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The 5 things that won’t be honored at tomorrow’s 2002 World Series team reunion

The Giants lost the 2002 World Series, so reuniting that team feels odd because most of the memories are sad.

Livan Hernandez reacts after giving up a double in the second

Tomorrow morning the Giants will host a 2002 World Series team reunion in Triples Alley at AT&T Park. The first time they did it was back in 2012 to celebrate the 10-year anniversary, and they’re doing it this year as part of the 60 years in San Francisco celebration.

Here’s an excerpt from the full description:

To commemorate this 2002 Giants WS Team, we are hosting a special VIP Triples Alley event! Each VIP-ticket holder will receive admission to the Triples Alley Premium Location from 10:35am-12:35pm, complimentary food and beverage (including beer and wine), and access to a panel with some of your favorite alumni from the 2002 World Series team! Alumni scheduled to appear are Barry Bonds, Shawon Dunston, Kirk Rueter, Marvin Benard, Robb Nen, Jason Schmidt and Manager Dusty Baker all of these Giants greats will be led by special guest emcee and teammate David Bell! Each VIP ticket holder will receive a Kirk Rueter “Woody’s World” bobblehead - a nod to the fan-favorite bobblehead given away in the 2003 season! These bobbleheads will also be signed by Kirk Rueter himself!

Last time around, J.T. Snow and Darren Baker reenacted J.T. Snow’s famous save of Baby Baker from Game 5. There are very few other moments they might be able to reenact this time around. Bonds could possibly try to recreate his mammoth home run he hit at Angels Stadium, and they could replay footage of Tim Salmon’s reaction to it. Here are five things we know for sure they won’t try to recreate for tomorrow’s occasion:

Reggie Sanders gets smacked by Thundersticks

It’s sour grapes at this point. When you’re losing, the winners are legally allowed to do whatever they want to your person or your soul, so Angels fan who smacked Reggie Sanders while he fielded field Garrett Anderson’s game-winning 3-RBI double was entitled and a hero.

It was a really great insult to injury in that moment, because while the Giants losing Game 7 was a foregone conclusion, you needed little moments within those big moments to serve as a reminder that the Giants were in this situation because they were hopeless losers who needed to be fully humiliated for daring to try to win in the first place. I don’t think the Giants organization would want to celebrate that for a reunion of the 2002 World Series.

Reggie Sanders hits two fly balls in Game 7

Now, again, the Giants were never going to win Game 7, but they did have the lead in it very briefly after Sanders hit a sacrifice fly in the 2nd inning to score Benito Santiago. They could easily recreate that moment on the infield for the people at the special event. Sanders later flew out to end the 4th inning. In both cases, there was another runner on base (Snow was on first in the 2nd and Bonds was on second based in the 4th). Hits could’ve sustained rallies. Another candidate for this spot is Jeff Kent recreating his 0-for-4 with 2 strikeouts.

Livan Hernandez gets the nod to start Game 7

The Giants were doomed no matter who they started in the final game, but in Game 3, his previous start, Hernandez allowed six runs in 3.2 innings. In his previous start (game 4 of the NLCS vs. the Cardinals), he had 0 strikeouts and 0 swing-and-miss strikes. But he was the Giants’ “big game pitcher”, and Dusty trusted his gut, even though Kirk Rueter — who had pitched better than Hernandez in his World Series start and the Angels had seemed more susceptible to lefties in the series (Chad Zerbe pitched 4 solid innings in game 2 as well as Rueter only allowing 3 over 6 innings in his start) — was right there and ready to go.

They’re kinda honoring this by including the “Woody’s World” bobblehead as part of the reunion event, a tacit acknowledgement that maybe they should’ve started him. I think more than anything, starting Rueter in Game 7 was the last spark of hope. The whole team was raw, we’d all soured on Hernandez, and after the emotional gut punch of game 6, dependable location pitcher Kirk Rueter seemed like chicken soup for the soul. He might’ve gone out there and baffled Angels hitters for 5 innings, until the Giants figured out how to score some runs, and then who knows? No... no. The Giants were going to lose that game no matter what.

Felix Rodriguez throws a slider for the ceremonial first pitch

It’s not something he could ever do, and we know he hadn’t been saving a perfect slider for the right moment his entire career because he got ahead of Scott Spiezio 1-2 but couldn’t put him away.

Still, he could’ve thrown that pitch anywhere else and gotten a completely different result.

Dusty Baker giving the game ball to Russ Ortiz

It’s the 2nd-most famous moment from the series (after the Giants blowing a 5-0 lead in Game 6) and it was, apparently, the moment the Angels decided they weren’t going to lose the series. Like I said before, back in the 2012 reunion, J.T. Snow and Darren Baker delighted the crowd by recreating that famous home plate save, but I can’t see the Giants getting Dusty and Russ to even ironically recreate the moment (Ortiz isn’t even scheduled to attend and Dusty Baker’s sense of humor doesn’t seem to skew that dark). Although, it would be amazing. Technically, it was the most memorable moment for the Giants in that 2002 series.

The actual ball is at Russ Ortiz’s house and has become “a good conversation piece”. I say dust that sucker off and have some fun with it. The Giants have won 3 World Series since. It can’t hurt us anymore.