THE TEAM: The Giants franchise is the winningest in professional baseball history, having won more regular season games than the Cubs, Yankees, Dodgers, or Red Sox. The Giants have been to the World Series 18 times and claimed six championships during baseball’s modern era–and the success of this franchise has been built on legends, as the club also boasts more Hall of Fame players than any other in the sport.
THE FORMAT: The presentation created by the authors distinguishes Sports by the Numbers from everything else available today. San Francisco Giants is composed of ten chapters, each offering one hundred numbered “mini-stories”–facts, anomalies, records, coincidences, and enthralling lore and trivia from Hall of Fame legends such as Willie Mays, Mel Ott, and Bill Terry, to contemporary stars such as Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Buster Posey.
Each chapter begins with an introduction that highlights the many exciting stories found in these pages such as the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World,” Mays’ catch in the 1954 World Series, Barry Bonds’ pursuit of Hank Aaron, and rivalry games against the hated Dodgers.
Sports by the Numbers books are not just for diehard sports fans, but for every fan and sports history reader who loves sports and wants to know more about their heroes and favorite teams.
FROM THE INTRODUCTION
On May 1, 1883, a newly formed National League baseball team known as the New York Gothams played its first game on a field located at 110th street and Sixth Avenue in New York, a field where previously polo matches had been held–and with that game, the Polo Grounds and the franchise soon to be known as the Giants came into existence.
There were several different ballparks used in those first years, four of which were known by the iconic name Polo Grounds. It was at the third Polo Grounds where the franchise claimed its first modern World Series title in 1905, but during the 1954 World Series it was at the fourth Polo Grounds where Willie Mays made “The Catch.”
There is a lot of history in the Giants franchise.
The title won by the 1905 club was the first for any National League team in baseball’s modern era–and overall, the Giants claimed five world championship titles during the New York era of franchise history. In a half-century of play after moving to San Francisco in 1958, the Giants made it to the postseason eight times and won three additional pennants … and then the 2010 ballclub claimed the fourth pennant and the first world championship during the San Francisco era of franchise history.
Ask any fan to name “great” baseball franchises and you will surely hear the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees, but none of those teams have won as many regular season games as the Giants.
In fact, the Giants have the most regular season wins of any team in the history of organized sports–period. Now that makes for a very impressive franchise history.
And it only gets better.
The Giants can “drop” names with the best of them. As spring training got underway in February, 2009, Giants MLB.com beat writer Chris Haft perfectly illustrated this very point with a blog titled, “Now we know its baseball season: Mays is here.” He went on to write: “The Giants were graced Monday by the arrival of Willie Howard Mays, who needs no introduction.”
You might hear about the Yankees having a player at every position in the Hall of Fame, but more Hall of Fame players suited up for the Giants than any other franchise in baseball history–including the Yankees–and a quick glimpse at just a partial list of those players is awe-inspiring: Orlando Cepeda, Monte Irvin, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Mel Ott, Bill Terry, Monte Ward, Carl Hubbell, Juan Marichal, Christy Mathewson, and John McGraw, and these are but a few of the iconic figures who stand out among baseball’s elite, and who called the Giants their “Home Team.”
And every Hall of Famer from Giants history is in this book. As is every award winner, the greatest performances in franchise history, the postseason triumphs, the fan-favorite players who never became stars, all the glory, all the passion, and all the emotion that the greatest moments in franchise history evoke are all here in this Sports by the Numbers title. A thousand numbers await you, and they all tell the story of the New York and San Francisco Giants. The format is unique, intriguing, and compelling, because as baseball fans we all love the numbers, and in these pages the numbers celebrate records, lore, trivia, personalities, anomalies, championships won, championships lost, the good and the bad, and all that is great about baseball and the Giants.
Sit back, reminisce, and enjoy.
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