Major League Baseball, and the San Francisco Giants have many military connections. With today being Veterans Day, we here at Around the Foghorn would like to look back at the former Giants who served and fought for our great country.
I remember many times that the San Francisco Giants honored a veteran. I’ve seen it all. From the surprises of military members coming home early, to the honoring of elderly veterans. People have always shown their gratitude for their service.
If you’ve ever been to a sporting event, ever, across America, it’s very likely that you’ve seen them honor a veteran in some way, shape, or form. I live in Kansas City, and cover Sporting KC, the local MLS team for a different site. Every single game they do something to honor a veteran. Either at halftime, or before the game they give recognition to someone who served. It’s always met with a standing ovation and a symphony of applause.
We here at Around the Foghorn wanted to take a look back at all the great Giants who served in the military. First is Christy Mathewson.
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Christy Mathewson was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1936. He played for the New York Giants from 1900 to 1916. He also played for the Reds in 1916, and managed them from 1916-1918. He had a career record of 373-188, with a 2.14 ERA and 1.058 WHIP. When you plug his numbers into some of the sabermetric stats, he had a 95.3 career WAR and had a career FIP of 2.26. Quite insane. He was a two time winner of the “Pitchers Triple Crown” which is when they lead the league in Wins, Strikeouts, and ERA.
Mathewson’s screwball was incredibly tough on his opponents. He also had a tough mentality. During World War I, Mathewson enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served alongside the great Ty Cobb as a captain in their division. During a training exercise, an accident occurred and Mathewson contracted tuberculosis. He was discharged in 1919, and later passed away in 1925 as a result of the disease. Mathewson will forever be regarded as one of the all-time greats. Another Giant who served in the military was the great Willie Mays
I probably don’t need to run the great Willie Mays’ numbers by you. An all time great, regarded by some as THE greatest player ever. His 22 years spent with the New York, and San Francisco Giants make him quite dear to our hearts as fans. He’s often around the team and the city. The 24 time all star was drafted to the Army in 1952 for the Korean War. He spent most of his time on a base in Fort Eustis, Virgina.
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Today, there are many ways that baseball organizations, and players, work alongside, or for Veterans. There are some great foundations that you should check out. One that comes to mind was founded by a former Giant.
Barry Zito‘s Strikeouts for Troops is an organization where players donate money based on certain achievements. There are ways to donate as well. All of the proceeds go directly to Veterans and dealing with their post-service physical and mental health.
One big last thank you to all that have served our great country, and especially our very own Giants fan Veterans. We thank you and appreciate your service, from everyone at Around the Foghorn.
Keep checking in with Around the Foghorn throughout the offseason! We’ll keep you updated on ALL the hot-stove rumors.