At around 8:20 PM on June 8, Brandon Belt hit the 69th splash hit into McCovey Cove. And a little before 7:25 PM on June 13, Denard Span hit the 70th. The reign of #Splash69 was a glorious one, a beautiful one. Its resplendent majesty echoed across the land, inspiring legions of baseball fans to revel in, feast on its grandeur. It was, as Splash 69 was destined to be, mutually pleasurable for the team and the fans.
Here it is again, if you've forgotten:
The truly momentous events in world history don't always announce themselves, but in this case, the import of the moment was such that a fan passing by on the boardwalk, with no forethought or planning whatsoever, launched himself into San Francisco Bay just to retrieve one souvenir baseball. Watch the video again. Watch how close he is to failure, to the guy with the net grabbing it. In order to commemorate the 69 that he had long been awaiting, this gentleman went up against the man with the long pole, grabbed a wet, dirty ball, and emerged from the ecstatic experience a happy, satisfied man.
What effects did #Splash69 have on the team? There were a few firsts that happened during its reign. Mac Williamson hit his first major league home run, Chris Stratton got his first major league win, and yes, it counts: Denard Span hit the first leadoff Splash Hit in Giants history. The Giants made Kenley Jansen blow a save against them for the first time since 2013, scored two (2!) runs off Clayton Kershaw, which I'm pretty sure was his worst start of the year, and won a Jake Peavy Sunday Night Baseball start. To be honest, it was a very nice run.
Even in last night's game, there were leftover moments of wonder that just screamed of the last remnants of #Splash69. Derek Law got his first career save. Gregor Blanco got his first hit since the Eisenhower administration. Albert Suarez fooled Scooter Gennett on a pitch so badly that halfway through the swing, he realized that he's actually a professional archer and, why, this is the wrong stadium altogether. In the afterglow of this 69, that mix-up led to a whole lot of awkwardness and, yes, quite a bit of laughter.
Even Brandon Belt, the author of the moment, knew it wasn't going to last, though. When asked after Wednesday's game about the future of #Splash69, he had this to say:
It's like he knew. It's like he was just an actor playing a role in a script, telling us how it was going to end. Well, just because we all could see the end coming doesn't mean we couldn't enjoy the ride while we were on it.
However, like all beautiful things, this 69 was over much too soon. While it was impressive to watch all these people with muscular bodies perform athletic feats that are assuredly impossible for the average person, we shouldn't mourn that it's over but instead be grateful that we were a part of it at all. It was inevitable that it would end this way; just as there are beginnings, there must be endings, and even should that final blast come too soon, it is a joy to watch the eruption and we are all luckier to have been there for it.
Farewell, #Splash69. You will be remembered forever.
Also, 69 is the sex number. Just FYI.