The time has arrived to trumpet the San Francisco Giants’ Brian Sabean, as a valid candidate for Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Because there are only four general managers enshrined in the Hall, it would appear the position challenges the average executive, and that with the modern constraints which exist, and the high price of playing poker, success is too fleeting for an executive to attract much attention.
That’s why three World Championships, in five years, a feat not accomplished since the St. Louis Cardinals’ GasHouse Gang of the forties, makes Sabean an ideal candidate, when the time comes that he hangs up his clipboard.
The four GM’s in the Hall are Branch Rickey, Larry MacPhail, Ed Barrow and George Weiss, all of whom made their names prior to the 1970’s, the last one inducted into the Hall, having been Larry MacPhail, in 1978. What that 36-year hiatus since the last GM was enshrined says, is that the position demands a high degree of knowledge, experience and competency and few stack up to the standard.
Being a Hall of Fame candidate means being able to deal when there is a need (Jake Peavy) and holding off when there is not (Joe Panik). It also means being able to sign key players to long-term contracts, focusing particularly on home-grown products, that have become proven commodities on baseball’s biggest stage: the World Series.
Brian Sabean began his tenure with the Giants in 1997, meaning he has completed seventeen seasons at the helm, the longest tenured GM in the business.
Brian Sabean’s record as general manager is unparalleled, and he deserves to be in the Hall of fame.
While in charge, his teams have won three World Series (2010, 2012, and 2014), four National League pennants (2002, 2010, 2012, and 2014); five National League Division titles (1997, 2000, 2002, 2010, and 2012), two National League Wild Cards (2002, 2014), and forced a National League tie-breaker game with Chicago in 1998. Two other seasons found the Giants being eliminated on the last day of the season.
Seventeen seasons and a sterling record of success adds up to a Hall-of-Fame inductee, and he’s not done yet.
Anything more is icing on the cake, and everyone loves icing.