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 30, 1954 The Giants trade playoff hero Bobby Thomson and Sam Calderone to the Braves for Johnny Antonelli, Don Liddle and Ebba St. Claire. Antonelli will go 21-7 and will lead the league in ERA.(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)
Brand new book about the longest winning streak in MLB history, held by the 1916 New York Giants:
In September, 1916, the New York Giants caught fire and made baseball history. It’s a tale complete with Hall of Famers, has-beens, and never-weres. It includes players who are remembered for something completely different or are now forgotten because baseball has re-written them out of the record books. The forces that would help tear baseball apart and then bring it back together after the Black Sox Scandal are all here, bubbling under the surface as the Giants continue to win game after game. The streak has never been fully looked at or understood until now.
A new book by Jeff Wagner. Here is the Amazon synopsis: Honus Wagner, Duke Snider, Warren Spahn, Johnnie Mize, Frank Frisch, Willie Keeler, Steve Carlton, Randy Johnson. Some of the greatest players to ever play major league baseball. All Hall-of-Famers. But did you know they each have one other thing in common? They all played baseball for the New York/San Francisco Giants franchise at some point in their career! Whether at the beginning, end, or somewhere in between, they all wore the black and orange at some point, and will always be considered members of the Giants family.
They Played Baseball for the Giants? Explores these and over 25 other players that you may have forgotten or didn’t know donned a Giants uniform, including 15 MLB Hall-of-Famers, two NFL Hall-of-Famers, an Olympic champion, and a character from the movie Field of Dreams. So, whether their tenure lasted several years or several months, explore the fascinating stories surrounding how these players became a New York or San Francisco Giant, and what they did while they were one.
The Giants player development coach, who played with the team in the 1950s and 1960s, is retiring days before his 87th birthday.
By Brady Klopfer
On Saturday it was revealed that Joey Amalfitano, who held a player development role with the San Francisco Giants, was retiring.
According to current 3b Coach Ron Wotus:
The greatest 3B coach of all time just retired yesterday. Joe Amalfitano, a treasure in baseball. Wow, what a tremendous career you have had. The Giants will miss you!! I will miss you! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and for your tutelage! It will always be with me.
Amalfitano, who will turn 87 later this month, had one hell of a journey in baseball. It included three stints as a player with the Giants, including one while the team was still in New York. According to John Shea, Amalfitano was in a Giants jersey at the Polo Grounds when Willie Mays made perhaps the most iconic catch in baseball history.
He managed the Chicago Cubs, and worked as a coach for five different teams, including four seasons in the 1970s with the Giants. And in the latter stages of his career, he turned to consulting and developing.
What an impressive career. 67 years in the big leagues … enjoy retirement!
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)
JANUARY 15, 1936 Horace Stoneham becomes president of the New York Giants succeeding his dad, Charles, who died nine days ago. The 32-year old will hold the position for the next 40 years before selling the team to Bob Lurie and Bud Herseth in 1976. (Nationalpastime.com)