Friday, January 25, 2013

Network Baseball Theme Music

The other day, we saw a replay of the 1989 NLCS featuring our beloved SF Giants and the Chicago Cubs. In 1989, the NLCS was aired on NBC Sports, and for years they had a baseball theme music that started and ended every broadcast. Growing up, whenever we heard that music, we knew a baseball game was about to start on the television set ... it was baseball's version of Pavlov's dogs. When NBC lost their rights to broadcast Major League games, we grew up listening to the baseball theme music of other networks. 

Some of the other theme music were pretty good, but for our money the NBC baseball theme will always resonate with us as being the best. Listed below are the respective network baseball theme music ... take a listen, which one is your favorite?

NBC Sports - Baseball Theme

ABC Sports - Baseball Theme

CBS Sports - Baseball Theme

FOX Sports - Baseball Theme

ESPN - Baseball Theme

This Week in Baseball - Baseball Theme

CSN Bay Area - Giants/A's Theme

Friday, January 11, 2013

SF Giants and Football

On the eve of the NFC Divisional game featuring our hometown Niners v. Packers, we thought about past Giants that had a close link to football. We thought of one player in particular ... can you name the former Giant that played quarterback for his college football team?

Answer is available here.

2011 Blackout: Steelers v. 49ers

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Matt Kemp Loves San Francisco

So as we wait for the NFC Divisional game (49ers v. Packers) that's slated for this Saturday, we couldn't help notice that the one and only Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers is a die-hard SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS fan.

We can't wait to hear Matt Kemp utter the words, "It's the San Francisco 49ers show so far."

Matt Kemp at a Phoenix Suns Game Last Year

Matt Kemp - San Francisco 49ers Die Hard

Where Are They Now: Joe Strain (SF Giants 1979-80)

Yeah we know ... Joe who? Joe Strain is not often mentioned in the same sentence as Jack Clark, Darrell Evans, Mike Ivie, et al from the 1979 and 1980 seasons, but for some odd reason his name has always resonated with us. Strain only played for three seasons, two of which with the Giants, and one with the Chicago Cubs. He was strictly a role player that played second base backing up Rennie Stennett, and his offensive numbers are not going to dazzle you by any stretch. In his two years with the Giants, Strain had one home run, 28 RBI, batted. 260 in 446 at-bats.

After the 1980 season, Strain was traded to the Cubs for Jerry Martin and Jesus Figueroa. Strain started the 1981 season as the Cubs second baseman, but his year in Chicago ended up with him being released on June 2, 1981.

One of the interesting tidbits about Strain is that he was in a punk-rock band with two other San Francisco players, and they were called the "Giants Prospects."  John Tamargo was on drums, Greg Johnston on bass, and Strain on vocals and guitar. From what we can gather, they weren't very good ... just a good way to blow off some steam on the road in the minors. A copy of their band flyer is included below, made to depict a baseball card.

It's unclear what Strain did after being released in '81, but he returned to the Giants organization and became the manager of the short-season class A team in the Northwest League in Everett, Washington from 1984 to 1990.

Currently, Strain resides in Colorado and is the West Coast Scouting Supervisor for the Giants and had a lot to do with putting together the 2010 and 2012 World Championship teams. In fact, he was the scout that signed Sergio Romo!

Strain Running the Bases During Spring Training

The Punk Rock Band - "Giants Prospects"

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Where Are They Now: Marc Hill (SF Giants 1975-79)

Marc who? Yeah, you're not gonna find Marc Hill's plaque on the Giants Wall of Fame on the exterior wall of AT&T Park on King Street. However, he's one of those obscure players that we remember fondly while growing up following the Giants. Maybe its because of his 1979 Topps baseball card  (see below). We don't know where that photo was taken, but that field needs a huge John Deere lawn mower for a good cut.

Hill arrived to the Giants via a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals in October 1974 for Ken Rudolph (C) and Elias Sosa (RHP). Sosa actually ended up having a 12-year career as a middle reliever and had some solid seasons playing for the Dodgers and Expos.

Hill played six years for the Giants and usually split catching duties with Mike Sadek and or Milt May. His best year was in 1977 where he belted nine home runs and 50 RBI while batting .250. In 1980, he was purchased by the Seattle Mariners and played sparingly. After that year, as a free agent he signed with the Chicago White Sox, and would spend the next six years with the Southsiders as a backup catcher. He retired after the 1986 season.

In the subsequent years, Hill managed and coached at the following clubs and locations:

1987 - manager of White Sox's minor league team in Daytona Beach
1988 - coach with Houston Astros
1989-1991 - bullpen coach for New York Yankees
1992 - manager of New Port News (White Sox minor league club)
1993-1994 - manager of Seattle Mariners AA team
1995-1997 - manager of Carolina Mudcats (Pittsburgh Pirates minor league club)
1998-2002 - roving catching instructor for Pittsburgh Pirates
2003 - manager of the River City Rascals

After the 2003 season, Hill officially retired from the game and currently resides in Elsberry, Illinois. Hill lists Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan as close friends, most notably because he played for LaRussa when he played in Chicago.

Marc Hill's 1979 Topps Card

Marc Hill Taking BP at Dodger Stadium