my favorite excerpts from this article:
Jeffrey Leonard, OF, 1981-88:
As a little kid in Philadelphia, I’d go to Connie Mack Stadium. I remembered the team I loved to watch take batting practice most of all was the Giants — McCovey, Mays, Jim Ray Hart, Cepeda. When I got traded from Houston, I asked where I was going and they told me, ‘San Francisco.’ I got goosebumps thinking about all the history the Giants had. Following in the footsteps of that history was wonderful for me.
Jack Clark, RF, 1975-84 :
I grew up in Southern California, but I wanted to be a Giant. I was never a Dodger fan. I loved the Giants and the way they played. They tried to outslug you. It was my team. It was my team’s colors. I loved the white uniforms with the black and orange, the players that came through there and the history and tradition — Mays, McCovey. Candlestick Park was not the norm-type of field, dimension-wise or location-wise or weather-wise. Everything was against you, but that’s what I wanted, everything against you to survive. I wish I could have won a championship there. When I got some revenge against the Dodgers in a Cardinals uniform [St. Louis defeated Los Angeles in the 1985 NLCS], half of me was St. Louis and half of me was San Francisco.
* this one is for troy
…The night I’ll never forget is the night that Barry Bonds hit his 500th home run. … Whether it had been his 500th or 100th or 73rd or 159th, it had great significance for any Giants fan because it proved to be the game-winning home run against the Dodgers. That rivalry still resonates and goes back to the 19th century. … After he hits the home run, everything stops and Willie Mays and Willie McCovey come out to join him at home plate. And there’s the history of the Giants. The Giants are almost synonymous with those kinds of home-run milestones. There’s a long, rich and storied — to use sort of a cliche — history of this franchise. That’s what’s fun about it. You can talk about Tim Lincecum and mention, “That hasn’t been done since Juan Marichal.” And Marichal was doing things that hadn’t been done since Christy Mathewson.
Jeff Kent, 2B, 1997-2002:
Probably the fans. As cold as it was, as aggravating as it can be for games, the fans showed up. They were loud, they disliked the opposing teams; I think that’s all great. The fans made the experience for me.
* and now we boo you too
J.T. Snow, 1B, 1997-2005:
I thought it was the fans and the city. I grew up in Southern California where there were so many teams — Dodgers, Angels, Rams, Raiders at the time, Lakers, Clippers, Kings, Ducks. I remember when I got traded and going up to San Francisco to do a caravan, a promotional thing, and it was the Giants and 49ers — that was all you saw. I fell in love with the area. I was impressed at Candlestick the first year with the fans who came out there and the support we got. There might be 10,000 people in the stands on a Tuesday night against the Montreal Expos, and it’s cold, but they were loud and they were into it. I enjoyed it, because they let you know when you’re doing well and they let you know when you’re not doing well. As a player, you like that. To me, it’s an East Coast city with East Coast fans, just not to the extreme of Boston or New York or Philadelphia. The thing I learned that I liked was, I grew up a Dodger fan early on in my life, and the rivalry is bigger and means so much more to the people in San Francisco than to the people in L.A.
Shawn Estes, LHP, 1995-2001:
They made you really feel like family. I’ve played a long time; I’ve played half my career, as it turns out, here. I was able to dig in and get some roots here. I lived downtown the whole time I played here. I felt like I had a relationship with the fans; I felt like I had a relationship with the media; I felt like I had a relationship with the ownership. So it did feel like a family. I was very active in the community. That’s what it’s all about. This is our profession, but at the same time to be able to root in somewhere and be involved in the community and have a relationship with the fans — that’s ideally what you want in a career.
* shawn, the fans are still wondering why you couldn’t stay on 2nd base?
Mike McCormick, LHP, 1956-62, 1967-70:
I’m kind of the exception in the sense that I started with the Giants at the Major League level when I was 17 years old. So when people say, “What’s your first love in terms of teams or clubs?”, I say, “I’m a Giant forever.”