38: [1999, 86-76, 2nd NL West]
The Giants were coming off a devastating end to the 1998 season, and they had one last chance to bring a title to Candlestick Park. The next season would be the “Tell it Goodbye” season at the Stick, as they would move into their brand-new ballpark in China Basin in 2000.
The Giants had a strong team. Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent and Ellis Burkes were expected to lead the charge. However, Bonds tore his left elbow just two weeks into the season, and he missed two months. Despite Bonds’ absence, the Giants remained atop the division until the middle of May.
The Giants faltered in the middle of May and fell out of first place. Bonds finally returned in June. The team began to win again, and they took a two and a half game lead into the All-Star Break.
Unfortunately, after Robb Nen blew a save in Oakland to begin the second half, they went into a disastrous month-long stretch in which they fell to 60-59 and eight and a half games out of first. They then went on a 22-6 tear, but they only gained two and a half games on the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Giants were six games back with 15 to go. They were almost in the exact same position they were the year prior in 1998, when they were four and a half games back in the wild card with 11 games to play and they came back to take a one-game lead. However, this time, they lost nine out of 11, and their season was over.
The Giants were sadly never able to bring a world championship to the old girl. They also lost to the Dodgers in their final game at the Stick 9-4, but that didn’t dampen the mood, as the Giants Organization brought back many players, coaches, and managers for an incredible post-game ceremony to celebrate 40 years at Candlestick. It was capped off when Willie Mays came in from centerfield to a roaring ovation from over 60,000 fans to throw out the ceremonial final pitch.
Despite the disappointment of never being able to win it all at the Stick, the Giants were headed to their beautiful new home, where they would create so many incredible memories over the next 15 years.