Fun facts about SF Giants top pick Will Bednar
4. He’s met Will Clark
It’s nothing against the Giants first-round selection, but it’s going to take some time before he’s the most popular (or accomplished) Mississippi State alum to don the Orange and Black. In fact, he’s not even the first Bulldog named Will to be selected by San Francisco in the first round. Of course, the Giants drafted Mississippi State Hall of Famer Will Clark with the second overall pick in the 1985 MLB draft. Needless to say, “Will the Thrill” quickly shot his way to the big leagues, won the NLCS MVP in 1989, and became one of the greatest first basemen in franchise history.
Across eight seasons with the Giants, Clark made five All-Star teams, won two Silver Sluggers, one gold glove, and hit .299/.373/.499 before he signed a free-agent contract with the Texas Rangers. Clark retired following the 2000 season at 36-years old but still posted a .916 OPS and bashed 21 home runs in his final professional season. Needless to say, if Bednar approaches Clark’s success as an MLB player, the Giants will have made one of the best picks in franchise history.
In fact, Clark and Bednar have actually met on multiple occasions. In a videoconference with reporters on Sunday, he said, “I’ve gotten to meet him [Clark] and talk to him a few times… He’s been around our clubhouse a little bit this past year. It’s really cool to be going to the Giants, especially when the other guy from Mississippi State has gone there and been a legend.”
Bednar’s connections to the Giants go beyond his fellow college alumni. When his brother was a freshman at Lafayette College, he played a series against Virginia Commonwealth University at the stadium used by the Giants Double-A affiliate Richmond Flying Squirrels. A high school sophomore at the time, Will went into the gift shop, bought a Flying Squirrels’ hat, and consistently wore it for the next year. Little did he know he was donning the logo of a team he will very likely play for at some point in the near future.