I've been an Oakland A's fan since the 70's and a San Diego Padres fan since the 80's, which means I don't have a lot of love for the San Francisco Giants.
But over the years, I've grown to admire a few of their players... and Will Clark is one of them.
Clark is a local legend here in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In his first regular season MLB at bat (April 8th, 1986), he faced Nolan Ryan and sent the second pitch over the center field wall for a home run. It was the first of six that Clark would launch off of Ryan... which is the most The Ryan Express gave up during his career to any one hitter.
But that wasn't his only significant home run. A few days later, he hit a home run in the fifth inning off of Bob Knepper in his first regular season appearance at Candlestick Park. And although I can't confirm it... I've read that Clark smacked a home run off of Fernando Valenzuela in his minor league debut.
The gentleman known to many as "The Thrill" went on to have a solid MLB career playing on four teams over 15 seasons. While with the Giants, he was an all-star for five straight seasons (1988 to 1992), won the Silver Slugger Award in 1989 & 1991, and was one of the elite first baseman in baseball.
So when I walked into my local card shop a few weeks ago and saw this autographed cachet for $4, I knew I had to add it to my collection:
It commemorates one of the most impressive League Championship performances in MLB history when he batted .650 with 13 hits (6 extra base hits), 2 home runs, 24 total bases, and 8 RBI's to become the 1989 NLCS MVP.
And today Will Clark is celebrating his 48th birthday. Happy Birthday Will!
Everyone else... Happy Tuesday and enjoy the rest of your week. Sayonara!