Happy Birthday, Will Clark! You remain an iconic Giant for a lot of fans. If you're young or new to the team and have no knowledge of Will The Thrill, then you can catch a glimpse of his icon status in this 1992 interview which aired in the Bay Area over television airwaves as a show called "Superstars At Home" (I have no recollection of this program). Before the Internet, this is how you consumed mass video content.
He was interviewed by a younger Ralph Barbieri (whom millenials might know as "that old guy who used to make me flip the radio dial during drive time KNBR") and his attitude is that of local royalty. There's a comfort and relaxation to this older Thrill (28, sure, but already an All-Star and perennial MVP candidate) and also a polished, manufactured air of humility threaded through both segments.
And listen to these concise questions from Barbieri. Who is this energetic fast-talker? And listen to the aggrandizing preamble to every question. Will Clark used to be The Man, to the point that an interviewer would fawn over him before even daring to ask questions of him.
Of course, none of this interview is pointed. It's all in good fun and provides insight into Will the Thrill's process. At least, in the first part.
The next part is fun in retrospect because it exposes that the main design of this sit down was to drum up support for a new stadium by threatening a move to Tampa Bay.
"I think our fans are excellent and they deserve us to be here. But they don't deserve the torture that they have to go through with hot dog wrappers beat them in the face and, you know, dirt hitting them in the face all the time, and so for that reason, they should have a quality ballpark. Especially, you know, in the Bay Area."
Pretty savvy media move, 1990s San Francisco Giants. You use the Face of the Franchise to stump for the new stadium and do it in such a way that it sounds like the team and its players are on the verge of leaving. There were only, like, 50 channels in 1992 so there wasn't a lot of noise to drown out this particular signal. Today's equivalent is Buster Posey. If Buster Posey was cool with moving the team to Los Angeles.
The interview does end with a question about regrets, which I always think is a great question but rarely as a note to end on. For example: "Happy Birthday, Will Clark! Do you have any regrets?" See? That's a bummer.
So let's bask in the glory of those Will Clark years. Gaze upon a remarkable Baseball Reference page. Dream of a web series on sfgiants.com about a shared #22niverse, where Will Clark and all the other players in Giants history who wore jersey #22 come together to fight various St. Louis Cardinals, Cubs, and Dodgers.
Basically, celebrate the guy because he was awesome on the field. Happy birthday!