Giants reveal they’ll retire Will Clark's No. 22 jersey next season

Giants reveal they’ll retire Will Clark's No. 22 jersey next season

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants have kept some numbers on the "unofficially retired" list over the years and have tried to quietly nudge players away from wearing certain ones, but on Sunday they made it official for one of the most important players in franchise history. 

Beginning next season, no Giants player will ever wear Will Clark's No. 22 again. 

The announcement was made Sunday as the Giants honored the 1989 team that went to the World Series in large part because of Clark's contributions. A Giant for eight years, Clark was a five-time All-Star and finished in the top five in MVP voting four times. 

He was the star of the late 80's clubs and a player who helped a new generation fall in love with the Giants. In recent years, Clark has been a special advisor for the club and a regular at Oracle Park. He has always been open about what the honor would mean to him. 

"I wanted to stay a Giant my whole life," Clark told NBC Sports Bay Area's Amy G recently. "That's why I came back to the Giants. Let's just say that the talks have been starting, and hopefully it gets done. And with your help, fans, if you'd like to partake and put a little pressure on the Giants, I would love it, thank you. If No. 22 ever winds up there, it'd be really, really special."

The Giants previously retired 10 players' numbers, with Barry Bonds' No. 25 going up on the wall last year. Bonds is not in the Hall of Fame, and Clark said that helped his cause. 

"The Giants have always had a policy where the numbers that were retired were Hall of Famers," he said. "And then that changed last year when Barry got his number retired. He is not a Hall of Famer, so it opened a door."

Bonds' number had unofficially been taken out of commission, along with Tim Lincecum's No. 55. But 22 has been worn by 22 other players since Clark's time in San Francisco ended. 

The list includes some veterans like Jake Peavy, Andrew McCutchen and Mike Matheny, but also plenty of more random Giants, like Keiichi Yabu, Ryan Rohlinger and Dan Uggla. McCutchen was the last to wear it, with top prospect Christian Arroyo getting it the year before that.

When Arroyo was called up, he said he had talked to Clark, who had helped him in the minors, about taking his number.

[RELATED: Clark's heroics highlighted by local artist]

"He told me that I could have it because there are hits in it," he said. 

There were more than 1,200 of them for Clark as a Giant, but that line won't hold up anymore. The No. 22 will now forever belong to Clark.

Dodgers signing Madison Bumgarner would be 'great,' Clayton Kershaw says

Dodgers signing Madison Bumgarner would be 'great,' Clayton Kershaw says

Despite what Giants fans want to believe, Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw are friends.

Before many Giants-Dodgers games over the years, they could be seen talking on the field, in plain sight of everyone.

So it should come as any surprise that Kershaw would love to have Bumgarner on the Dodgers.

"I love Bum," Kershaw said Friday at a Dodgers holiday event according to Dodgers Nation. "If we signed him, that’d be great."

NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic reported Thursday, citing sources, that the Dodgers and Bumgarner have a mutual interest in a deal.

Bumgarner in Dodger blue is the worst nightmare for Giants fans. But it's a real possibility with Los Angeles missing out on top free agent Gerrit Cole.

[RELATED: Padres reportedly looking at Bumgarner]

Kershaw hasn't been able to bring a World Series to Los Angeles on his own, so of course, he would love for a postseason hero to come help him end the Dodgers' title drought.

MLB rumors: Padres 'taking close look' at free agent Madison Bumgarner

MLB rumors: Padres 'taking close look' at free agent Madison Bumgarner

The teams in the NL West appear to really like free agent Madison Bumgarner.

The Padres are the latest team to show interest in the former Giants ace.

MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported Friday night that the Padres are "taking close looks" at Bumgarner and former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel.

Bumgarner has been linked to the Dodgers and D-backs this week. The Rockies are the only NL West foe not to be linked to the 2014 World Series MVP. The Angels, in the AL West, reportedly are also pursuing Bumgarner after missing out on top free agent Gerrit Cole.

With Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Zack Wheeler off the free-agent market, Bumgarner, Keuchel and Hyun-Jin Ryu are the best available arms remaining.

NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic reported Thursday night, citing sources, that there is mutual interest between Bumgarner and the Dodgers. The Giants are still talking to Bumgarner's representatives, according to Farhan Zaidi.

[RELATED: What we learned about Giants at Winter Meetings]

Most Giants fans would like to see Bumgarner return to San Francisco. But if he doesn't, they would probably prefer if he leaves the NL West. It would be tough to watch the longtime face of the Giants come back to pitch against his former team multiple times a year.