Top 50 San Francisco Giants

You have to go far back to look at the origin of the San Francisco Giants.

The franchise began in 1883 as the New York Gothams, changing their name to the Giants shortly after.  In the pre-modern World Series era, New York won the 1888 and 1889 Pennants, and in 1905, they captured their first World Series.  The Giants won the World Series again in 1921, 1922, 1933, and 1954, but like the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Giants were not going to be the top dog in NYC, and they moved to San Francisco in 1956.

Even though they had Willie Mays in tow, it would take long after he left until the turn of the century for the Giants to win another title.  San Francisco won the 2010, 2012 & 2014 World Series, giving them eight in total.

This list is up to the end of the 2022 regular season.

Note: Baseball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics, and post-season accolades.

Willie Mays played two years with Birmingham of the Negro Leagues before he signed with the New York Giants, and it would not take long before the “Say Hey Kid” became the face of the franchise. Mays could do it all.  When they speak of five-tool baseball players, Mays is the literal definition.  He had it all.  Mays had the power, the speed, the glove, the arm, and the average.  There was nothing that he could not do, and that wasn't the case just for a year or two; Mays had those skills for most of his career.  Mays could very well be the most…
Barry Bonds is one of the most controversial players in Baseball history, and he was already a two-time defending MVP when he signed with the Giants as a Free Agent.  What he accomplished with his bat in the Bay Area may never be seen again. In his first year in San Francisco, Bonds won his first Home Run Title (46), RBI (Title (123), and was also the league leader in OBP (.458), Slugging (.677), and OPS (1.136).  He won his third MVP while also winning the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove.  Bonds was as good as he always was and remained an upper-echelon…
There are few players to could lay a stake as the best player at their position in multiple years.  Christy Mathewson is one such player and could say so for at least a decade. The Giants first acquired Mathewson in 1901 from Norfolk in the Virginia-North Carolina League, but his stay was brief, and he was returned to the Minors.  The Cincinnati Reds swooped in for Matthewson in that off-season, and the Giants rethought their stance on the Pitcher and traded back for him.  It remains one of the best second guesses in sports history. Mathewson immediately proved the Giants brass correct with…
Mel Ott was highly sought after as a teen, but his slight 5’ 9” frame made scouts pause.  The Giants signed him in 1926, and he would play for them that year, and was a starter in the Outfield two years later, making every team that passed on him curse their hesitation. Ott did not look like a power hitter, but he was.  Smacking 42 Home Runs in 1929, Ott never had another 40-plus year, but he had seven more 30-plus ones, six of which were good enough to lead the National League.  No other player in the National League smacked more taters…
The Detroit Tigers made a colossal error when they released Carl Hubbell, a prospect they signed when they worried he was dependent on the screwball.  Hubbell did use it a lot, but he did it so well that it landed him a spot in Cooperstown. Hubbell’s contract was sold by Beaumont (Texas) to the New York Giants during the 1928 Season, and he wasted no time proving his worth.  Hubbell quickly ascended to an upper-tier hurler for the Giants and would begin a four-year streak of WHIP Titles in 1931 and a four-year run atop the leaderboard in SO/BB in 1932.  He was…
As baseball spread across the Dominican Republic, it was only a matter of time before a star Pitcher would come from that Caribbean island.  That star was Juan Marichal. Signed in 1957, Marichal brought his signature high kick delivery stateside and debuted for San Francisco three years later, entering the starting rotation, which is where he stayed for over a decade.  Marichal had a breakout year in 1962, going to his first of eight straight All-Star Games and cementing his spot as the staff ace throughout the rest of the 1960s. Marichal strung together four straight 20-Win years (1963-66) and another two…
Amos Rusie debuted at the Major League level with the Indianapolis Hoosiers in 1889, and you could say he was the original "Wild Thing."  Rusie was prone to wildness, and although there were no radar guns back then, it was generally believed that he was among one of the fastest throwing Pitchers in the sport. The Hoosiers folded after Rusie’s rookie year, and most of the team, including Rusie, was given to the New York Giants to bolster the flagship of the National League.  Rusie walked many batters, giving more free passes each year from 1890 to 1894, but he countered that…
The Giants already had a popular power hitter in Willie Mays, but no rule in baseball says you can't have two. Willie McCovey joined the Giants organization as an Amateur Free Agent in 1955, and four years later, he was their Rookie of the Year.  With all due respect to McCovey, the Giants didn't know what they had early in his Major League career.  McCovey was a unique Rookie of the Year winner, as he did not even get called up until July 30, and he won the award against slim pickings with only 219 Plate Appearances, but he had an OPS…
Bill Terry played his entire career with the New York Giants and was the last National League player to bat over .400, a feat he accomplished in 1930.  That being said, Terry was far more than that. Debuting for New York in 1923, Terry was the Giants’ starting First Baseman for years, with his breakout coming in 1925.  Collecting over 200 Hits in six different seasons, Terry batted .341 over his career while also amassing 154 Home Runs and 1,078 RBIs.  Terry never won an MVP (though he finished in the top ten six times), but he did lead the Giants to a…
Roger Connor played three years with the Troy Trojans, establishing himself as a star on the rise before he signed with the New York Gothams in 1883.  As the team changed its name to the Giants, Connor elevated himself as one of the best players in the game. Connor batted over .300 in his first four years in New York and would have likely been named the league MVP in 1885.  That year, Connor led the NL in Hits (169), Batting Average (.371), and OBP (.435).  As the decade was coming to its end, the Giants were becoming one of the top teams…
Playing his first three years of high-level baseball with the Troy Trojans, Mickey Welch joined the New York Giants as the Trojans imploded after the 1882 Season. The Pitcher may have had an under-the-radar career in his day, even in perspective, but it was still brilliant and worthy of high accolades.  From 1883 to 1889, Welch was New York’s ace, winning a plethora of games and fanning a litany of batters.  Welch was erratic, leading the NL in Walks three times, but his overall mound skill kept him as an elite player. Welch helped lead New York to win the version of…
A San Francisco Giant for all his 12 seasons in the Majors, Bister Posey is regarded by many as the best Catcher of the 2010s.   Posey was a superstar at the University of Florida, winning the 2008 Dick Howser Trophy and the Golden Spikes Award. The Giants took him fifth overall in the Amateur Draft that year, and after a brief seven-game run with San Francisco, he took over as the Giants everyday Catcher and won the National League Rookie of the Year. Posey capped that magical year by leading San Francisco to a World Series Championship. An All-Star for…
One of the New York Giants best players for years, “Laughing” Larry Doyle, came in with high expectations when his contract was purchased from Springfield of the Central League for a then-record $4,500.  The money was well spent. After a slow start, Doyle led the NL in Hits (172) in his third season (1909) in the Majors.  Establishing himself as one of the top-hitting infielders in Baseball, Doyle led the NL in Triples in 1911 (25) and won the MVP in 1912, off of a 330 Season.  Doyle's best year was in 1915 when he topped the NL in Hits (189), Doubles (40),…
Tim Keefe played 14 years in Major League Baseball, the meat of which was with the New York Giants. The righthanded Pitcher joined New York in 1885 after four years on a major level and made an immediate impact winning the ERA Title (1.58) while also topping the NL in H/9 (6.8).  He won 32 Games in 1885 but raised that 42 in 1886, again giving him a first-place finish in a major statistical category.   1887 was not as smooth for Keefe, who missed a lot of Games when he suffered a nervous breakdown when he struck a batter in the…
"Silent" Mike Tiernan played his entire baseball career at the highest level with the New York Giants (1887-99), where the Rightfielder (pardon the pun) quietly was one of the better hitters of the 1890s. Tiernan had 10 Home Runs as a rookie (which was great for this era), and he would help the Giants win the 1888 and 1889 versions of the World Series.  Tiernan batted .335 in 1189, and he had six more .300 seasons.  His best seasons were in 1890 and 1891, where his 13 and 16 Home Runs would respectively lead the National League, and he had five .490…
Will Clark was the main star for the San Francisco Giants in the late 80s, but despite that, we can argue that his run in the Bay Area is slightly underrated. After a phenomenal amateur career where he won the Golden Spikes Award for Mississippi Star and competed for the United States in the 1984 Olympics, Clark was the second overall pick in the 1985 Draft.  A year later, Clark was called up by the Giants and was their regular First Baseman for the next six years; a period where he was one of the best in the game. Clark was…

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An underappreciated player in the history of the Giants when they were in New York, George Burns was a Catcher-turned-Outfielder who made ripples with his bat and glove for the Giants in the 1910s. Burns was first called up in 1911 and was a regular in 1913, a season where he helped New York win the Pennant and established himself as a capable leadoff man.  One of four players to lead the league in Runs five times and Walks five times, Burns also led the NL in Stolen Bases twice (1914 & 1919) and would steal 334 bags in total as…
Travis Jackson played his entire career with the New York Giants (1922-36), where he was one of the best defensive players in franchise history. Jackson played mostly at Shortstop but easily subbed in at Third Base when needed.  Leading the National League three times in Defensive bWAR and finishing second three times, Jackson earned the nickname "Stonewall" for his ability to stop ground balls.  While many defensive stars those days were soft with the bat, Jackson was a decent hitter, who had a lifetime Batting Average of .291, and hit 135 Home Runs.  Jackson, who had four top-ten MVP finishes, helped New York…
Madison Bumgarner was the tenth pick of the 2007 Amateur Draft, and two years later, he made his debut for the Giants. Bumgarner would entrench himself in the Giants rotation the year after in June and became a big part of San Francisco's World Series win that year.  Year by year, Bumgarner took over as the ace of San Francisco's staff and played a more prominent role in the Giants' 2012 World Series win.  From 2013 to 2016, Bumgarner was named to the All-Star Game, finished every year with an ERA under three, and had at least 199 Strikeouts.  Bumgarner was in…