History of the San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants have a long history as they are one of the oldest franchises in Major League Baseball as part of the National League. The club began back in 1883 as the New York Gothams, and in 1889, the New York Giants. While in New York, the Giants won five out of their current six World Series Titles. During that time, the Giants’ lineup included stars Bobby Thomson and Willie Mays, who played integral roles in two of the greatest moments in Giants’ history. In 1951, the Giants went on a sixteen-game winning streak to tie the Brooklyn Dodgers atop the standings after trailing their rivals by 13 and a half games in August. Thomson then hit a huge walk-off home run in game three of a three-game playoff series with the Dodgers, to capture the first place in the NL for the Giants. His home run has become known as the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World.” Another famous moment in Giants’ history occurred during the 1954 World Series when Mays made a terrific over-the-shoulder catch 450ft from home plate in center field. “The Catch” prevented the Cleveland Indians from scoring and breaking open the 2-2 tie. The Giants would win the opening game, and would ultimately sweep the Indians to win the World Series Title.

A few years later, in 1958, the Giants relocated to San Francisco, California as their stadium in New York was becoming obsolete and beyond repair. They decided to move to California because the Dodgers wanted to go to Los Angeles, but could only do so if another team joined them out west. The Giants’ early years in the Bay Area saw the emergence of future Hall-of-Famers and rare feats. In 1968, star pitcher Gaylord Perry threw a no-hitter, and in 1969, Willie McCovey became the NL MVP while Mays hit his 600th home run. The 1970’s were a decade of very little success for the Giants, and one which almost saw the franchise move to Toronto before a man named Bob Lurie bought the team in 1976.

In 1992, the Giants made a big move by signing superstar Barry Bonds, who would surpass Hank Aaron for the most home runs in the MLB and end up with 762 for his career (although this feat has been scarred due to his involvement with steroids). Despite Bonds putting up big numbers throughout his career, the Giants struggled in the postseason, and wouldn’t win their sixth World Series until 2010, two years after Bonds retired. The 2010 season marked a remarkable run by the Giants as they started off slow, but ended up clinching a tight NL West race on the last day of the regular season. Rookie catcher Buster Posey contributed to his team’s success with a 21-game hitting streak, along with closer Brian Wilson, who ended the regular season with the most saves in the Major League at 48. The Giants defeated the Atlanta Braves in four games in the NLDS and the Philadelphia Phillies in six games in the NLCS, before facing off against the Texas Rangers in the World Series. The Giants won four games to one, in a series that was won by strong pitching from Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, Brian Wilson, and Matt Cain—who just recently threw the first perfect game in Giants’ history. The 2010 World Series championship was the first for the city of San Francisco.