  Every Giants starter except two – sluggers Willie McCovey and Jim Ray Hart, of all people – drove in at least one run, with Willie Mays and catcher Tom Haller plating two each.

April 13
Opening Day 1954: The season that ended with the New York Giants sweeping the heavily favored Cleveland Indians in the World Series (the franchise's last such title, by the way) began with a 4-3 victory over the Brooklyn Dodgers at the Polo Grounds.  Sal Maglie went six-plus effective innings for the victory, and all four Giants runs were driven in by the long ball – a two-run shot by future manager Alvin Dark in the third inning, and solo shots by Bobby Thompson and Willie Mays in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively.

April 14
Opening Day 1964: Home run derby was usually held in the offseason, but the Giants teed off on the Milwaukee Braves to the tune of an 8-4 victory at Candlestick Park to begin the 1964 season.  The Giants hit three home runs off of Braves starter Warren Spahn (two by Willie Mays, and one by Jim Ray Hart), and two more off of reliever Hank Fischer (solo shots by Orlando Cepeda and Tom Haller).  As he would numerous times in his career, Juan Marichal got the better of Spahn, this time by hurling a complete game seven-hitter, surrendering only one earned run.

April 15
Opening Day 1958: The Giants kicked off their San Francisco era on the right foot by flattening the Dodgers 8-0 at Seals Stadium.  Giants starter Ruben Gomes went the distance with a six-hitter, defeating 21-year old Don Drysdale.  Orlando Cepeda homered in this, his first Major League game, as did shortstop Daryl Spencer, who hit the first-ever home run on the West Coast off of Drysdale in the fourth inning.



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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