Fansided
SF Giants All-Time Lists

San Francisco Giants: 10 best first basemen in franchise history

SAN FRANCISCO - 1989: Will Clark #22 of the San Francisco Giants high fives teammates during a game in the 1989 season at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - 1989: Will Clark #22 of the San Francisco Giants high fives teammates during a game in the 1989 season at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
facebooktwitterreddit
2 of 8
San Francisco Giants
14 Jun 1998: J.T. Snow #6 of the San Francisco Giants in action during a game against the San Diego Padres at Qualcomm Park in San Diego, California. The Padres defeated the Giants 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Todd Warshaw /Allsport

10. Whitey Lockman (1945, 1947-1958), New York/San Francisco Giants

Stats: 97 OPS+, .281/.344/.397, 1,571 H, 113 HR, 543 RBI, 799 R
WAR: 19.5 rWAR/13.3 fWAR
Accolades: 1x All-Star
WS Titles: 1

Lockman made his MLB debut at the age of 18 in 1945, hitting .341/.410/.481 with three home runs and 18 RBI in 32 games.

He spent the bulk of the next two years serving in the military, before finally taking over as the regular first baseman during the 1948 season.

The left-handed hitter proved extremely durable during his time with the team, playing 147 games per season from 148 to 1955 while hitting .284/.347/.405 for a 99 OPS+ and averaging 12 home runs and 60 RBI.

He made his lone All-Star appearance in 1952 and was the starting first baseman for the 1954 World Series winners.

9. Fred Merkle (1907-1916), New York Giants

Stats: 110 OPS+, .272/.332/.390, 1,042 H, 49 HR, 512 RBI, 403 R
WAR: 13.9 rWAR/18.3 fWAR
Accolades: N/A
WS Titles: 0

Perhaps best known as the man who committed the infamous “Merkle’s Boner” which wound up costing the Giants the 1908 NL pennant, Fred Merkle actually enjoyed run with the team after that early-career gaffe.

Merkle took over as the team’s starting first baseman as a 21-year-old in 1910, hitting .292/.353/.441 for a 130 OPS+ while recording 53 extra-base hits and 23 steals.

He finished seventh in NL MVP voting the following season when he slugged a career-high 12 home runs and 18th in the voting the year after that when he had 11 home runs and a career-best 88 RBI.

Merkle was eventually traded to the Brooklyn Robins in 1916 for catcher Lew McCarty.

8. J.T. Snow (1997-2005, 2008), San Francisco Giants

Stats: 112 OPS+, .273/.369/.438, 1,043 H, 124 HR, 615 RBI, 561 R
WAR: 12.4 rWAR/14.4 fWAR
Accolades: 4x Gold Glove
WS Titles: 0

The Giants acquired Snow from the Anaheim Angels prior to the 1997 season in exchange for promising young left-hander Allen Watson and prospect Fausto Macey.

It wound up being one of the team’s best trades in recent memory.

After winning back-to-back Gold Glove awards during his final two seasons with the Angels, Snow won four more after joining the Giants, solidifying his place as one of the best defensive first basemen of his era.

He was also no slouch at the plate. The best offensive season of his career came in his Giants’ debut when he hit .281/.387/.510 with 36 doubles, 28 home runs and 104 RBI.

Aside from his strong regular season numbers, he also hit .327/.383/.480 with three home runs and 15 RBI in 28 playoff games with the Giants, including an 11-for-27 showing with one home run and three RBI in the 2002 World Series.

Rescuing manager Dusty Baker’s son from harm’s way will be his enduring legacy.

facebooktwitterreddit