When Joey Bart struck out with the bases loaded in the second inning Thursday, he missed a chance to match a pretty impressive feat his shortstop pulled off in 2011. Brandon Crawford's first home one was one of the more memorable ones in franchise history, a grand slam in Milwaukee that set his career on the right course early on.
That looked like the first of many at the time, and on Thursday, when he shot a homer into the empty bleachers in left, Crawford hit the century mark. He became the third Giants shortstop to hit 100 homers in his career, joining Rich Aurilia (143) and Travis Jackson (135).
"It's really cool, it's something I never really dreamed of doing," Crawford said. "It's just something I never really thought about growing up. As a fan of the Giants and watching Rich Aurilia, I never really imagined being in a small group of home run-hitting shortstops with him. It's pretty cool."
Crawford's homer was his 36th at Oracle Park. On the road, he has found Petco Park (nine homers) and Coors Field (eight) to be particularly inviting. The 100 homers came off 88 different pitchers, and there are some big names in Crawford's book. He has two homers off Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin. Mike Foltynewicz leads the way with three given up to Crawford.
Crawford and Brandon Belt were once the young guys in the Giants' core. Now, they're the veterans, and because of how long they've been with the organization, both are climbing up leaderboards dotted with Hall-of-Famers.
Crawford ranks fourth in defensive WAR in Giants history, just behind Willie Mays. By the end of this season, he'll rank in the top 20 in at-bats for an organization he grew up cheering for, and he could pass Matt Williams on the hits leaderboard. Both Brandons are moving up the franchise's doubles leaderboard, with Belt currently 18th and Crawford tied for 22nd with Orlando Cepeda.
"It's not something that I think about a whole lot, but when you see or hear something like that it's definitely special," Crawford said. "It's a testament to being able to stay on the field throughout the years and the Giants having faith in me to sign me to a long-term deal, and being here for so many years. I guess you're eventually going to hit some of those milestones.
"To be a fan growing up, watching the Giants, you never really expect to hit some of those milestones with some of the great Giants of all-time. It's definitely special."