San Francisco Giants 60 Seasons from Worst To Greatest: 50-46
46: 1983, 79-83, 5th NL West
Coming off the exciting but heartbreaking finish to 1982, the Giants hoped that 1983 would be the year where that they would finally return to the postseason.
The Giants had a group of talented players that contended in three of the previous five years. There were some adjustments to that group heading into 1983. The Giants traded Joe Morgan and relief pitcher Al Holland to the Phillies for pitchers Mike Krukow and Mark Davis. The Giants also signed utility man Joel Youngblood in free agency.
The Giants with with a new and more traditional look in 1983. They ditched their colored jerseys and pants with elastic waistbands in favor of traditional buttoned-up white and grey jerseys with belted pants. The new home jerseys featured block lettering, and the new road jerseys had piping with a new version of the Giants’ “SF” cap logo on the upper-left part of the chest.
The Giants also introduced a new marketing campaign that would prove to become famous in Giants lore; the Croix de Candlestick pin. It was a pen given to every fan who stayed for the entirety of an extra-inning night game. Many die-hard fans who braved the frigid conditions of Candlestick Park still have their Croix de Candlestick pens on their caps and jackets to this day.
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Mike Krukow started on Opening Day, and he didn’t make it out of the second inning, as the Padres beat the Giants in an epic slugfest by a final of 16-13. The Giants got off to a terrible 7-15 start, but a 10-1 stretch put them a game over .500.
The Giants hovered around .500 for much of the first half, and they went into the All-Star Break at 39-40. While the Giants were nine and a half games back of the Atlanta Braves in the National League West, they overcame an even larger deficit the year prior.
Darrell Evans, Atlee Hammaker and Gary Lavelle represented the Giants at the All-Star Game at Comiskey Park in Chicago. Unfortunately, Hammaker was on the wrong side of history, as he gave up the first grand slam in all-star game history to Fred Lynn.
Even though the Giants were not in contention, the team stayed mostly intact at the trade deadline, and why not? The Giants were 51-54 through 105 games, which was a game better than 1982, and they were nearly just as far back as they were in 1982. However, the Giants couldn’t find the magic of 1982, and they ended up going 79-83.
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Still, there were plenty of bright spots in 1983. Joel Young hit .292 in his first year as a Giant, and Darrell Evans had one of his best seasons, as he hit .277 with 30 home runs. However, there didn’t seem to be much hope on the horizon for the team as a whole.