Will Clark is a Giants icon, so when a player passes him on any franchise list, it's an accomplishment.
Brandon Belt did just that with two doubles in the Giants' 5-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night at Oracle Park.
Those two doubles gave Belt 250 in his career, moving him past Clark's 249 for 12th all time in Giants' franchise history. Since the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958, Belt now is fifth all-time, behind only Buster Posey (276), Willie McCovey (308), Willie Mays (376) and Barry Bonds (381).
After the game, Belt was informed by NBC Sports Bay Area's Greg Papa that he had passed Clark.
"I honestly didn't know that was happening, but that's pretty cool," Belt said on Giants Postgame Live. "Obviously, Will was a great ballplayer, so to be able to pass somebody like that, that's pretty awesome. And just to be able to hang around long enough in the league to do that, I think is an accomplishment in of itself."
Belt, who was drafted in the fifth round of the 2009 MLB Draft by the Giants and has spent all 11 seasons in San Francisco, is a free agent after the season. It's unclear if the team will re-sign him or let him test free agency.
If Belt wants any chance of catching McCovey, Mays and/or Bonds in San Francisco history, he will need to sign a long-term contract this winter and stick around for a while.
Clark and Belt were in the news last week when the former Giants first baseman made comments about modern-day players who struggle to hit against the shift and he mentioned the current Giants first baseman.
"I've had this talk to Brandon Belt until I'm blue in the face. I'm like, 'Why don't you back off the plate, get the ball out over the plate for you instead of being in on you all the time, why don't you back off the plate, get the ball out over the plate and go the other way?' But he always stands in the same spot in the batter's box and pulls everything and hits it right into the shift," Clark said on the 95.7 The Game's "Morning Roast" last Wednesday.
"And everybody talks to me about it, and I go 'Well the big thing is, I would be able to hit a ground ball to shortstop, you guys can't hit a ground ball to shortstop.' And Belt goes 'Well yes I can' I said 'No you can't, because there's eight guys on one side of the field.' I said 'You can hit .700 hitting the ball for a groundball to shortstop.'
"As far as the shifts go, it's great for the defense because they're playing the odds and these idiots that are in the batter's box don't make any adjustments. And taking that a step further, that's like these guys that hit 15, 20 homers, you bring up a Joey Gallo, that's a perfect example, 15 or 20 homers, maybe 25 at the max, and he's gonna strike out 200 times. That is not a hitter, you have no pride in your craft, you don't work on anything, all you do is go out and try to hit the ball out of the ballpark, that's all you do."
It's not clear if Belt saw Clark's comments, but if he did, he took the high road Monday night and praised "Will The Thrill."
Whatever Clark thinks of Belt's hitting approach, when a conversation is had about the best first basemen in Giants' franchise history, both players will be mentioned and for good reason.
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