2009 Major League Baseball season
The 2009 Major League Baseball season began on April 5, 2009, the regular season was extended two days for a one-game playoff between the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins to decide the American League Central Division champion. The postseason began the next day with the Division Series; the 2009 World Series began on October 28, ended on November 4, with the New York Yankees defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in six games. This was the second time; the only other occasion was the 2001 World Series, that because of the delaying of the end of that season because of the September 11 attacks as November baseball would be guaranteed when Game 4 was played on Sunday, November 1. Had the 2009 World Series gone the full seven games, Game 7 would've been played on November 5, the latest date scheduled for a World Series game. American League champion had home field advantage for the World Series by virtue of winning the All-Star Game on July 14 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, 4–3. In addition, the annual Civil Rights Game became a regular season game, was played June 20 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, when the host Cincinnati Reds lost to the Chicago White Sox in an interleague game, 10–8.
Both teams wore replicas of their 1965 uniforms in the contest. The New York Yankees, with 103 wins, clinched Major League Baseball's best record in the 2009 season, the #1 seed in the American League by winning the AL East; the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim won the second seed with a 97–65 record, while a 95–67 mark was enough to win the wild card spot for the Boston Red Sox. In the AL Central, the Minnesota Twins defeated the Detroit Tigers in a one-game playoff for the division championship and the #3 seed; the Los Angeles Dodgers had the National League's best record, clinching the top seed in the Senior Circuit. The NL East champion Philadelphia Phillies, who were defending their 2008 title, was the #2 seed with a 93–69 record; the St. Louis Cardinals, from the NL Central, notched a 91–71 record, the wild card went to the Colorado Rockies from the NL West. Note: Major League Baseball's playoff format automatically seeds the Wild Card team 4th; the No. 1 seed plays the No. 4 seed in the Division Series.
However, MLB does not allow the No. 1 seed to play the 4th seed/Wild Card winner in the Division Series if they are from the same division, instead having the No. 1 seed play the next lowest seed, the No. 3 seed. † – 11 innings † – 13 innings ‡ – 11 innings The Seattle Mariners named Milwaukee Brewers scouting director Jack Zduriencik its new general manager on October 22, replacing interim GM Lee Pelekoudas. Washington Nationals GM Jim Bowden resigned on March 1 amid allegations that he was skimming bonus money from Latin American players. Team president Stan Kasten first took over the bulk of his duties before transferring them to assistant GM Mike Rizzo, who had served as acting GM, was named as the full-time general manager on August 20. During the last days of the regular season, two teams fired their general managers, effective at the end of the season. On October 3, the Toronto Blue Jays fired J. P. Ricciardi after eight seasons; the following day, the San Diego Padres axed Kevin Towers, the longest-tenured GM in Major League Baseball at 14 seasons.
Two teams announced new managers in the offseason: Cito Gaston and Jerry Manuel both entered their first full season as managers of the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets after taking over for managers dismissed in the middle of the 2008 season. Gaston had been the Blue Jays' manager from 1989 until 1997. On January 15, the owners of the 30 Major League Baseball clubs approved two rule changes governing the playing of postseason and one-game playoff games. All "postseason games and games added to the regular season to determine qualifiers for the postseason" become suspended games if they are called before nine innings are played, regardless of whether the game would otherwise qualify as an official game, or the score at the time the game is called; the game is resumed. This rule change codifies the controversial interpretation of the official rules made by MLB commissioner Bud Selig during Game 5 of the 2008 World Series. Coin tosses will no longer be used to determine home-field advantage for one-game tiebreakers held to determine division champions or wild card teams.
Instead, "performance-based criteria"—including head-to-head record between the tied clubs—will be used to determine home-field advantage. This came into play for the first time when the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins tied for the lead of the American League Central at the end of the regular season; the game could not be played on October 5 because of a scheduling conflict with the Minnesota Vikings, who hosted the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football that night. Jody Gerut with the San Diego Padres, became the first player to open a new ballpark with a leadoff home run, as the Padres beat the New York Mets 6–5 at Citi Field on April 13. Chicago White Sox teammates Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko both hit their 300th career home runs in back-to-back plate appearances against the Detroit Tigers in the second inning at Comerica Park on April 13, the first time that historic home runs were hit consecutively. Gary Sheffield of the New York Mets became the 25th member of the 500 home run club on April 17 against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field.
The historic home run came in the bottom of the seventh inning as a pinch hitter, the first time a player has reached 500 home runs in this way. Liván Hernández, wh
In baseball, a left fielder is an outfielder who plays defense in left field. Left field is the area of the outfield to the left of a person standing at home plate and facing towards the pitcher's mound. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the left fielder is assigned the number 7. Outfielders must cover large distances - speed and quickness in reacting to the ball are key, they must be able to catch fly balls on the run. They must be able to throw the ball over a long distance to be effective. Left fielders must familiarize themselves with the varying configurations of different ballparks' foul territory, prevent balls hit down the foul lines from getting past them into the left field corner. Amateur players may find it difficult to concentrate on the game, since they are so far from the action. Emphasizing the correct position will give outfield players something to concentrate on at each pitch. Hits to left field tend to curve toward the left field foul line, left fielders must learn to adjust to that.
Of all outfielders, the left fielder will have the weakest arm, as they do not need to throw the ball as far to prevent the advance of any baserunners. The left fielder still requires good fielding and catching skills, tends to receive more balls than the right fielder because right-handed hitters tend to "pull" the ball into left field; the left fielder backs up third base on pick-off attempts from the catcher or pitcher and bunts, when possible. If a runner is stealing third base the left fielder must back up the throw from the catcher. Left fielders must back up third base when a ball is thrown from right field, back up center field when a pop fly is hit into the pocket. Despite giving their teams the advantage of accommodating a player with a weak arm, a left fielder with an above average throwing arm can compile many assists. After being converted to left field, Alfonso Soriano led the league with 22 and 19 outfield assists in 2006 and 2007 his first two years playing the outfield. Despite leading the league in errors and coming out of the game for a defensive replacement in late innings, his strong arm is best utilized in left.
The following are baseball players inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame as left fielders: When most left fielders are older or struggling defensively, they will move to first base or designated hitter, usually. Third basemen will sometimes move with Ryan Braun and Alex Gordon being examples. Baseball Hall of Fame Gold Glove Award
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League champion team and the National League champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy; as the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic. Prior to 1969, the team with the best regular season win-loss record in each league automatically advanced to the World Series; as of 2018, the World Series has been contested 114 times, with the AL winning 66 and the NL winning 48. The 2018 World Series took place between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox from October 23–28, with the Red Sox winning in five games to earn their ninth title; this was the first World Series meeting between these two teams since 1916. Having lost to the Houston Astros in the 2017 World Series, the Dodgers became the 11th team to lose the World Series in consecutive seasons.
In the American League, the New York Yankees have played in 40 World Series and won 27, the Philadelphia/Kansas City/Oakland Athletics have played in 14 and won 9, the Boston Red Sox have played in 13 and won 9, including the first World Series. In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals have appeared in 19 and won 11, the New York/San Francisco Giants have played in 19 and won 8, the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers have appeared in 20 and won 6, the Cincinnati Reds have appeared in 9 and won 5; as of 2018, no team has won consecutive World Series championships since the New York Yankees in 1998, 1999, 2000—the longest such drought in Major League Baseball history. Until the formation of the American Association in 1882 as a second major league, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players and the National League represented the top level of organized baseball in the United States. All championships were awarded to the team with the best record at the end of the season, without a postseason series being played.
From 1884 to 1890, the National League and the American Association faced each other in a series of games at the end of the season to determine an overall champion. These series were disorganized in comparison to the modern World Series, with the terms arranged through negotiation of the owners of the championship teams beforehand; the number of games played ranged from as few as three in 1884, to a high of fifteen in 1887. Both the 1885 and 1890 Series ended in each team having won three games with one tie game; the series was promoted and referred to as "The Championship of the United States", "World's Championship Series", or "World's Series" for short. In his book Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883, Simon Winchester mentions in passing that the World Series was named for the New York World newspaper, but this view is disputed; the 19th-century competitions are, not recognized as part of World Series history by Major League Baseball, as it considers 19th-century baseball to be a prologue to the modern baseball era.
Until about 1960, some sources treated the 19th-century Series on an equal basis with the post-19th-century series. After about 1930, many authorities list the start of the World Series in 1903 and discuss the earlier contests separately. Following the collapse of the American Association after the 1891 season, the National League was again the only major league; the league championship was awarded in 1892 by a playoff between half-season champions. This scheme was abandoned after one season. Beginning in 1893—and continuing until divisional play was introduced in 1969—the pennant was awarded to the first-place club in the standings at the end of the season. For four seasons, 1894–1897, the league champions played the runners-up in the post season championship series called the Temple Cup. A second attempt at this format was the Chronicle-Telegraph Cup series, played only once, in 1900. In 1901, the American League was formed as a second major league. No championship series were played in 1901 or 1902 as the National and American Leagues fought each other for business supremacy.
After two years of bitter competition and player raiding, the National and American Leagues made peace and, as part of the accord, several pairs of teams squared off for interleague exhibition games after the 1903 season. These series were arranged by the participating clubs. One of them matched the two pennant winners, Pittsburgh Pirates of the NL and Boston Americans of the AL, it had been arranged well in advance by the two owners, as both teams were league leaders by large margins. Boston upset Pittsburgh by five games to three, winning with pitching depth behind Cy Young and Bill Dinneen and with the support of the band of Royal Rooters; the Series brought much civic pride to Boston and proved the new American League could beat the Nationals. The 1904 Series, if it had been held, would have been between the AL's Boston Americans and the NL's New York Giants. At that point there was no gover
The Washington Nationals are a professional baseball team based in Washington, D. C.. The Nationals compete in Major League Baseball as a member club of the National League East division. From 2005 to 2007, the team played in RFK Stadium. C. near the Anacostia River. The Nationals are the eighth major league franchise to be based in Washington, D. C. and the first since 1971. The current National League club was founded in 1969 as the Montreal Expos, part of the MLB expansion; the Expos were purchased by Major League Baseball in 2002, the team was renamed the Nationals and moved to Washington, D. C. before the 2005 season, marking the first franchise relocation in MLB since the third Washington Senators moved to Texas in 1971. While the team struggled after moving to Washington, the Nationals have experienced considerable success in recent years, winning division titles in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, although they have yet to advance out of the first round in the playoffs. Two of the team's first overall picks in the MLB Draft, Stephen Strasburg in 2009 and Bryce Harper in 2010, attracted new levels of attention to the team.
At the time of his selection, Strasburg was called the "most-hyped pick in draft history," and Harper became the youngest position player to be selected to the MLB All-Star Game. Including their time in Montreal, the Nationals are one of two franchises, the only one in the National League, never to have won a league pennant and played in a World Series, along with the Seattle Mariners of the American League. Multiple short-lived baseball franchises, including two named the Nationals, played in Washington with the National Association in the 1870s; the first Washington Nationals team in a major league played in the American Association in 1884. Another Washington Nationals team played in the Union Association during its only season in 1884; the first Washington Nationals of the National League played from 1886 to 1889. The Washington Statesmen played in the American Association in 1891, before jumping to the National League as the Senators the following season; the Washington Senators, who were referred to as the Nationals, played in the National League from 1892 to 1899.
They were followed by another Washington Senators franchise in 1901, a charter member of the new American League, who were named the Washington Nationals from 1905 to 1956. The first American League Senators franchise moved to Minnesota in 1961 and became the Minnesota Twins, they were replaced that season by a second Senators franchise, who moved to Arlington, after the 1971 season and became the Texas Rangers. The Montreal Expos, part of the MLB expansion, which included the Seattle Pilots, Kansas City Royals, San Diego Padres. Based in Montreal, the Expos were the first Major League team in Canada; the majority-share owner was by a major shareholder in Seagram. Named after the Expo 67 World's Fair, the Expos' initial home was Jarry Park. Managed by Gene Mauch, the team lost 110 games in their first season, coincidentally matching the Padres inaugural win-loss record, continued to struggle during their first decade with sub-.500 seasons. Starting in 1977, the team's home venue was Montreal's Olympic Stadium, built for the 1976 Summer Olympics.
Two years the team won a franchise-high 95 games, finishing second in the National League East. The Expos began the 1980s with a core group of young players, including catcher Gary Carter, outfielders Tim Raines and Andre Dawson, third baseman Tim Wallach, pitchers Steve Rogers and Bill Gullickson; the team won its only division championship in the strike-shortened split season of 1981, ending its season with a three games to two loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. The team spent most of the 1980s in the middle of the NL East pack, finishing in third or fourth place in eight out of nine seasons from 1982 to 1990. Buck Rodgers was hired as manager before the 1985 season and guided the Expos to a.500 or better record five times in six years, with the highlight coming in 1987, when they won 91 games. They were just four games behind the division-winning Cardinals. Bronfman sold the team to a consortium of owners in 1991, with Claude Brochu as the managing general partner.
Rodgers, at that time second only to Gene Mauch in number of Expos games managed, was replaced partway through the 1991 season. In May 1992, Felipe Alou, a member of the Expos organization since 1976, was promoted to manager, becoming the first Dominican-born manager in MLB history. Alou would become the leader in Expos games managed, while guiding the team to winning records, including 1994, when the Expos, led by a talented group of players including Larry Walker, Moisés Alou, Marquis Grissom and Pedro Martínez, had the best record in the major leagues until the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike forced the cancellation of the remainder of the season. After the disappointment of 1994, Expos management began shedding its key players, the team's fan support dwindled. Brochu sold control of the team to Jeffrey Loria in 1999, but Loria failed to close on a plan to build a new downtown ballpark, did not reach an agreement on television and English radio broadcast contracts for the 2000 season, reducing the team's media coverage.
After the 2001 season, MLB considered revoking the team's franchise, along with either the Minnesota Twins or the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In November 2001, Major League Baseball's owners voted 28–2 to contract the league by two teams — according to various sources, the Expos and the Minnesota Twins, both of which voted against contraction. Subsequently, the Boston
2008 Major League Baseball season
The 2008 Major League Baseball season began on March 25, 2008, in Tokyo, Japan with the 2007 World Series champion Boston Red Sox defeating the Oakland Athletics at the Tokyo Dome 6–5 in the first game of a two-game series, ended on September 30 with the host Chicago White Sox defeating the Minnesota Twins in a one-game playoff to win the AL Central division. The Civil Rights Game, an exhibition, in Memphis, took place March 29 when the New York Mets beat the Chicago White Sox, 3–2; the Tampa Bay Devil Rays shortened their name to Tampa Bay Rays. The All-Star Game was played on July 15 at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York City, with the AL winning 4 to 3 in 15 innings; the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series 4 games to 1 over the Tampa Bay Rays. This was Philadelphia's second championship, the first World Series appearance for the Rays. On September 10, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim became the first team to secure a postseason berth, coupled with a win over the New York Yankees and a Texas Rangers loss to the Seattle Mariners, giving them the AL West title.
The Angels clinched home field on September 26. On September 20, the Chicago Cubs became the second team to get their passport to October with a win over the St. Louis Cardinals, clinching only their fifth divisional title in team history; this marked the first time since 1907 and 1908 that the Cubs appeared in consecutive postseasons, the latter two being part of a three-year streak which began in 1906. Two days the Cubs clinched the home field advantage through the National League Playoffs by beating the New York Mets. On September 20, the Tampa Bay Rays guaranteed a spot in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history by beating the Minnesota Twins at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay won its first American League East title six days later. On September 23, the Boston Red Sox clinched their fifth in the last six years; the Red Sox' win eliminated the Yankees from the post-season for the first time since 1993, ending the 13-year streak the team had of being in the playoffs. On September 26, the Yankees handed the Rays the American League East title by beating the Red Sox by a 19–8 score, making Boston the Wild Card.
On September 25, the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the National League West when the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 12–3 at Busch Stadium. On September 27, the Philadelphia Phillies clinched the National League East title for the second straight year with their win over the Washington Nationals, 4–3; this marks the first time they would play in consecutive postseasons since the 1980 and 1981 seasons, the 1981 appearance made possible by the split season due to the players' strike. The Milwaukee Brewers clinched the NL Wild Card with a 3–1 win over the Chicago Cubs, while the Florida Marlins, on the final day of the season for the second straight year, eliminated the New York Mets from post-season contention in the final game played at Shea Stadium, 4–2; the previous season, the Marlins beat the Mets while the Phillies beat the Nationals on the last day to knock the Mets out of the postseason as the Phillies won the NL East. The Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins in a one-game playoff by 1–0 at U.
S. Cellular Field on September 30, becoming the winner of the American League Central; this marked the first time that both the Cubs and White Sox qualified for the postseason in the same season since the two teams squared it off in the 1906 World Series. Note: Major League Baseball's playoff format automatically seeds the Wild Card team 4th; the No. 1 seed plays the No. 4 seed in the Division Series. However, MLB does not allow the No. 1 seed to play the 4th seed/Wild Card winner in the Division Series if they are from the same division, instead having the No. 1 seed play the next lowest seed, the No. 3 seed. Hence and the Chicago Cubs did not face each other in the NLDS. In scores, home teams are in italics, winning team is boldface. Tampa Bay Rays vs. Philadelphia PhilliesPhiladelphia wins series, 4–1 10/22 – Philadelphia 3, Tampa Bay 2 10/23 – Tampa Bay 4, Philadelphia 2 10/25 – Philadelphia 5, Tampa Bay 4 10/26 – Philadelphia 10, Tampa Bay 2 10/27, 10/29* – Philadelphia 4, Tampa Bay 3* – Game suspended 10/27.
John Smoltz of the Atlanta Braves recorded his 3,000th strikeout against Felipe López of the Washington Nationals April 22. Kenny Rogers of the Detroit Tigers became the all-time career pickoff leader with 92. On May 9, Rogers picked off Wilson Betemit of the New York Yankees. Greg Maddux of the San Diego Padres recorded his 350th career win against the Colorado Rockies on May 10. Brad Ausmus of the Houston Astros recorded his 1,500th hit on May 12 against the Giants. Along with his 101 stolen bases, he became 1 of 8 catchers in MLB history that have achieved at least 1,500 hits and 100 stolen bases. Omar Vizquel of the San Francisco Giants played his 2,584th game as a shortstop on May 25, breaking the record held by Luis Aparicio. Philadelphia Phillies left-handed pitcher Jamie Moyer became the sixth pitcher in Major League Baseball history to defeat all 30 teams on May 26 by defeating the Rockies 20–5. Manny Ramírez of the Boston Red Sox hit his 500th career home run off of Chad Bradford of the Baltimore Orioles on May 31.
Ramírez became the 24th player to hit 500 career home runs. Ramírez was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-way trade that involved the Pittsburgh Pirates in July. Ramirez recorded his 500th double, became the first player to record fifty RBIs in the same season in both leagues. Randy Johnson of the
First base, or 1B, is the first of four stations on a baseball diamond which must be touched in succession by a baserunner to score a run for that player's team. A first baseman is the player on the team playing defense who fields the area nearest first base, is responsible for the majority of plays made at that base. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the first baseman is assigned the number 3. Called first sacker or cornerman, the first baseman is ideally a tall player who throws left-handed and possesses good flexibility and quick reflexes. Flexibility is needed because the first baseman receives throws from the other infielders, the catcher and the pitcher after they have fielded ground balls. In order for the runner to be called out, the first baseman must be able to stretch towards the throw and catch it before the runner reaches first base. First base is referred to as "the other hot corner"—the "hot corner" being third base—and therefore, like the third baseman, he must have quick reflexes to field the hardest hit balls down the foul line by left-handed pull hitters and right-handed hitters hitting to the opposite field.
They are power hitters who have a substantial number of home runs and extra base hits while maintaining a.270 plus batting average. Good defensive first basemen, according to baseball writer and historian Bill James, are capable of playing off first base so that they can field ground balls hit to the fair side of first base; the first baseman relies upon the pitcher to cover first base to receive the ball to complete the out. Indications of a good defensive first baseman include a large number of assists and a low number of throwing errors by other infielders; the nature of play at first base requires first basemen to stay close to the bag to hold runners or to reach the bag before the batter. First basemen are not expected to have the range required of a third baseman, second baseman or an outfielder; as a result, first base is not perceived to be as physically demanding as other positions. However, it can be a hard position to play. Though many play at first base their entire career, it is common for veteran players to be moved to first base to extend their careers or to accommodate other acquired players.
Facing a possible trade or a considerable reduction in playing time, a player will opt to move to first base instead. Catchers and corner outfielders are moved to first base due to deteriorating health or if their fielding abilities at their original position are detrimental to the team. Unlike the pitcher and catcher, who must start every play in a designated area the first baseman and the other fielders can vary their positioning in response to what they anticipate will be the actions of the batter and runner once play begins; when first base is not occupied by a baserunner, the first baseman stands behind first base and off the foul line. The distance he plays from the base and foul line is dependent on the current hitter and any runners on base; the exact position may depend on the first baseman's experience and fielding ability. For a known right-handed pull hitter, the first baseman might position himself further towards the second baseman's normal fielding position. For a known left-handed pull hitter, the first baseman will position himself closer to the foul line to stop a ball hit down the line.
To protect against a bunt on the first base side of the infield, the first baseman will position himself in front of the base and move towards the hitter as the pitch is thrown. As soon as the pitcher commits to throwing towards home plate, the first baseman will charge towards the hitter to field the bunt. During these plays, it is the responsibility of the second baseman to cover first base. With a base runner present at first base, the first baseman stands with his right foot touching the base to prepare for a pickoff attempt. Once the pitcher commits to throwing towards home plate, the first baseman comes off the bag in front of the runner and gets in a fielding position. If the bases are loaded, or if the runner on first base is not a base stealing threat, the first baseman will position himself behind the runner and appropriate for the current batter; when waiting for a throw from another player, the first baseman stands with his off-glove foot touching the base stretches toward the throw.
This stretch decreases the amount of time it takes the throw to get to first and encourages the umpire to call close plays in favor of the fielding team. Veteran first basemen are known to pull off the bag early on close plays to convince the umpire that the ball reached his glove before the runner reached first base; the first baseman has the responsibility of cutting off throws from any of the three outfield positions on their way to home plate. Though situational, the first baseman only receives throws from the center or right fielder; the first baseman is at the end of a double play, though he can be at the beginning and end of a double play. Unusual double plays involving the first baseman include the 3–6–3, 3–4–3, 3–2–3, or a 3–6–1 double play. In a 3–6–3 or 3–4–3 double play, the first baseman fields the ball, throws to second, where the shortstop or second baseman catches the ball to make the first out and throws back to the first baseman who reaches first base in time to tag first base before the batter reaches first base.
For a 3–2–3 double play, the bases must be loaded for the force-out at home plate or the catcher must tag the runner coming from
San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants are an American professional baseball team based in San Francisco, California. Founded in 1883 as the New York Gothams, renamed three years the New York Giants, the team moved to San Francisco in 1958; the Giants compete in Major League Baseball as a member club of the National League West division. As one of the longest-established and most successful professional baseball teams, the franchise has won the most games of any team in the history of American baseball; the team was the first major league team based in New York City, most memorably playing at the legendary Polo Grounds. They have won 23 NL pennants and have played in 20 World Series competitions – both NL records; the Giants' eight World Series championships rank fifth overall. The Giants have played in the World Series 20 times – 14 times in New York, six in San Francisco – but boycotted the event in 1904. Playing as the New York Giants, they won 14 pennants and five World Series championships behind managers such as John McGraw and Bill Terry and players such as Christy Mathewson, Carl Hubbell, Mel Ott, Bobby Thomson, Willie Mays.
The Giants' franchise has the most Hall of Fame players in all of professional baseball. The Giants' rivalry with the Dodgers is one of the longest-standing and biggest rivalries in American sports; the teams began their rivalry as the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers before both franchises moved west for the 1958 season. The Giants have won six pennants and three World Series championships since arriving in San Francisco; those three championships have come in 2010, 2012, most in 2014, having defeated the Kansas City Royals four games to three during the 2014 World Series. The Giants are the only major professional sports team based in the City and County of San Francisco, following the San Francisco 49ers' relocation to Santa Clara in 2014, they will be joined by the Golden State Warriors once they move to the Chase Center in 2019. The Giants began as the second baseball club founded by millionaire tobacconist John B. Day and veteran amateur baseball player Jim Mutrie; the Gothams, as the Giants were known, entered the National League in 1883, while their other club, the Metropolitans played in the American Association.
Nearly half of the original Gotham players were members of the disbanded Troy Trojans, whose place in the National League the Gothams inherited. While the Metropolitans were the more successful club and Mutrie began moving star players to the Gothams, in 1888 the team won its first National League pennant, as well as a victory over the St. Louis Browns in a pre-modern-era World Series, they repeated as champions the next year with a pennant and Championship victory over the Brooklyn "Bridegrooms". A contemporaneous account claims that after one satisfying victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, the team's manager, strode into the dressing room and exclaimed, "My big fellows! My giants!" From on, the club was known as the Giants. The Giants' original home stadium, the Polo Grounds, dates from this early era, it was located north of Central Park adjacent to 5th and 6th Avenues and 110th and 112th Streets, in Harlem in upper Manhattan. After their eviction from that first incarnation of the Polo Grounds after the 1888 season, they moved further uptown to various fields they named the Polo Grounds located between 155th and 159th Streets in Harlem and Washington Heights, playing in the Washington Heights Polo Grounds until the end of the 1957 season, when they moved to San Francisco.
The Giants were a powerhouse in the late 1880s, winning their first two National League Pennants and World Championships in 1888 and 1889. But nearly all of the Giants' stars jumped to the upstart Players' League, whose New York franchise was named the Giants, in 1890; the new team built a stadium next door to the Polo Grounds. With a decimated roster, the National League Giants finished a distant sixth. Attendance took a nosedive, the financial strain affected Day's tobacco business as well; the Players' League dissolved after the season, Day sold a minority interest in his NL Giants to the defunct PL Giants' principal backer, Edward Talcott. As a condition of the sale, Day had to fire Mutrie as manager. Although the Giants rebounded to third in 1891, Day was forced to sell a controlling interest to Talcott at the end of the season. Four years Talcott sold the Giants to Andrew Freedman, a real estate developer with ties to the Tammany Hall political machine running New York City. Freedman was one of the most detested owners in baseball history, getting into heated disputes with other owners and his own players, most famously with star pitcher Amos Rusie, author of the first Giants no-hitter.
When Freedman offered Rusie only $2,500 to play in 1896, the disgruntled hurler sat out the entire season. Attendance fell off throughout the league without Rusie, prompting the other owners to chip in $50,000 to get him to return for 1897. Freedman hired former owner Day as manager for part of 1899. In 1902, after a series of disastrous moves that left the Giants 53½ games behind, Freedman signed John McGraw as player-manager, convincing him to jump in mid-season from the Baltimore Orioles of the fledgling American League and bring with him several of his teammates. McGraw went on to manage the Giants for three decades until 1932, one of the longest and most successful tenures in professional sports. Hiring "Mr. McGraw", as his players referred to him, was one of Freedman's last significant moves as