San Francisco Giants:On This Day In Giants History
In the amazing history of the San Francisco Giants, almost every day that passes allows gives us the opportunity to remember something special. Here is a few memorable things that happened on this day in Giants History.
The San Francisco Giants have always been one of the organizations that embraces change. Monte Irvin being the fourth African-American to play in the major leagues, moving out west (with the urging of the Dodgers ownership), and having a female public address announcer.
They also led the way on this day in 1981 when they hired Frank Robinson to manage the team. He already was the first African-American to manage a team in the major leagues, having managed the Cleveland Indians starting in 1975. But the NL was still behind as far as full integration, and so Robinson was also the first African-American to lead a National League team as well.
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After an illustrious career as a great all-around player, Robinson took over a team previously led by Dave Bristol. It was a team that was just starting to claw its way back from a series of bad trades and free agent defections. The team was looking for a manager who could relate, but also command respect.
Robinson had mediocre success on the field with the Giants, going 264-277 in over 4 seasons as the skipper. Teams with Milt May as your leading hitter don’t tend to score a lot of runs. He had a good run in 1982 when the team went 87-75 finishing third in the division. But his success as a manager would come a few years later, when he won his only Manager of the Year award with the Baltimore Orioles in 1989.
Both Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper have often spoken about their days playing under Robinson, and the stories told off the air are probably epic.
Also on this day in 2002, the Giants re-upped with Barry Bonds on a 5-year, $90 million dollar deal. The contract turned out to be a good one for the team, as they continued to pack the seats, and won the NL pennant in 2002.
– Very sad news for the Giants family. Gene Wellman, father of former infielder Brad, died this past Tuesday. He was a fixture in east bay athletics, having coached and been the athletic director at Chabot College in Hayward, after graduating from Hayward High School. Gene Wellman was 85. Services are being held at Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward, this Friday at 1:00pm.