Hunter Pence was traded to the Giants in 2012 and his impact was immediate. Not only did he shine on the field, but it was his inspirational speech in Cincinnati down two games to none in the National League Division Series that made him a legend. The Giants would go on to win the next three games, win three additional elimination games against St. Louis in the National League Championship Series and finally sweep the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. Pence would go on to play in all 162 games the next two seasons and help lead the Giants to another World Series run in 2014. Despite injuries keeping him off the field for big parts of the next two seasons, Pence’s impact on the field and in the clubhouse is immeasurable. The consistent effort he gives on every play in contagious and teammates feed off of it. Running out infield hits and diving for anything close in right field has made him a fan favorite since his arrival. Pence is one of the most unique talents the Giants have ever had, and he seems to be a perfect fit for this team, this city and this fanbase.
Hunter Pence and his epic victory over the right field fence.
There’s nobody quite like Hunter Pence.
Rod Beck spent seven seasons in orange and black, but he left a stamp on every fan who watched him pitch. 199 of his 286 career saves came as a Giant. However, it was a win that he is best known for. In what many fans refer to as the “Brian Johnson Game” for the catcher’s 12th inning walk off home run, it was Beck’s pitching that got them to the 12th. Hank Schulman told it best:
"The late Rod Beck was asked to pitch the 10th inning of a 5-5 game and allowed singles by Mike Piazza, Eric Karros and Raul Mondesi to load the bases with nobody out. There was an abiding sense in the press box that the Dodgers not only were going to win the game, but also would virtually seal the West title by taking a two-game lead with eight to play. Beck had none of it, though. He struck out Todd Zeile. Then, with the infield in, he got an aging, slow-footed Eddie Murray to ground to Jeff Kent, who started a home-to-first double play that ended the inning and sent Giants fans into delirium. Beck pitched the 11th and 12th innings, too, getting the win when Johnson sent Guthrie’s fastball out of the park."
Beck, who is second to only Robb Nen in saves in Giants history, also has the best BB/9 rate in team history at 1.88. Beck died in 2007, but the memory of “Shooter” will live on forever in the hearts of Giants fans everywhere.
Rod Beck also helped the Giants clinch the West in 1997.
Ed Halicki pitched seven seasons for the Giants from 1974-1980, but no season stood out as much as one game did. On August 24, 1975, Halicki pitched a No-Hitter at Candlestick Park. He walked just two and struck out 10 New York Mets hitters. Halicki had a 3.49 ERA that season, but also went 9-13 for a Giants team that won only 80 games. In some down years for the Giants, Halicki was a bright spot. His career 3.58 ERA as a Giant over 1027.2 innings pitched. That puts him 11th best among Giants since 1958 who have pitched at least 1000 innings or more. He’s also one of only 17 pitchers to pitch at least 1000 innings as a Giant since 1958.
Dick Dietz played his first six seasons in the big leagues in San Francisco. From 1966-1971, the former All-Star caught 583 games for the Giants. He maintained a slashline of .262/.384/.431 for an OPS of .815. His career year came in 1970, hitting 20 home runs and driving in 107 runs. He also had an impressive slashline that season of .300/.426/.515 for an OPS of .941, more than 100 points higher than his career average.