Cody Ross

Watch Giants playoff hero Cody Ross sink hole-in-one at Pebble Beach

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USATSI

Watch Giants playoff hero Cody Ross sink hole-in-one at Pebble Beach

Cody Ross is famous for a few particular swings during his tenure with the Giants.

He has since retired, but apparently still has a knack for the memorable moment.

On Wednesday, the former playoff hero was jumping for joy again, but this time, it was due to a different sort of athletic achievement.

Ross, of course, was named the 2010 NLCS MVP and hit five home runs in the 2010 postseason on the way to the first of three Giants' World Series titles in a span of five years.

[RELATED: New rules would have prevented Giants from adding Cody Ross in 2010]

Clearly, he can still put a good swing on a ball.

New MLB rules would have prevented Giants from adding NLCS MVP Cody Ross

New MLB rules would have prevented Giants from adding NLCS MVP Cody Ross

SAN FRANCISCO — The general consensus last summer was that the Giants did pretty well before the August 31 deadline to make waiver trades. They swapped a month of Andrew McCutchen for infielder Abiatal Avelino and right-hander Juan De Paula, two top 30 prospects in a deep Yankees system. 

Farhan Zaidi won’t have the opportunity to make that kind of swap.

As part of a bigger deal between MLB and the Players Association to make rule changes, the sides have agreed to have just one trade deadline — July 31 —reports Jeff Passan of ESPN. Passan wrote that the union agreed to that particular change with the hope that eliminating waiver trades “will cause teams to be more aggressive in the offseason knowing that the fallback for August deals is no longer an option.”

Essentially, fringe teams will need to more quickly decide if they’re selling — the Giants did not make that determination until after July 31 last year — and contenders won’t be able to count on August claims to build depth. While the Giants figure to be in sell mode now, their most notable waiver deal in recent years was actually an acquisition.

On Aug. 22, 2010, the Giants, who had a somewhat crowded outfield at the time, were awarded Cody Ross on a waiver claim. They took on the remaining $1 million in his deal in part to keep the Marlins veteran from bolstering the Padres outfield, and that might have won them a title.

Ross was batting .265 with 11 homers at the time (ironically, the move cleared the way for the Marlins to call up prospect Cameron Maybin, now a Giant). After coming to San Francisco, Ross upped his OPS by about 100 points in 33 regular season games and then took off in the postseason. 

Ross had seven hits in 20 at-bats in the NLCS against the Phillies, including three homers, earning the MVP award. He hit two off ace Roy Halladay in Game 1 of that series and took Roy Oswalt deep in Game 2. Ross also had a game-tying homer in Game 4 of the NLDS and went deep in Game 3 of the World Series.

[RELATED: Giants' starting outfield taking shape as Opening Day approaches]

Overall, Ross batted .294 with five homers that October, winning a ring in his only postseason appearance.

The Giants might not be in that type of position this August. But if they are, they won’t be able to make a similar type of deal.

POLL: Giants Memorable Moments -- Ross' two HRs in Game 1 of 2010 NLCS vs Belt's 18th inning HR against Nats

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AP

POLL: Giants Memorable Moments -- Ross' two HRs in Game 1 of 2010 NLCS vs Belt's 18th inning HR against Nats

PROGRAMMING NOTE: NBC Sports Bay Area is looking back at the Giants' 60 Memorable Moments since the franchise moved from New York to San Francisco. Tune into Giants Pregame Live at 3pm to see the next two moments you can vote on! Then, after the Giants and Pirates conclude, tune into Postgame Live to see which moment will move on to the next round! Make your vote count!

1. Cody Ross' two home runs off Roy Halladay in Game 1 of the 2010 NLCS (Nine-time winner -- Defeated Willie McCovey's walk-off double against Dodgers in his last homestand at Candlestick in 1980)

(From Cody Ross)

'Best memory out of the 60 hands down'

In Game 1 of the NLCS we had the hardest matchup that we were going to face the entire playoffs. We were staring down the Late Roy Halladay, who in my opinion was the best pitcher I’ve ever faced. He threw a Perfect Game against me when I was on the Marlins earlier in the year and was coming off a no-hitter in the NLDS against the Reds in his previous start. Not to mention he’s a 2x Cy Young award winner and an 8x All-Star. 

As I walk to the plate in the 3rd inning of a 0-0 game I’m realizing Roy has not given up a hit yet again. He was one of those pitchers who had a chance to throw a no-hitter every time he took the mound. That’s how good he was. Up until this point, I had tried every approach with little-to-no success against him. I tried to work the counts and see pitches, stay inside the ball and hit it the other way, stay up the middle, etc etc... none of these seemed to get the job done. Finally that cold October night I said to myself, “Just try and hit a home run”... and all of a sudden on a 1-1 count I swung as hard as I could and “Bang! A HR!” The best contact I’d ever had against Roy and I was just as surprised as anybody in the ballpark or the millions watching on TV. I couldn’t feel my legs running around the bases and couldn’t believe what just happened. It was the first hit he had given up in the playoffs and it was a go-ahead home run to put us up 1-0 with Tim Lincecum also throwing a gem. 

As I stepped up to the plate in the top of the 5th the game was tied 1-1. At this point I had a ton of confidence and felt like nobody could get me out. I went with the same approach of trying to hit a home run and on a 2-0 pitch the unthinkable happened again! Hard contact and I see the ball flying over the left field fence. I took a peek at Roy and he was in disbelief just as I was. 

There are many memorable playoff HR stories but it’s hard to find one against one of the most dominating pitchers in this era. It will definitely go down as one of my greatest baseball memories. I hope all the Giants fans enjoyed it as much as I did.

VS.

2. Brandon Belt's 18th inning homer against the Nationals in 2014 NLDS

(From Alex Pavlovic)
By the end of an 18-inning win over the Nationals in Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS, the Giants were drained in every way. It would be understandable if some of them have few solid memories of the six-hour, 23-minute marathon game, but Brandon Belt will never forget the details. His solo shot off Tanner Roark in the top of the 18th was the difference in a 2-1 win. Four years later, the moment is still fresh in his mind, from his preparation for the at-bat to the emphatic bat drop: 

(From Brandon Belt)
"I remember chugging a Red Bull. It was late into the night and that's tough, it's mentally draining and physically draining to be in a game like that, where you're giving everything you've got to win a baseball game. I was drained at that moment to say the least. I remember chugging a Red Bull and going out there and thinking, 'I'm just going to try and get on base and see what happens.' I remember just not trying to do too much and he gave me a pitch that I could handle, that was kind of in my happy zone. It felt like one of the first home runs I ever hit. It's like you're in Little League and you hit a home run and it's like you're in a dream and it's not real life -- it was kind of the same way. 

"We had just played so long and it was such a big moment in the game, and the fact that I was able to come through and help us win with such a big hit, it was surreal to me. I felt like I was floating around the bases. I think (the bat drop) was relief, more than anything. When I do that I don't really know I do it. It was really just relief. The way the game was going, we had to assume it was over after that. The bullpen had done so well and everyone was so tired. It was going to be tough for (the Nationals) to come back after that.

"We were just ready to go home. We had a long flight after that. We just put so much effort into it and all the guys did so great. Pablo came up with a big hit in the ninth inning and Petit throwing (six shutout) innings. For me, that was the pivotal game of that entire playoffs. We were playing the best team in the NL and to be able to come home up 2-0 was huge."

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