To commemorate the San Francisco Giants’ 60th Anniversary in the city of San Francisco, I am counting down every season from worst to greatest. Everyone in San Francisco who has followed the team for a long time can probably agree that 1985 was the worst.
Fresh off 96 losses and the Crazy Crab in 1984, the San Francisco Giants Giants decided to shift their marketing slogan from an anti mascot to old school baseball. It was “Real Grass, Real Sunshine, Real Baseball,” and the Giants added many day games to their schedule in 1985. Unfortunately, “Real Baseball” turned out to mean a 100-loss season.
Original San Francisco Giant Jim Davenport was brought in to manage. On Feb. 1, Jack Clark, who had been the face of the franchise, was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for David Green, Dave LaPoint, Gary Rajsich and Jose Uribe.
There were familiar faces as well. There were still five members of the memorable 1982 team—Chili Davis,Jeffrey Leonard, Bob Brenly, Johnnie LeMaster and Atlee Hammaker—in the Opening Day lineup on April 9 against the San Diego Padres. Opening Day actually went well for the Giants in 1985. The Giants beat the Padres 4-3 on a walk-off single by Chris Brown. It was the Giants’ first Opening Day win since 1979.
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However, things went south immediately afterwards. After a 4-3 walk-off loss to the Reds just nine days later, the Giants were alone in last place, and they would stay there for all but two days the rest of the season.
Yes, there were more day games, which limited the amount of night that fans froze at The Stick to 16, but the team was awful. After a 10-game losing streak from June 20 to the first game of a doubleheader on June 30, they were 26-48.
The Giants also unloaded some familiar faces early on. They traded longtime punching bag Johnnie LeMaster to the Cleveland Indians on May 7, they released second-baseman Duane Kuiper on June 28 and they traded Gary Rajsich back to the Cardinals on July 22. On Aug. 1, the Giants capped off their moves, then they traded Bill Laskey and Scot Thompson to the Montreal Expos.
By then, the mood was dreary at The Stick, as the Giants failed to draw 10,000 fans in 28 of their final 39 home games. Manager Jim Davenport, who pronounced Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow‘s last names as “Cop-per” and “Kru-Cow,” was fired with just 18 games to go. Davenport was replaced by Roger Craig. When Craig arrived, he was greeted by an entire clubhouse with their offseason gear on full display. The Giants then went 6-12 the rest of the way.
The Giants played their final game of the season on Oct. 1 at home against the Atlanta Braves. Despite coming back from down 6-0 to take the lead with a seven-run sixth inning, the Braves scored two runs in the top of the seventh and held on hand the Giants their 100th loss.
Undoubtedly, there is no season worse than one where you lost 100.