FEB 21, 1931
The White Sox and Giants become the first major league teams to play a night game. The Buffs Stadium (Houston, Texas) exhibition game lasts ten innings with the teams collecting a total of 23 hits.
NYGPS FIRST 2019 MEETING TO HONOR MONTE IRVIN’S LIFE AT FINNERTY’S FEBRUARY 25TH.
The New York Giants Preservation Society’s first meeting of 2019
will take place on February 25 at our new home base Finnerty’s at 6PM. The night
will be entitled: Monte Irvin: A Centennial
Celebration. This night would have
marked Irvin’s 100th Birthday.
On hand will be many members of the NYGPS who had personal experiences
throughout the years. They include as of
this date, Gary Brown and John Barr. We hope to have a special guest or two as
well. Finnerty’s is located at 221 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. We will have use of
their backroom. For your enjoyment, libations will be available at the Happy
Hour rate until 8PM. Drinks specials are:
$5 draft beers
$6 mixed well cocktails
$7 glasses of wine
Please RSVP ASAP to me. All the best, Gary
FEBRUARY 1, 1913
Jim Thorpe signs with the New York baseball Giants. The Olympic hero will compile a life-time .252 batting average during his six seasons in the major leagues, which includes stints with the Reds and Braves.
FEBRUARY 1, 1973
Commissioner Bowie Kuhn announces the Special Committee on the Negro Leagues selection of Monte Irvin to the Hall of Fame. The outfielder spent five full seasons in the major leagues, and was the first black to play for the Giants.
JANUARY 31, 2001
The Wall Street Journal’s Joshua Prager quotes former players Monte Irvin, Sal Yvars and Al Gettel “admitting” the team stole catchers’ signs during the 1951 pennant race when the Giants overcame the Dodgers’ 13 1/2-game lead. According to Prager’s WSJ report, Bobby Thomson, whose three-run, ninth-inning walk-off homer in Game 3 of the National League playoffs won the pennant for New York, did not steal a sign before hitting his historic home run. (Nationalpastime.com)
JANUARY 28, 1949
Monte Irvin becomes the first African-American player, along with hurler Ford Smith, to sign with the Giants. Although the 29-year old outfielder will play only five full seasons in the major leagues, the former Newark Eagles standout will be elected to the Hall of Fame in 1973, primarily for his outstanding play in the Negro Leagues. (Nationalpastime.com)
Our organization and the Giants organization lost a tremendous friend and resource today when Peter Magowan passed away at the age of 76. We mourn his passing. May he rest in peace. Peter, thanks for everything you did for us!!
SAN FRANCISCO — Peter A. Magowan, who led the drive to keep the Giants in San Francisco, surrounded by his family on Sunday after a long battle with cancer, the team announced. He was 76.
“The Giants family, the entire Bay Area and the game of baseball lost a man whose passion and loyalty to his favorite team and beloved community made it possible for all of us and future generations to experience the magic of Giants baseball in San Francisco forever,” said Larry Baer, the Giants’ president and CEO. “Peter was my mentor and dear friend, and I will forever be grateful for his guidance, support and love. His legacy will be carried on by all those he inspired, including community leaders, our players, the front office, Junior Giants players and, of course, by his devoted family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Debby, and his children and their families.”
The Magowan family issued the following statement: “Our family lost a great man today. We all know how much Peter loved his Giants and San Francisco, and he had that same love and passion for his family. He was so proud of his children and grandchildren, and we will forever cherish the memories we made together.”
Magowan organized a group of San Francisco-area investors in 1992 to purchase the team from Bob Lurie after a group based in Tampa-St. Petersburg reached an agreement in principle to purchase the franchise and move it there.
Once Magowan’s group successfully bid to forestall a coast-to-coast move, he and Baer launched efforts to build a stadium that would replace Candlestick Park, which fans avoided by the thousands due to its decay and the chilly conditions surrounding the area.
Finding a replacement for Candlestick meant winning a vote to build a stadium. Four previous initiatives failed at the ballot box because taxpayers would have assumed part of the costs. Magowan and Baer engineered enough deals to build the ballpark with mostly private funding, which helped the Giants finally win a stadium vote in 1996. The park opened as Pacific Bell Park in 2000 and was known as SBC Park and AT&T Park before a new business agreement prompted the recent change to Oracle Park.
Under Magowan’s watch, the Giants also signed left fielder Barry Bonds to a then-revolutionary six-year, $43.75 million contract before the 1993 season. Adding Bonds, who became baseball’s all-time home run leader in 2007, instantly transformed the Giants into a winning team.
With the Giants, after leading the Safeway supermarket chain from 1979-93, Magowan hired the executives that would assemble four National League pennant winners and three World Series championship clubs within a span of five years to begin this decade.
“Peter Magowan has been a part of my life for a long, long time, first as a fan watching me play in New York and then, remaining a fan when we moved to San Francisco. Along the way, he became my friend. Peter would call me often to check in. He and Debby cared about me and it was so easy to care about them in return. It’s hard to find the right words just now, but in losing Peter, I’ve lost a great, great friend. He was like my godfather. No one can replace him,” said Hall of Famer Willie Mays.
On Wednesday, the Giants announced that Magowan would become the first non-player to receive a plaque on the club’s Wall of Fame, which adorns Oracle Park near Second and King streets. The ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 9, immediately before the team’s annual FanFest.
“Peter’s mark on the Giants and the San Francisco community can be felt throughout the ballpark, in which he was intimately involved in the design and planning and throughout the daily operations of the organization,” Baer said. “He set forth a Giants vision to create a winning culture and to serve our fans and the community. Over the past 25 years, we have followed through on his vision and his impact on our community will be felt for decades to come.”
In addition to Debby, Peter is survived by 5 children and 12 grandchildren. Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Peter Magowan Fields for Kids Program of the Giants Community Fund.
Commissioner Rob Manfred issued the following statement: “Peter Magowan was a vital figure in the history of the San Francisco Giants, the club he rooted for since his childhood in New York. During a tenuous period for the franchise, Peter stepped up and led the group that purchased the Giants and kept them in San Francisco. With groundbreaking vision, he then guided the effort that resulted in a ballpark that became a landmark for the city. In his 16 seasons of leadership, Peter oversaw a winning, civic-minded ballclub that represented the spirit of San Francisco. The foundation created under his direction helped make the Giants the model club they remain today.
“All of us in Baseball will be forever grateful to Peter for his pivotal part in preserving a first-class franchise in one of America’s most vibrant cities. On behalf of Major League Baseball and his many friends in our game, I extend my deepest condolences to his wife, Debby, their children and their entire family.”
Chris Haft has covered the Major Leagues since 1991 and has worked forMLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. Matt Kelly contributed reporting.
JANUARY 22, 1913
The Giants agree to share the Polo Grounds with the Highlanders. The American League club, which will become known as the Yankees, had been playing their home games at Hilltop Park, located at 168th Street and Broadway, since 1903, when the franchise shifted from Baltimore to New York. (Nationalpastime.com)
JANUARY 20, 1906
Henry Mathewson signs with the Giants, but the right-hander’s performance will not remind anyone of his more talented brother, Christy. The 19 year-old will appear in just two major league games over the next two seasons compiling a 0-1 record along a 4.91 ERA. (Nationalpastime.com)