I should have realized that not to many people want to spend 10 minutes reading an entire article about one unmemorable season of San Francisco Giants baseball.
So, I’ll make this easier for everybody and divide the next several articles into slideshows of five seasons:
50: 1994, 55-60, 2nd NL West
1994 was a year of what could have been. Despite the tragic ending to 1993, the fan support was still at an all-time high, and there were high expectations for the Giants coming into the new season.
The Giants opened the season at home on April 4 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Barry Bonds, Matt Williams, Robby Thompson and Kirt Manwaring all received their Gold Glove Awards prior to the game, and Williams hit a pair of home runs during the game, including one in his first at-bat. The Giants won 8-0, and they won each of their first four games.
The Giants were around .500 for the first month and a half of the season, but after a disastrous stretch from the middle of May to the beginning of July, they were 35-50. However, they were just nine and a half games back in the new smaller and weaker National League West. The Giants were still somewhat in it, and suddenly starting on July 7, the Giants started an incredible run in which they won 17 of their next 21 games.
The run was thanks in large part to the Darryl Strawberry, the former nut job of the Mets and the Dodgers, who hit .303, with four home runs and 16 RBIs in his first 20 games with the Giants. Not only that, but Matt Williams got hot and started hitting enough home runs to get him on a pace to break Roger Maris‘ single-season record of 61 home runs.
However, a far bigger issue loomed. The entire season had been played without a collective bargaining agreement in place, and the players had set Aug. 12 as a strike date. Despite a six-game losing streak, the Giants swept the Cubs in three games at Wrigley Field, but when Aug. 12 came, the players walked out.
The season was eventually cancelled, and everything was lost. The Giants were 55-60, which wasn’t great, but they were in second place and just three games behind the Dodgers in the West. The Giants were on pace to draw 2.3 million, which would have the second-highest total in franchise history. Worst of all, Matt Williams had 43 home runs and was on pace to tie Maris at 61.