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10 Most Significant Moments in San Francisco Giants History

Jasper SchererAnalyst IIMarch 7, 2014

10 Most Significant Moments in San Francisco Giants History

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    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    Since coming to San Francisco, the Giants have had a roller coaster ride, with moments of euphoria and crushing defeat.

    Nevertheless, Giants fans will undoubtedly admit that the 21st century has been especially kind to them, especially over the last few seasons. Even so, the previous several decades weren't so pleasant for fans out west.

    Let's take a look at some of the biggest moments for the Giants since they moved out to San Francisco.

10. J.T. Snow's Home Run in the 2000 NLDS

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    Tom Hauck/Getty Images

    With the Giants leading the 2000 NLDS one game to none over the New York Mets, but trailing Game 2 by a score of 4-1, first baseman J.T. Snow came to the plate with two on and one out.

    Snow blasted a 2-1 pitch from Mets closer Armando Benitez just over the right field wall, perhaps the shallowest part of the yard, sending the crowd into a frenzy and giving the Giants a second life.

    The joy didn't last long, however, as the Mets went ahead in the top of the 10th, held on to win, then captured the next two games as well to win the series.

9. Brian Johnson's 1997 Home Run vs. Dodgers

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    In the 153rd game of the 1997 MLB season, the Giants and Dodgers faced off at Candlestick Park with the Dodgers leading the Giants in the division race by a single game.

    The game went into extra innings, thanks in large part to Barry Bonds' heroic performance at the plate (2-for-3, 3 RBI, 3 walks and a home run), but it was Brian Johnson who would play the role of the hero in this game.

    Leading off the bottom of the 12th, Johnson hit the first pitch from the Dodgers' Mark Guthrie over the left field wall, giving the Giants the dramatic win and putting them in a tie with the Dodgers atop the NL West. The Giants would go on to win the division.

8. J.T. Snow Gets Thrown Out at the Plate in 2003 NLDS

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    Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

    Trailing 7-5 and heading into the ninth inning of Game 4, the Giants needed to score two runs to avoid elimination in the 2003 NLDS against the Florida Marlins.

    After the Giants plated one run and put runners on first and second with two outs, Jeffrey Hammond blooped a single to left field. Left fielder Jeff Conine threw a strike to catcher Ivan Rodriguez on one hop, who held onto the ball as J.T. Snow barreled into him at the plate after the throw beat the Giants first baseman by several steps, thus ending the series.

    The Marlins would go on to win the World Series, while the Giants would have to wait several more seasons for another crack at the title.

7. Barry Bonds Breaks Single-Season Home Run Record

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    With the eyes of the baseball world focused on what was then Pac Bell Park, Bonds made history by crushing a Chan Ho Park fastball over the right-centerfield wall, giving him his 71st homer on the season.

    The blast gave Bonds the single-season home run record, but he made the night even more special when he hit another home run off Park in his ensuing at bat. Even so, the Giants managed to lose the game, but it was undoubtedly Bonds' night.

6. Giants Lose 2002 World Series

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    It’s hard to pin down just one moment in a series that was full of dramatic events.

    There was the epic collapse in Game 6, in which San Francisco led 5-0 in the seventh inning and Dusty Baker (potentially) jinxed the Giants by giving starter Russ Ortiz the game ball as he walked off the mound. Or perhaps you prefer Barry Bonds' epic home run off Troy Percival.

    There was no shortage of drama in this series, which included a 16-4 Giants victory in Game 5, and heroic performances from the Angels' Troy Glaus and Tim Salmon. Ultimately, the Halos came out on top, thanks to rookie John Lackey's impressive start in Game 7.

5. Giants Lose Game 7 of 1962 World Series

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    Ralph Terry carried the Yankees to victory with a complete-game shutout in Game 7.
    Ralph Terry carried the Yankees to victory with a complete-game shutout in Game 7.UNCREDITED/Associated Press

    In a back-and-forth series in which neither team was able to capture two consecutive wins, the Giants headed into Game 7 of the 1962 World Series at Candlestick Park with the momentum from their Game 6 victory and home-field advantage.

    But that didn't seem to matter, as Yankees starter Ralph Terry held the Giants scoreless heading into the ninth inning with the Yanks leading 1-0.

    Following a clutch double by Willie Mays, Willie McCovey came to the plate with runners on second and third and two outs in the bottom of the ninth. The Giants slugging first baseman hit a line drive directly at second baseman Bobby Richardson, who made the catch, giving the Yankees the series win.

4. Barry Bonds Breaks All-Time Home Run Record

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    Handout/Getty Images

    Despite the wide range of opinions on the Giants slugger, it was undeniably a special moment when Bonds smashed his record-breaking 756th homer.

    Facing Mike Bacsik of the Washington Nationals, Bonds hit a 3-2, belt-high fastball 435 feet into the right-center field seats, one of the deepest parts of the yard.

    An interesting coincidence is that Bacsik's father actually faced Hank Aaron back in 1976 after the latter had hit his 755th career homer, leading the younger Bacsik to joke, "If my dad had been gracious enough to let Hank Aaron hit a home run, we both would have given up 756," per the Lexington Herald-Leader.

3. 1989 World Series Earthquake

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    October 17, 1989 is a date that will forever live on in the memories of longtime Giants fans. Heading into Game 3 of the 1989 World Series, trailing two games to none, the Giants were preparing for a 5:35 p.m. game when the Loma Prieta earthquake struck at 5:04 p.m.

    When the quake struck, many of the broadcasters for the game were already doing their respective pregame shows, meaning the event was actually captured on live television.

    The quake delayed the series for 10 days, and when play resumed, the Giants dropped the next two games as well, giving the Oakland A's the title.

2. Giants Win 2012 World Series

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Perhaps no road to a World Series victory was more difficult than the Giants' 2012 title run.

    After overcoming two-game deficits against both the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals, the Giants eased past the Detroit Tigers, thanks to some historic performances, including a three-homer game from Pablo Sandoval in Game 1 of the series.

    Closer Sergio Romo then capped off the sweep by striking out American League MVP Miguel Cabrera to end the series and give the Giants their second World Series title in three seasons.

1. Giants Win 2010 World Series

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    What could be sweeter than ending a 56-year title drought?

    One of the more improbable World Series-winning teams in recent memory, the Giants rode their pitching, along with some timely contributions from historically mediocre hitters, to a win over the Texas Rangers in a relatively painless five-game series.

    With a go-ahead three-run home run by series MVP Edgar Renteria and a dominant pitching performance from Tim Lincecum, the Giants captured their first World Series title since moving to California. Giants fans will undoubtedly always remember the lasting image of Brian Wilson striking out Nelson Cruz to end the series, and the ensuing celebration that followed.

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