Monday, April 30, 2012

Baseball Card Pictorial

It's been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, we think that applies to baseball cards as well. Here are some of our favorites ...

Monte Irvin - 1955 Topps

Robby Thompson - 1988 Big Topps

Tim Lincecum - 2008 Upper Deck Masterpiece

Will Clark - 1986 Fleer

Barry Bonds - 2005 Topps

Carl Hubbell - 1939 Play Ball

Mike Krukow - 1988 Topps

Carl Hubbell - 1941 Play Ball

Tim Lincecum - 2012 Topps Tribute (proof card)

Buster Posey - 2010 Topps Chicle

Met Ott - 1934 Goudey

Tim Lincecum - 2007 Upper Deck

Monday, April 23, 2012

Before The Thrill, There Was The Ripper

The other day, we were looking at our collections of SF Giants jerseys and we finally came across our mid-80s Giants home jersey, with CLARK #22 on the back of it. Now, you've seen this jersey at every home Giants game honoring Will "The Thrill" Clark. However, before the Nuschler ever came along, there was another CLARK #22, and he was and if not more of an offensive threat than The Thrill was.

Now, for those of you that that were born in the last few decades, there was an outfielder for the Giants by the name of Jack Clark. His nickname, and aptly so was "The Ripper" for the simple fact that he was just a pure slugger. He would make baseballs bleed, and the pitchers cringe, he was George Foster & Reggie Jackson bundled into a skinny frame kid that happened to play for a club that was a perennial doormat of the National League West.

Clark was a homegrown Giant, he was drafted in the 13th round of the 1973 amateur draft out of Gladstone High School in Covina, California. Clark would spend the next four years in the minors, with brief stops in The Show as a September callup in 1975 and '76.  His first Major League appearance was on September 12, 1975, and in his first at-bat he pinch hit for catcher, Mike Sadek, and walked before eventually scoring. It wasn't until 1977 that Clark made the club out of camp and would start an eight-year run as the starting right fielder. During his time with the Giants, Clark batted .277, with 163 home runs, 595 RBI, and a .359 OBP.

His greatest season with the Giants was in 1978, where he batted .306, with 25 home runs, and 98 RBI and having a .358 OBP, .537 slugging percentage. He would also earn his first All-Star appearance that year, and finished 5th in the National League MVP vote. Keep in mind that he did all of this as a 22 year old kid.

His other impressive season was in 1982, where he batted .274, with 27 home runs, and 103 RBI. He would finish seventh in the NL MVP vote. After the 1984 season, Clark was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, and help lead the RedBirds to the 1985 World Series where they ended up losing to the Kansas City Royals. In his final year (1987) with the Cards, he compiled his best statistical season when he belted 35 home runs, 106 RBI, and leading the league in walks, OBP, Slugging, and OPS. He would also earn his fourth All-Star appearance and finished third in the MVP ballot.

Clark would end up spending the next five seasons between the New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, and Boston Red Sox. His last game was on August 28, 1992, when the Red Sox played against the California Angels. He was 0-for-3 in his last game. In his 18 year career, Clark compiled 340 home runs, 1180 RBI, and a career batting average of .267. Make no mistake about it, he played when pitchers dominated and there is no question if he played today he would rank among the most feared and lethal offensive weapons.

After his playing career ended, Clark would serve as a batting coach for a number of clubs before joining the broadcast rank. He now has his own radio show, Sports Night, on KTRS in St. Louis.

So next time you see a CLARK #22 jersey, don't just think of The Thrill, but remember there was another CLARK #22, and his nickname was "The Ripper."

1982 - Jack Clark at Dodger Stadium

Jack Clark - Younger Years

Monday, April 16, 2012

$5 Tickets for Tuesday's Game vs. Philly

View reserve seats for Tuesday's game versus Philly is now available for just $5 on Individuals must use the promo code, "MADBUM", in order to purchase those tickets. Quantity is limited, so get them now!

Probable starting pitchers are: Madison Bumgarner vs. Joe Blanton.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Win a Sons of Johnnie LeMaster tee on April 13!

That's right, our first public giveaway of some of our limited edition tees will be distributed on Friday, April 13 at the Public House on 3rd & King streets. Now, if you didn't know already, we pay for the shirts out of our own pockets and have never asked for money in return - thus the rationale on a limited run of shirts. Having said that, we have six shirts to distribute during KNBR's Murph & Mac morning broadcast.

This is the deal, we will provide Murph & Mac six shirts (3 men's, 3 women's), and they will giveway the shirts to like-minded die hard Giants fans. However, since we only have a handful of the shirts to giveaway, Murph & Mac will devise some contest to determine the recipients. So get there early, bring a good attitude and your passion for the Giants.

Good Luck!

Friday, April 06, 2012

The Journey Begins Today ...

Does Opening Day ever get old?! The answer is ... of course not! Maybe it's the idea that each team starts from a clean slate regardless of past regressions, and has a chance for postseason glory. Maybe it's the idea that the veteran will capture lightning in a bottle one last time. Maybe it's the idea that the prospect will finally live up to the hype and deliver at the big league level. Maybe it's the symbolic beginning of the spring and summer months.

Whatever YOUR reason is, today, the boys in Black and Orange will commence the 2012 campaign and will take us on a roller coast ride for the next seven months. Hopefully, it will end with a parade down Market Street.

Rejoice, the season is here! Let's GO GIANTS!!!

SF Giants Opening Day 2011

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Where are they now ... John Bowker (SF Giants: 2008-2010)

It seems like yesterday when John Bowker bursted onto the scene at AT&T Park as a home grown power hitter, but his tenure with the Giants was short lived.

Bowker played college ball at Long Beach State, and was a 3rd round pick for the Giants in the 2004 Amateur Draft. He spent a better part of four years in the Giants farm system slowly climbing the ladder, when he was called up to the Bigs on April 12, 2004. This is where Bowker etched his name in the record books. He became the first player in San Francisco Giants history to club a home run in his first two games (April 12-13). The future looked promising for Bowker, but like so many others before him, he simply could not find the consistency that is needed at the big league level.

In 2010, after starting as the opening day right fielder, Bowker failed to hit and flirted with a .200 batting average for most of the season, he was eventually sent down to AAA Fresno on June 1, and left the team with a .207 batting average. Approximately two months later, Bowker and Joe Martinez (RHP) were traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Javier Lopez (LHP) ... and we all know how this trade worked out for the Giants.

Bowker spent the 2011 season between the Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies, but rarely saw any action. On January 10, 2012, he was released by the Phillies and soon thereafter signed with the Yomiuri Giants of the Nippon Professional Baseball League in Japan. As of today (April 5, 2012), Bowker has appeared in six games for the Giants and has one hit in 25 plate appearances (.042 batting average). The season is still young, but the Japanese teams are notorious on having a short leash with foreign players (gaishin), so he'll need to pick it up if he hopes to make his mark in Japan.

All told, Bowker played four years in the Bigs, and during his time with the Giants he compiled a .238 batting average, .285 OBP, 15 home runs, and 58 RBI.

John Bowker in 2008

John Bowker with the Yomiuri Giants

John Bowker with the Yomiuri Giants

Monday, April 02, 2012

In Cain We Trust

Well, the Giants did it, they signed Matt Cain to an extensions before the start of the 2012 season for a record $112.5 million over 5 years. Including this year, expect to see the Cainer through the 2017 season, and perhaps beyond - there's an option for 2018.

What does this all mean? The Giants need to push all the buttons to win another World Series within the next two years, because after that there is no guarantee that Tim Lincecum is gonna stick around after his two-year contract expires. Plus, will the Giants even venture into having 2 pitchers making over $22.5 million each? It's tough to tell, but we shouldn't assume it's going to happen.

Nevertheless, rejoice, the Cainer is a Giant for 2012 and beyond!

Matt Cain