clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Tuesday BP: The best Giants’ third baseman of all-time

New, 185 comments

It is no surprise who is at the top of the list.

Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images

It is has been a little more lively in the MLB world the last week or so. Recent discussions focused on moving forward with playing games in Arizona and realigning teams based on their spring training homes.

Even though these ideas would be weird to see, at least it would mean some baseball back in our lives.

This is all depending on the coronavirus pandemic and how it plays out over the next month or so. I don’t anticipate teams reconvening until the end of May, at best, but again the health and safety of the world takes precedence.

Until then, let’s get into some more San Francisco Giants’ best of discussions.

Giants beat writer Maria Guardado is running her weekly fan poll asking fans to vote for the best San Francisco players from each position.

This week, Guardado is looking at third baseman and it is really is no surprise who she ranks No. 1:

1. Matt Williams, 1987-1996

“Key fact: Hit 247 home runs with the Giants, fourth in San Francisco history behind Barry Bonds (586), Willie McCovey (469) and Willie Mays (459)

The third overall pick of the 1986 MLB Draft out of UNLV, Williams debuted with the Giants in 1987 at 21, but he struggled to establish himself over his first three years in the Majors. He finally broke through in 1990, when he hit .277 with 33 home runs and a National League-high 122 RBIs in his first full season as a big leaguer.

Williams never looked back, earning four All-Star selections and three Gold Gloves over his 10-year tenure in San Francisco. He topped the 30-home run mark four times with the Giants and placed in the top five in NL MVP voting twice. Williams crushed a career-high 43 home runs in 1994, though the season was cut short by a players strike, robbing him of the opportunity to chase Roger Maris’ single-season home run record (61). He finished second in MVP voting that year to the AstrosJeff Bagwell.

Williams spent two more seasons with the Giants before being traded to the Indians in exchange for Jeff Kent, Julian Tavárez and José Vizcaíno on Nov. 13, 1996. First-year general manager Brian Sabean drew immense criticism for trading the popular Williams, though the move ultimately worked out for the Giants following Kent’s emergence as one of the greatest offensive second basemen in baseball history.”

This is a pretty easy choice, no other Giants’ third baseman enjoyed the tenure that Williams did.

Here is how the rest of Guardado’s list looks:

2. Art Devlin, 1904-1911; Key fact: Won the 1905 World Series with the New York Giants.

3. Freddie Lindstrom, 1924-1932; Key fact: Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1976.

4. Jim Ray Hart, 1963-1973; Key fact: Holds the single-season Giants rookie home run record with 31 in 1964.

5. Hank Thompson, 1949-1956; Key fact: Integrated the New York Giants along with Monte Irvin in 1949.

Honorable mentions: Pablo Sandoval, Darrell Evans, Jim Davenport.

What do you remember most from Williams’ 10-year run with the Giants?


Onto more Giants links:

The baseball 100: No. 1, Willie Mays (The Athletic)

Giants’ 1964 23-inning game sounds pretty good in world without sports (NBC Bay Area)

OOTP Giants week in review: They’re cursed, but at least they’re hitting (The Athletic)

From around the MLB:

MLB looks to seize minor-league operations in restructuring plan: report (NY Daily News)

How many games does MLB have to play to make a season legitimate (Yahoo! Sports)