After he was released by the White Sox in September, Derek Holland had a handful of teams pursuing him. Once the Giants became one of those teams willing to give him a chance to compete, the veteran lefty knew who to sign with.
"There was a few teams that were coming after me and San Francisco became one of those teams. And I've always loved coming to the park. I thought it was a beautiful ballpark to begin with. Obviously, the competition they have was good. And pitching in a hitter's park last year in Chicago, I thought it was time to try out a pitcher's park and hopefully get better results," Holland said Saturday on KNBR.
Holland, 31, has mainly been a starting pitcher in nine-year career. Of the 208 games he has appeared in, 184 have been as a starter. But the Giants' giving him a shot as a starter or reliever peaked Holland's interest.
"I loved the interest they had in me and the opportunity to compete as a starter and a bullpen job as well," Holland says. "I knew there was the opportunity so I wanted to take advantage of that and give it a try."
More than anything, Holland's family, specifically two members, couldn't be happier.
"My two uncles, Wes and Warren, this is a dream come true for them for me to be wearing a Giants uniform," Holland said. "They're die-hard fans. They've been fans since they were little. They've followed them the whole time. They've given me some of the history a little bit of the Giants."
For Wes and Warren, nothing was greater than the 2010 World Series with their Giants taking on Holland's Rangers.
"The coolest thing for them, obviously it didn't work out for me, was when we played them in the World Series in 2010. It was a tough moment for my two uncles. Do I root for the Giants or do I root for my nephew? It was pretty cool to experience that."
Holland struggled mightily against the Giants in the 2010 World Series. In two appearances, he only managed to finish one inning, allowed three earned runs, and walked four batters. And still, he's happy for his uncles more than anything.
"The results didn't go my way, but at the same time, you know what, I'm happy they got to see something cool like that."
The Giants went on to beat the Rangers in five games to win their first World Series since moving to San Francisco. Now eight years later, Holland is on a minor-league deal in big league camp trying to win a ring for his uncles' favorite team.