Oracle Park will always be at least a partial monument to the late Peter Magowan, but now when people go to the stadium and soak up its history, his bronzed face will hang on the team’s Wall of Fame alongside players who defined the franchise. It’s where his face and his story belong.
There might not be a McCovey Chronicles if Peter Magowan hadn’t spearheaded the final winning bid to keep the Giants in San Francisco. There certainly wouldn’t have been the Barry Bonds era of Giants baseball.
In case you missed it, here’s the ceremony from today’s Wall of Fame induction. Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper emceed, introducing the likes of Larry Baer and Shawn Estes, but the last person to speak was Barry Bonds.
Ellis Burks and Robby Thompson were also in attendance, but they did not speak.
Barry Bonds talks a lot about Peter Magowan’s vision for the Giants and it really seems like one friend speaking about another. Magowan respected Bonds’ baseball exploits and Bonds appreciated that Magowan respected them, too, but also for his humanity.
Peter Magowan was a Giants fan just like all of us, and he used his tremendous power and influence to make the Giants the best they could be while he was alive. On the way, he revitalized an area of San Francisco, laid bare the lie that baseball teams are too poor to build their own stadiums, and gave us all hope that the Giants could be one of the best franchises in sports.
Magowan’s family was also in attendance, and if I may editorialize with a person story, six months after my dad died, a baseball tournament was named in his honor. It was weird to meet with family for that reason, but at the same time, there was something very lovely about baseball being the thing that did it.
Ignoring for the moment all the money involved in professional sports, Peter Magowan’s efforts to build something that could truly be considered a “crown jewel” that not only housed a winner but brought people together is a legacy worth celebrating.