When the 2012 World Series rolls around next season, it’ll be a decade since the Giants took on the Angels in the 2002 Fall Classic – a time that was so special, yet, so heartbreaking for fans of the black and orange.
And during his tenure by the Bay, very few outside of Bonds, Kent or Nen had the type of impact on field and off that Giants starting pitcher Kirk Rueter did. Not blessed with a blazing fastball or outstanding “stuff”, Rueter not only got by – but proved himself to be an intricate part of the Giants franchise with his gritty (not Aaron Rowand gritty), gutty, hard-nosed performances. Consistently living on the edge (literally), Rueter painted his way to the third highest win total in San Francisco Giants history while capturing the hearts of Giant fans along the way.
Scott Mees of The Southern was able to drag Woody out of his shed and talk World Series 2011 (and 2002) with one of the moved beloved Giants from a decade ago:
“I was a big Cardinals fan, and my dad took me to Game 7 when they beat Giants in the playoffs,” Rueter said, referring to the 1987 National League Championship Series. “But I’m a big Giants fan now, and I get the baseball package on TV. I don’t watch the Cardinals like I did when I was a kid.”
“I really am trying, but all their friends are Cardinals fans,” Rueter said. “I’m trying to bring out the big guns to sway them over to the Giants. I had my daughters take pictures with (Tim) Lincecum, (Brian) Wilson and (Buster) Posey.”