With the Giants and Royals battling down to the final out of the final game it got me thinking about who is considered the best all-time player to come out of each club’s history. I don't own any of these cards, they were courtesy of the Google machine.
The Royals have been around for 45 years, established in 1969, and there have been a number of solid players who wore the powder blue over the years but I think no matter how you slice it George Brett will always be considered the Saint of Kansas City.
During his 20 years in KC he batted .305 with 3,154 hits, 317 HR and 1596 RBIs. Toss in 13 All-Star appearances, an AL MVP in 1980, ALCS MVP in 1985, World Championship in 1985 to go with his Gold Glove and 3 Batting Titles. Since his retirement he had his number retired and been elected to the Hall of Fame on his first ballot selection.
The Giants have been around since 1883, 129 years, initially as the New York Gothams before changing to the New York Giants in 1886. The team moved to San Francisco in 1958. The team has always been considered a contender making an appearance in the World Series 23 times and winning 7 titles.
This definitely made it more difficult to come down to a single “best” player. Looking at the all-time best Giants and you can build an All-Star team just from the Orange and Black. Barry Bonds*, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, Gaylord Perry, Will Clark, Monte Irvin and even someone modern like Tim Lincecum could make an argument for being one of the best on the team.
I decided to go with Co-Greatest Giants and I am guessing most people will agree with me. First I decided to drop Mr. “*” for obvious reasons, some day steroids/HGH may be accepted in to the sports world and when that day comes he can bask in his achievements but until then I think the only way he should be allowed in to the Hall of Fame is if he purchases a ticket like Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson.
I selected Willie Mays and Christy Matthewson as my Co-Greatest Giants.
Willie Mays spent 21 years with the Giants between New York and San Francisco, during that time he was a 24x All-Star, he won a World Series Championship in 1954, he won 2 MVP Awards, NL ROY and he won 12 Gold Glove Awards. His number has since been retired by the Giants and he was a first ballot Hall of Fame selection in 1979. The “Say Hey Kid’ deserves to be on anyone’s “Greatest” lists, Giants or otherwise.
Christy Matthewson played his first game with the New York Giants in 1900 and over the next 17 years he won 373 games with an amazing 2.12 ERA. During his time in NY he won a World Series (1905) and later another one as the Giants pitching coach in 1921, he was the Pitching Triple Crown winner twice, he also was a 4x NL Wins Champion, 5x NL ERA Champion and 5x NL Strikeout Champion and he also threw 2 no-hitters. His jersey was retired (As “NY” because they didn’t have number) by the Giants and he was a first ballot Hall of Fame selection during the inaugural Hall of Fame selection in 1936 along with Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson.
And as I post this Salvador Perez pops up to the 3rd Base foul line and Pablo Sandoval grabs it for the final out and the World Series Championship goes to the San Francisco Giants.