clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Tim Lincecum’s return means a chance to say goodbye

New, 9 comments

Tim Lincecum never got the send off he deserved.

San Francisco Giants Victory Parade

Earlier this week, Félix Hernández threw his final pitch as a Seattle Mariner in front of the largest King’s Court ever assembled. His edifying farewell reminded us that players have an impact beyond what they do on the field. Even with his best days in the rearview mirror, Hernández provided joy and distraction and inspiration, and thousands of people, clad in gold, waving a K in the air, came out to thank him, to say goodbye.

Contrast that to Tim Lincecum’s final pitch in a Giants uniform. In the second inning of late-June matchup against the Rockies, DJ LeMahieu hit Lincecum in his throwing arm with a comebacker. Lincecum came out of the game without fanfare. No tipping of the cap, no hugs, no farewell. There were still three months left of the season. He’d be back. He had to come back.

Lincecum never got the sendoff that Hernández received. The camera didn’t follow him through the commercial break as he hugged every last Giant in the dugout like it did with Matt Cain. Lincecum never got to ride a scooter around the warning track like Hunter Pence high-fiving the fans who adored him and asked for little in return, just an opportunity to see him play and to thank him for what he did. Lincecum, as far as we know, won’t ever sign a one-day contract to retire as a Giant like JT Snow did before him.

But for the first time in four years, Lincecum will return to the ballpark where he created so many memories. He’s coming to say goodbye to Bochy, hopefully there will be a moment to finally say goodbye to Lincecum. The fans deserve that closure, and Lincecum deserves to know exactly what he means to San Francisco and the Giants fanbase.

He doesn’t have to sign a one-day contract and suit up (as loathsome as it is that his Baseball Reference photo is of him in a Rangers uniform, that will be changed on its own eventually). He can wear his street clothes, frosted tips and all, because it wasn’t just his contributions as a player. Two Cy Youngs, two no-hitters, and three World Series rings are nice accomplishments, but ebullient manner, his relatability, and his honesty with how he presented himself made him an easy person to love.

Lincecum’s strange journey has been filled with uncertainty and with things left unsaid, but now there’s a chance to finally say goodbye but more importantly: thank you.