The Giants’ 2010 journey to a World Series Championship was characterized by a band of ‘misfits,’ players who arrived at just the right time and battled through injuries, slumps, and Mark DeRosa’s single-wristed efforts to build a championship run.
Here are five more players who, if not instrumental in the Giants’ push towards a title, at least came along for the ride.
National League Championship Series, Game 6. With the score knotted 2-2 after eight innings, Juan Uribe stepped up to the plate against Philadelphia reliever Ryan Madson, who had made short work of Pat Burrell and Cody Ross on just three pitches.
Pitch #4. Uribe swung. The sushi chefs in a San Francisco bar where I was nervously eating my playoff feelings stopped in their tracks. As we watched the ball land in the first row of right field seats, the restaurant exploded.
With that home run, and a pair of shutdown innings from Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson, the Giants advanced to the World Series. Uribe saw just one more hit in his postseason at-bats. During the regular season, he offered a .248 batting average, .749 OPS, and a career-high 24 home runs. His 3.4 fWAR was the fourth-highest on the team.
Since his triumph in 2010, Uribe signed a three-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. His past two years have been the worst of his career, dipping to a .191/.258/.284 slash line in 2012. On the plus side, he got some sweet t-shirts out of the deal.
Although the Giants gave him his first major league at-bat in 2008, Bowker’s presence on the team was scarce following spring training. He was penciled in as a starting outfielder for 40 games before being optioned to Fresno, and was shipped to Pittsburgh for Javier Lopez just a month later.
Bowker finished off his MLB career in 2011 with pinch-hitting performances for the Pirates and Phillies, batting .235/.316/.294 with four hits in 32 PA. Today, he plays for Nippon Professional Baseball’s Yomiuri Giants.
Just as John Bowker was dismissed from the 2010 Giants, Pat Burrell was called upon to replace him. He debuted with the Giants in June, and batted .266/.364/.509 with 18 home runs, notching the fifth-highest fWAR on the team at 3.0. His crowning moment in the 2010 championship run arrived in Game 1 of the NLCS—an RBI double off of Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay that drove Posey in for the penultimate run, and allowed pinch-runner Nate Schierholtz to represent the winning run on Uribe’s subsequent single.
Burrell returned to the Giants on a one-year contract in 2011, but it would be his last season in MLB. Over 92 games, he put up a .230 average and .756 OPS in between trips to the DL. He made his final appearance on the last day of the regular season, getting a final hit against Colorado’s Drew Pomeranz. Following a career-ending bone spur surgery, he retired a Phillie, but returned to San Francisco in 2012 as Brian Sabean’s assistant and a special assignment scout.
Ah, Mark DeRosa. The One-Wristed Wonder. The man whose season ended three months into 2010, but still managed to provide fodder for a slew of Twitter jokes—or, perhaps, those surfaced the following year, when the Giants saw him start 47 games before his wrist caused him another season-ending surgery.
In 2012, DeRosa began his year with the Washington Nationals. With recurring health problems and a few trips to the DL, Mark pinch-hit for the Nats in 48 games, producing a batting line of .188/.300/.247 with a .547 OPS. He will begin the 2013 season as a Toronto Blue Jay.
Known for his speed, nicknamed ‘The Bullet,’ and hashtagged #FordIsSoFast, Darren Ford’s impact on the 2010 Giants was limited but positive. He spent his entire major league career in San Francisco, pinch-running for seven games in 2010 with two stolen bases and one run.
Ford saw his first major league at-bat in 2011, and capped his time with the Giants in 26 appearances, four hits, and seven stolen bases. Since his release, he spent an entire season with the Seattle Mariners‘ Triple-A organization, posting a .273 average, .711 OPS, and 26 stolen bases over 329 PA. Currently, he has accepted a minor league deal by the Pittsburgh Pirates.