Members of the society had a special viewing breakfast with Giants officials this morning, January 24, as the World Series Trophy came to NYC. Special thanks to Staci Slaughter, Shana Daum, and Albert Jaimes, among many, who made this an unforgettable day for all those in attendance. Willie Mays, Joe Panik, and Larry Baer, held a Q/A session to a captive audience. The NYGPS donated $ to the Jr. Giants Fund and the Say Hey Foundation. The SF Giants Organization continue their amazing tradition of remembering and embracing their past. For this we are most THANKFUL!!
The San Francisco Giants, including legend Willie Mays, are in town now to celebrate their latest championship with fans of old.
Say hey — then insist that the city give the Giants’ old home, the Polo Grounds, the hallowed place in history that it has earned.
Before they headed West, the Giants won five World Series there. The Yankees, football Giants, Mets and Titans/Jets also once called it home.
Yet for years, the stadium’s only remnant, a 80-step stairway, sat rusty and broken. In 2008, this page adopted the stairs and enlisted the five ex-Polo Grounds teams to help fund repairs. They came through with half a million dollars. Major League Baseball chipped in another $50,000. The National Football League didn’t give a penny.
The fixes have been made and all that’s needed is a nice ceremony to rededicate the stairs, honor the five teams and fête the incomparable Mays. Have it in June, when the Mets host the Giants.
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)
JANUARY 17, 1922
Benny Kauff’s appeal to be reinstated as a major league player is denied by an appellate court. The former Giant outfielder believed his banishment from the game by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis is unjust due to his acquittal of the auto theft charges brought against him. (Nationalpastime.com)
SAN FRANCISCO — Stu Miller, who will be remembered more for committing history’s most famous balk than for his formidable pitching, died Sunday at his home in Cameron Park, Calif. He was 87.
The Giants and Orioles, the teams with whom Miller distinguished himself the most during his 16-year Major League career, announced his death Monday.
Baseball’s spotlight glared upon Miller during the 1961 All-Star Game, which cemented Candlestick Park’s reputation as an oversized air conditioner. This, according to legend, was the Midsummer Classic in which Miller was blown off the mound. That wasn’t exactly what happened.
A game recap in the 1963 book “The Giants of San Francisco” cited unusually withering temperatures that forced 95 fans to receive treatment for heat prostration during the early innings. But Candlestick’s infamous breezes took over by mid-afternoon. Recalled Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills, who played the entire game for the National League, “I saw the same hot-dog wrapper hover over the infield for three or four innings with the wind taking it in different directions, about 100 feet off the ground.”
Miller, the Giants right-hander making his first and only All-Star appearance, relieved Sandy Koufax in the ninth inning with one out, Roger Maris on first base, Al Kaline on second and the NL clinging to a 3-2 lead.
In the 1979 book “SF Giants: An Oral History”, Miller said the flags in center field were “almost torn off the flagpole by the time I got in. It was actually the windiest day I had ever seen there, and I was certainly used to it by then. So I came in and anchored myself into the wind, as usual.”
As the 5-foot-11, 165-pound Miller went into the stretch position to pitch to Rocky Colavito, a sudden gust upset his balance. Miller threw the pitch anyway, but was called for a balk after doing so, due to his erratic movement. Kaline scored the tying run as third baseman Ken Boyer misplayed Colavito’s subsequent grounder.
Ultimately, Miller persevered and received the decision in the NL’s 5-4, 10-inning victory.
Miller, who ranked among the top 20 finishers in Most Valuable Player Award voting four times, broke into the Majors with the Cardinals in 1952. He performed for four other teams, including the Giants (1957-62) and Orioles (1963-67), and compiled a 105-103 record with a 3.24 ERA and 154 saves in 704 career appearances. He was among 43 former Giants to merit a plaque on AT&T Park’s Wall of Fame, a distinction reserved for the franchise’s finest San Francisco-era (since 1958) performers. Miller also was elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame in 1989.
After alternating between starting and relieving, Miller moved almost exclusively to the latter role in 1959, one year after he recorded an NL-best 2.47 ERA. He topped the NL with 17 saves in 1961 and the AL with 27 in 1963. He won 14 games in relief in 1961 and again in 1965. Though Miller relied primarily on a changeup, he overwhelmed enough hitters to average 8.35 strikeouts per nine innings from 1963-65.
“For what he had, he was amazing,” said left-hander Johnny Antonelli, a Giants teammate of Miller’s from 1957-60. “He made some of those hitters look pretty bad. He had a great idea of how to pitch, changing speeds. It was really funny to watch sometimes. He would throw a pitch that floated up there, someway, somehow, and it looked like it was going to be a fastball. But it came in there slow and they would just swing through it. He would make certain hitters look sick. That was Stu Miller.”
A native of Northampton, Mass., Miller is survived by his wife, Jayne; six children, Scott, Lori, Kim, Marc, Gary and Matthew; five grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
THE TWENTY-FOUR SURVIVING MEMBERS OF THE NY GIANTS
■Joey Amalfitano 1954-55 B:1/23/1934
■Johnny Antonelli 1954-57 B: 4/12/1930
■Jackie Brandt 1956 B: 4/28/1934
■Ed Bressoud 1956-57 B: 5/2/1932
■Pete Burnside 1955, 1957 B: 7/2/1930
■Foster Castleman 1954-57 B: 1/1/1931
■Gil Coan 1955 B: 5/18/1922
■Ray Crone 1957 B: 8/7/1931
■Joe Garagiola 1954 B: 2/12/1926
■Billy Gardner 1954-55 B: 7/19/1927
■Harvey Gentry 1954 B: 5/27/1926
■Monte Irvin 1949-55 B: 2/25/1919
■Joe Margoneri 1956-57 B: 1/13/1930
■Willie Mays 1951-52, 1954-57 B: 5/6/1931
■Windy McCall 1954-57 B: 7/18/1925
■Mike McCormick 1956-57 B: 9/28/1938
■Ron Samford 1954 B: 2/28/1930
■Red Schoendienst 1956-57 B: 2/2/1923
■Daryl Spencer 1952-53, 1956-57 B: 7/13/1929
■Wayne Terwilliger 1955-56 B: 6/27/1925
■Ozzie Virgil 1956-57 B: 5/17/1933
■Bill White 1956 B: 1/28/1934
■Al Worthington 1953-54, 1956-57 B: 2/5/1929
■Roy Wright 1956 B: 9/26/1933
Monte Irvin is the oldest living member of the New York Giants (95), while Mike McCormick is the youngest at 76.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR UPCOMING SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS 2014 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY TOUR PRESENTED BY BANK OF AMERICA TOUR BEGINS ON JANUARY 7TH AND CONCLUDES ON OPENING DAY IN SAN FRANCISCO, APRIL 13TH
The San Francisco Giants announced today that they will take all three of their World Championship Trophies (2010, 2012 and 2014) on public tour beginning in early January of 2015.
This will be the third public trophy tour held in the past five years. The focus of the San Francisco Giants World Championship Trophy Tour presented by Bank of America is to share the trophies with Giants fans in Junior Giants communities throughout northern and central California, Oregon and Nevada.
Junior Giants is the flagship program of the Giants Community Fund, which serves more than 22,000 boys and girls in 87 underserved communities throughout northern and central California and southern Oregon. It is a free and non-competitive baseball program that has served as a model for MLB youth initiatives. Using baseball as the hook, Junior Giants provides opportunities for children to learn the meaning of leadership, teamwork, confidence and integrity, as well as the importance of education, health and bullying prevention.
“We saw in 2012 how powerful it was for us to create a trophy tour which not only allowed us to connect with our fans, but also with the more than 22,000 kids who participate in our Junior Giants baseball program. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to do so again,” said Larry Baer, Giants president and chief executive officer.
In partnership with their Junior Giants Leagues, the Giants will offer public viewing opportunities in the following cities throughout the months of January, February and March. Fans will have the chance to have their photo taken with the trophies and to support the Junior Giants in their community. Continue reading