After a two-year postponement, the San Francisco Giants have announced a new date for Will Clark’s jersey retirement: July 30, 2022.
The Giants had initially planned to retire Clark’s jersey in 2020, but we all know what happened: the season got postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and when it restarted it was truncated and, crucially, lacking in-stadium fans.
So they’re trying again now that the season figures to be relatively normal ... maybe.
This is when I remind you that baseball is currently in a lockout, with little movement towards a resolution despite the fact that Spring Training is scheduled to start in about two weeks. So while I’m hopeful that the season will start on schedule and games will not be shuffled around, it certainly seems like the Giants are playing with fire a little bit here, after having already been burned by it once.
But, to their credit (or discredit), the organization is going all in, announcing a ticket package centered around the jersey retirement, which also features Opening Day.
In honor of Will Clark's number retirement, fans can now secure the new Thrill 22 Plan, which includes tickets to Clark's number retirement, Opening Day, matchups against the Dodgers and Cubs, and eight giveaway dates including bobbleheads.— SFGiants (@SFGiants) February 2, 2022
You might be optimistic that the July 30 game against the Chicago Cubs will go as scheduled (I am), but you’re probably not super optimistic that the April 8 contest against the Miami Marlins will (I’m not).
Either way, the Giants couldn’t miss the symbolic marketing opportunity to announce the retirement on 2-2-2022, a fitting date for the man who wore No. 22.
Clark played eight seasons for the Giants, hitting .299/.373/.499, good for a 145 OPS+. He was a five-time All-Star in San Francisco, as well as a two-time Silver Slugger winner, a Gold Glove winner, and a four-time top-five MVP finisher.
Since departing the Giants after the 1993 season, Clark’s No. 22 has been worn, fittingly, by 22 different players: Rikkert Faneyte (1994), Dave McCarty (1995), Osvaldo Fernandez (1996-97), Damon Minor (2000), Eric Davis (2001), Kurt Ainsworth (2002), Manny Aybar (2002), Jose Cruz (2003), Dustan Mohr (2004), Mike Matheny (2005-06), Matt Morris (2006-07), Alex Hinshaw (2008), Ivan Ochoa (2008), Ryan Rohlinger (2008), Keiichi Yabu (2008), Eli Whiteside (2009-12), Cole Gillespie (2013), Roger Kieschnick (2013), Dan Uggla (2014), Jake Peavy (2014-16), Christian Arroyo (2017), and Andrew McCutchen (2018).
Yes, four players wore the number 22 in the 2008 season. And thanks to the upcoming jersey retirement, that will never happen again.