PROGRAMMING NOTE: NBC Sports Bay Area is looking back at the 60 most memorable Giants moments since the franchise moved from New York to San Francisco. Tune into Giants Pregame Live at 3pm Wednesday to see the first two moments you can vote on! Then, after the Mariners and Giants conclude, tune into Giants Postgame Live to see which moment will move on to the next round! Make your vote count!
SAN FRANCISCO — In past years, the Giants media guide cover has featured individual players or images of championship celebrations. This year’s cover has the number 60 on it, signaling a yearlong theme for the organization.
The Giants celebrate their past as well as any organization, and they’ll spend the next six months honoring the players and moments that have made their 60 years in San Francisco special. It kicked Tuesday, when the home opener included appearances by Giants alumni spanning the six decades in San Francisco. The Giants intend to include all the highlights, from their first game at Seals Stadium on April 15, 1958, to the recent run of championships.
NBC Sports Bay Area will join in by counting down 60 top moments from the past 60 years. Some are obvious, like Willie Mays reaching milestones, Barry Bonds chasing the all-time home run record, or a team of misfits finally bringing a title to San Francisco. Others are part of a larger theme. In good times and bad, the Giants have been a story, and there’s always drama on the field, even in the lean years.
The 1976 Giants lost 88 games, but John Montefusco threw a no-hitter in the 160th game of the season. Chris Heston did the same for the 2015 Giants, a team that was part of a trend of Odd Year Giants clubs. The 2006 Giants finished far out of first, but that season had a memorable 16-strikeout night for Jason Schmidt. The 2009 Giants weren’t quite ready for primetime, but that season included Jonathan Sanchez’s no-hitter.
Even the 2016 Giants, a team with one of the worst second-half slides in MLB history, provided the right kind of drama. Brandon Crawford had a seven-hit game in the middle of the collapse, and when the Giants held on to reach the postseason, Madison Bumgarner and Conor Gillaspie gave an entire fan base a reason to stand up and once again believe.
Crawford and Bumgarner were on hand for the home opener, which gave a hint of what's to come. The pre-game ceremony included Mays and Willie McCovey, and during the game the team sent a message to Orlando Cepeda. All of those players helped a region embrace the sport, with Giants fandom spanning generations. Bonds was on hand, too, and he helped the organization build a ballpark that has transformed a large area of the city. Others, like Cody Ross, Travis Ishikawa and Brian Wilson had a hand in championships that brought the Bay Area together every even-year October.
If you have a personal favorite, it’s your time to join in on the 60th anniversary celebration. Throughout the season, Giants fans will be able to vote on their favorite moments.