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The position-by-position home run records of the San Francisco Giants

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You weren't being nice when you laughed at the Padres and Jedd Gyorko. The Giants can be pretty funny, too.

Thearon W. Henderson

The San Diego Padres, being a funny team, made us all laugh over the weekend by congratulating Jedd Gyorko for breaking the all-time career record for home runs by a Padres second baseman. That record was 30 and held by Mark Loretta. Which is amazing. I wrote about it here, and it turns out there are even sadder records out there. Brandon Crawford would be tied for fourth on the Mets' all-time shortstop list, for example, if you ignore every season before this one.

I decided to look for the home run leaders for the San Francisco Giants at every position, and came up with a realization: About 10 players in, everything starts getting funny. Players who were around for just a season or two. Players you didn't remember fondly or otherwise. Players who make you laugh in a remember-that-guy? sense. The answer is 10. Ten players in.

As time goes on, this realization will get stretched and stretched. By 2090, you'll have to go 20 deep to get chuckles. For now, though, 10 will do. Which means it's time to list the top-10 home run leaders at every position for the Giants since they moved to San Francisco in 1958.

Note: While I'm doing this just since '58 because I'm both lazy and indifferent to the New York region, there's also a practical reason. The play-by-play logs are spotty before 1940, so it's impossible to search by positional splits back that far. My search for the Yankees told me that Cody Ransom hit more homers as a Yankees first baseman than Lou Gehrig, for example. I didn't follow up with more research, but that seemed incorrect to me.

Catcher

Rank Player Split From To G HR
1 Tom Haller as C 1961 1967 689 105
2 Bob Brenly as C 1981 1989 650 78
3 Buster Posey as C 2009 2014 441 61
4 Dick Dietz as C 1966 1971 478 58
5 Bengie Molina as C 2007 2010 436 56
6 Ed Bailey as C 1961 1965 267 47
7 Benito Santiago as C 2001 2003 354 33
8 Bob Schmidt as C 1958 1961 286 26
9 Bob Melvin as C 1986 1988 239 24
9 Brian Johnson as C 1997 1998 143 24


Three of the most important home runs in franchise history came from this group, though two of them don't count in the rankings. Santiago's dinger in the 2002 NLCS, Posey's grand slam in 2012, and Brian Johnson in 1997.

Posey-latos-grand-slam

Whoops. I didn't do that. I have a macro built into the story editor that inserts that whenever I write "Buster Posey grand slam."

Posey-latos-grand-slam

Whoops, my bad again, dang it.

First base

Rank Player Split From To G HR
1 Willie McCovey as 1B 1959 1980 1747 390
2 Orlando Cepeda as 1B 1958 1966 852 178
3 Will Clark as 1B 1986 1993 1122 174
4 J.T. Snow as 1B 1997 2005 1073 123
5 Darrell Evans as 1B 1976 1983 280 51
6 Brandon Belt as 1B 2011 2014 337 39
7 Dave Kingman as 1B 1971 1974 181 30
8 Mike Ivie as 1B 1978 1981 223 26
9 Aubrey Huff as 1B 2010 2012 235 24
10 Mark Carreon as 1B 1993 1996 156 22


Mark Carreon: #10. See? that's when things get funny.

Second base

Rank Player Split From To G HR
1 Jeff Kent as 2B 1997 2002 845 171
2 Robby Thompson as 2B 1986 1996 1264 119
3 Ray Durham as 2B 2003 2008 675 74
4 Tito Fuentes as 2B 1965 1974 820 25
5 Bill Madlock as 2B 1977 1979 182 22
5 Joe Morgan as 2B 1981 1982 205 22
7 Daryl Spencer as 2B 1958 1959 165 14
8 Chuck Hiller as 2B 1961 1965 386 12
9 Freddy Sanchez as 2B 2009 2011 192 11
10 Ron Hunt as 2B 1968 1970 349 10
10 Juan Uribe as 2B 2009 2010 59 10


Gyorko would have ranked #4 all time on the San Francisco Giants, so maybe it's not that funny. Notice Freddy Sanchez's inclusion on this list, despite him never hitting a home run in his career. That I remember.

Shortstop

Rank Player Split From To G HR
1 Rich Aurilia as SS 1995 2007 942 124
2 Chris Speier as SS 1971 1989 897 57
3 Juan Uribe as SS 2009 2010 141 25
4 Brandon Crawford as SS 2011 2014 443 23
5 Eddie Bressoud as SS 1958 1961 240 21
5 Johnnie LeMaster as SS 1975 1985 905 21
7 Jose Pagan as SS 1959 1965 586 19
7 Jose Uribe as SS 1985 1992 951 19
9 Royce Clayton as SS 1991 1995 496 18
10 Matt Williams as SS 1987 1991 110 16


Matt Williams is 10th on the all-time Giants list ... as a shortstop. I wonder what he would have been like if the Giants stuck with him there, and whom they would have found to replace him.

Crawford is flying up the charts, already four past Johnnie Lemaster. Excelsior!

Third base

Rank Player Split From To G HR
1 Matt Williams as 3B 1987 1996 998 228
2 Jim Ray Hart as 3B 1963 1973 674 105
3 Pablo Sandoval as 3B 2008 2014 728 96
4 Darrell Evans as 3B 1976 1983 686 79
5 Pedro Feliz as 3B 2000 2007 576 71
6 Jim Davenport as 3B 1958 1970 1021 63
7 Dave Kingman as 3B 1972 1974 137 36
8 Kevin Mitchell as 3B 1987 1989 169 34
9 Chris Brown as 3B 1984 1987 289 30
10 Bill Mueller as 3B 1996 2002 537 26


Bill Mueller is the Freddy Sanchez of this list. Picture him hitting a home run. You can't.

Left field

Rank Player Split From To G HR
1 Barry Bonds as LF 1993 2007 1875 574
2 Kevin Mitchell as LF 1987 1991 425 109
3 Jeffrey Leonard as LF 1981 1988 681 83
4 Gary Matthews as LF 1972 1976 571 62
5 Willie McCovey as LF 1962 1964 250 59
6 Jim Ray Hart as LF 1964 1971 261 45
7 Orlando Cepeda as LF 1959 1966 210 40
8 Ken Henderson as LF 1965 1972 375 35
9 Pat Burrell as LF 2010 2011 140 23
10 Terry Whitfield as LF 1977 1980 332 20


And then you remember that Bonds was a two-time MVP before he even came to the Giants. He's fourth on the Pirates all-time list, too. Not their all-time list for left fielders: All Pirates ever. Only Stargell, Kiner, and Clemente had more.

Center field

Rank Player Split From To G HR
1 Willie Mays as CF 1958 1972 1939 443
2 Chili Davis as CF 1981 1987 530 67
3 Marquis Grissom as CF 2003 2005 316 44
4 Marvin Benard as CF 1995 2002 447 38
5 Aaron Rowand as CF 2008 2011 420 37
6 Bobby Bonds as CF 1968 1974 197 32
7 Garry Maddox as CF 1972 1975 376 30
8 Randy Winn as CF 2005 2009 178 21
9 Angel Pagan as CF 2012 2014 286 16
9 Andres Torres as CF 2009 2013 232 16
9 Gary Thomasson as CF 1973 1977 163 16


This is a good list, a mix of greatness, homegrown players, ringz, and Randy Winn. Oh, how I wish the Giants had kept Chili Davis. At least let us look at what they did in the alternate universe.

Right field

Rank Player Split From To G HR
1 Jack Clark as RF 1975 1984 956 157
2 Bobby Bonds as RF 1968 1974 857 153
3 Felipe Alou as RF 1958 1963 466 74
4 Ellis Burks as RF 1998 2000 223 56
5 Glenallen Hill as RF 1995 1997 317 53
6 Hunter Pence as RF 2012 2014 344 50
6 Candy Maldonado as RF 1986 1989 414 50
8 Willie Kirkland as RF 1958 1960 356 49
9 Bobby Murcer as RF 1975 1976 288 34
10 Randy Winn as RF 2006 2009 417 28
10 Moises Alou as RF 2005 2006 134 28


The same wish for Candy Maldonado goes for Jack Clark, too. Though without the Clark trade, the Giants don't get Jose Uribe, and they don't trade for Dave LaPoint, who was traded for Scott Medvin, who was traded for Rick Reuschel, who help the Giants win the pennant. Maybe that wasn't such a bad trade.

Pitcher

Rank Player Split From To G HR
1 Matt Cain as P 2005 2014 266 6
1 Don Robinson as P 1987 1991 106 6
3 Madison Bumgarner as P 2009 2014 132 5
3 Bobby Bolin as P 1961 1969 186 5
3 Jason Schmidt as P 2001 2006 153 5
6 Russ Ortiz as P 1998 2007 145 4
6 Juan Marichal as P 1960 1973 444 4
6 Mike McCormick as P 1958 1970 247 4
6 Jim Gott as P 1985 1987 32 4
6 John Montefusco as P 1974 1980 176 4


These are only for at-bats taken when the player is in the game as a pitcher, so Bumgarner's 40 as a pinch-hitter won't count. They'll show up on the next list.

Pinch hitter

Rank Player Split From To G HR
1 Willie McCovey as PH 1959 1980 247 13
2 Jim Ray Hart as PH 1964 1973 76 6
3 Shawon Dunston as PH 1996 2002 82 5
3 Candy Maldonado as PH 1986 1989 84 5
3 Aaron Rowand as PH 2008 2011 63 5
3 Willie Mays as PH 1958 1972 105 5
3 Ernie Riles as PH 1988 1990 117 5
3 Darrell Evans as PH 1976 1983 61 5
3 Mike Ivie as PH 1978 1981 74 5
3 Joel Youngblood as PH 1983 1988 233 5
3 Armando Rios as PH 1998 2001 70 5


Aaron Rowand has one of the greatest pinch-hit-to-dinger ratios in franchise history. The Giants never won a game in which Rowand hit a pinch-hit homer, either.  Seems like you needed to know that.

The San Francisco Giants have employed some of the greatest players in baseball history. They also employed some players who weren't really close. There are some tables with both kinds. Hope you enjoyed it.