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A Press Democrat Blog

Old School

Robert Rubino connects current sports news with the past

Minoso’s chances for Hall of Fame

Of the eight former players on Monday’s old-timers Hall of Fame ballot — Gil Hodges, Ron Santo, Jim Kaat, Luis Tiant, Ken Boyer, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva and Allie Reynolds, three are Latino — Tiant, Minoso and Oliva. The 16-member Hall of Fame veterans committee (now officially called the Golden Era Committee) that will cast votes Monday consists of one Latino — Juan Marichal. The only voting members who were contemporaries of Minoso are Al Rosen (also a former teammate)… Read More »

Marichal and Spahn

Just finished reading “The Greatest Game Ever Pitched” by Jim Kaplan. The title refers to the 16-inning duel between two Hall of Famers — 25-year-old Juan Marichal and 42-year-old Warren Spahn on July 2, 1963 at Candlestick Park. The game ended when another future Hall of Famer, Willie Mays, homered in the bottom of the 16th. It’s a good read, recommended for any fan intrigued by baseball history. The book uses that classic game (the likes of which we’ll never… Read More »

Dubious ‘proof’ of steroid use

Bashers of Barry Bonds often point out his statistics past the age of 35 didn’t coincide with the normal decline of athletic prowess. Well, at age 35, when he should have been slowing down, Hank Aaron hit 44 homers. At 37, he hit 47 homers — his single-season high. At 39, he hit 40 homers. During the 1957 season, during which Ted Williams turned 39, he hit 38 homers and batted .388. During the 1960 season, in which he turned… Read More »

When a Giant becomes a Dodger

As of Monday night, it seemed likely that Juan Uribe would sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yes, it’s going to be tough for Giants fans to see Uribe — such a key component to the Giants run to the division title and then through the postseason — in Dodger blue. But he’s not the first notable Giant to become a Dodger. Such a list, inclusive of going back to the franchise’s New York roots, has the following names: Sal… Read More »

All-time favorite Giants games

What are your all-time favorite Giants games that you’ve seen in person? Let me know. Here are mine: 1. Oct. 27, 2010. Game 1 of the World Series. Watching a Giants game with KNBR’s Brian Murphy is always an exercise in life-affirming camaraderie, but this was transcendent. Brian, a mad genius of a heckler, told Bengie Molina that he still loved him but he would “inevitably” hit into a rally-killing double play, asked Bad Vlad to identify that strange piece… Read More »

Pennant fever: Giants in 1971

The San Francisco Giants have been giving their fans pennant fever over seven decades, including this season. Previous blogs looked at 1959, 1962, 1965 and 1966. Upcoming blogs will take a look at the rest of a top 10 list of pennant-fever seasons, in chronological order. 1971. Capping a frantic Giants-Dodgers race in the final month, Juan Marichal wins his 18th game on the final day in a 5-1 victory over the Padres, and SF takes the division by one… Read More »

Pennant fever: Giants in 1966

The San Francisco Giants have been giving their fans pennant fever over seven decades, including this season. Previous blogs looked at 1959, 1962 and 1965. Upcoming blogs will take a look at the rest of a top 10 list of pennant-fever seasons, in chronological order. 1966.  As late as Sept. 19, the Giants were four game behind the first-place Dodgers. In a frantic chase, the Giants won eight of their final 10 games, including their last six in a row,… Read More »

Pennant fever: Giants in 1965

The San Francisco Giants have been giving their fans pennant fever over seven decades, including this season. Previous blogs looked at 1959 and 1962. Upcoming blogs will take a look at the rest of a top 10 list of pennant-fever seasons, in chronological order. 1965. On Sept. 19, the Giants began the day in first place, 3½ games up on the Dodgers. After beating the Braves 4-2 behind staff ace Juan Marichal’s rare two-inning save and Willie Mays’ 49th homer,… Read More »

Marichal-Roseboro myth vs. fact

Sunday is the 45th anniversary of the Marichal-Roseboro Giants-Dodgers brawl. Check out my Press Democrat column on Willie Mays’ part in it. A myth has developed over the years about the effects of the brawl. Fact: Giants ace Juan Marichal was suspended for eight games for hitting Dodgers catcher John Roseboro with his bat, precipitating the benches-clearing brawl (and really, in baseball, is there any other kind?) Myth: The suspension conceivably cost the Giants the 1965 pennant because Marichal missed… Read More »

Sanchez matches Marichal

When Jonathan Sanchez struck out seven consecutive batters Tuesday in the Giants’ 10-0 win at Denver against the Rockies, he tied a Giants record. On Sept. 6, 1964 at Philadelphia, Juan Marichal struck out seven in a row in the Giants’ 4-3 win. This is how Marichal’s consecutive strikeouts played out: For the last two outs in the bottom of the third, Marichal struck out Tony Taylor and Johnny Callison. In the fourth inning, he struck out Richie Allen, Wes… Read More »