With all the Hall of Fame 2014 talk floating around, a question brought up this season with Roger Kieshnick wearing 22 comes back to mind. A fan favorite, who was a Thrill to watch each and every time he took the field, Will Clark fell short of remaining on the ballot after 2006. How on earth is this possible? Thinking about historical Giants hits, the first to come to mind is of course, Bobby Thompson’s Shot Heard Round the World. The second? Will Clark’s Clutch Hit in 1989.
Statistically, many can argue whether or not Will Clark belongs in the Hall of Fame, but to most fans, there is no doubt that the Giants should retire his number. The fan support speaks volumes of Clark, who retired from the game early to care for his son, and has become an advocate of autism awareness. Clark has remained close with the team, and close in the hearts of fans, who will forever cringe at the sight of 22 on anyone else’s’ back but Clark’s.
The Giants have retired two numbers in the last decade, Monte Irvin’s #20 in 2010, and Gaylord Perry’s #36 in 2005. While it has only been three years since the Giants have retired a number, they have not retired the number of any player who has played within the last two decades. Arguably, one of the other numbers for a recent player that could be retired, is #25 of Barry Bonds. Bonds was great, yes, but with the other connotations associated with his name, there is both a hesitation and an excitement within fans when that name crosses lips. Many other words as well, yes, but I digress.
Typically an MLB team will retire a number only when the player is elected into the Hall of Fame. The Giants should absolutely make an exception in the case of Will “the Thrill” Clark. Fans have rallied in blogs and on Twitter alike, with the hashtag #Retire22. There is even a twitter account dedicated solely to raising fan support, for the cause, so to speak. And as our own Eric Nathanson mentioned in this TortureCast Bonusode 53.2, no, the account is not run by Eric Byrnes.
Will it ever happen? Fans can only hope. To many of us, Will the Thrill will always be number one, and anyone wearing 22 on our team… Well, I can even hear my grandma saying “Tsk, tsk.”