CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Record shot adds to Giants lore

Record shot adds to Giants lore

SAN FRANCISCO -- For many, Barry Bonds' 756th home run is the biggest moment in San Francisco Giants history. But it's far from the team's only big moment.

Since moving to San Francisco in 1958, the Giants have maintained a heritage of success and achievement that began with the franchise's inception in New York. Although the Giants haven't won a World Series since 1954, the performances of Bonds and Hall of Famers such as Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal have kept the team among the National League's elite.

Here's a capsule look at 43 games, seasons or accomplishments -- a number matching each year of Bonds' life -- that capture the excitement of Giants baseball by the Bay:

April 15, 1958 -- The Giants begin their San Francisco era with a rousing 8-0 win over their rivals and fellow West Coast transplants, the Los Angeles Dodgers, at Seals Stadium. San Francisco's inaugural season featured a Rookie of the Year campaign by future Hall of Fame first baseman Orlando Cepeda and a career-high .347 average from Mays.

July 30, 1959 -- McCovey launches his career with a 4-for-4 effort that includes two triples against Philadelphia ace Robin Roberts in a 7-2 victory.

April 12, 1960 -- Candlestick Park opens. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

July 19, 1960 -- If McCovey's debut was astounding, this one might have been more so as Marichal one-hits Philadelphia in his first Major League appearance. Clay Dalrymple's eighth-inning single was the Phillies' lone hit in a 2-0 Giants win.

April 30, 1961 -- The incomparable Mays hits four home runs at Milwaukee in a 14-4 victory. Mays actually was on deck when the ninth inning ended, awaiting a chance to hit homer No. 5.

Oct. 3, 1962 -- An incredible season ends in triumph as the Giants score four ninth-inning runs to win the finale of a best-of-three playoff at Los Angeles, 6-4, and capture the National League pennant. Jack Sanford's 24 victories led a solid rotation and Mays' 49 homers paced the offense.

Oct. 16, 1962 -- In a conclusion that will live forever, McCovey hits a line drive to Yankees second baseman Bobby Richardson with Mays on second base and Matty Alou on third to end the ninth inning and a 1-0 Giants loss in Game 7 of the World Series.

June 15, 1963 -- Marichal pitches the first no-hitter in the franchise's San Francisco history by throttling Houston, 1-0. His first of six 20-win seasons would get even better.

July 2, 1963 -- In a game that might never be duplicated due to preoccupation with pitch counts, Marichal pitches a 16-inning shutout to beat Milwaukee's Warren Spahn, 1-0. Spahn was every bit as good as Marichal until Mays -- who else? -- homered with one out in the 16th.

Sept. 10, 1963 -- Reflecting baseball's growing Latin American presence, brothers Felipe, Matty and Jesus Alou each appeared in a game at New York.

May 31, 1964 -- This was no ordinary doubleheader. Before a packed house of 57,037 at Shea Stadium, the Giants complete a sweep of the Mets with an 8-6, 23-inning conquest in the nightcap. Gaylord Perry pitched 10 shutout innings in relief to earn the decision.

Sept. 13, 1965 -- Mays becomes only the fifth player to reach 500 home runs in his career. This was a season in which the center fielder amassed 52 homers and won his second NL Most Valuable Player award.

May 4, 1966 -- Call this the night that San Franciscans fully realized just how special Mays was. He hits homer No. 512 to pass Giants legend Mel Ott for the all-time NL lead, prompting a five-minute ovation.

July 15, 1967 -- En route to capturing the only Cy Young Award won by a Giants player, Mike McCormick wins his eighth game in a row, a 3-1 verdict over Houston, to improve to 12-3. McCormick finished 22-10.

Sept. 17, 1968 -- The Year of the Pitcher approaches its conclusion as Perry no-hits St. Louis. Ron Hunt's first-inning homer off Bob Gibson generated the game's only run.

July 23, 1969 -- McCovey homers twice in the All-Star Game at Washington to take MVP honors. This served as a microcosm of the entire season, as McCovey hit .320 with 45 homers and was voted the league's MVP.

Sept. 22, 1969 -- Pinch-hitting, Mays belts his 600th career home run off San Diego's Mike Corkins to help the Giants triumph, 4-2.

July 18, 1970 -- Mays collects his 3,000th career hit with a ground-ball single into left field off Montreal's Mike Wegener. The 39-year-old proceeds to hit .291 with 28 homers after averaging .278 and 19 homers in the previous three seasons.

Sept. 30, 1971 -- The Giants clinch their first NL West title with a 5-1 victory at San Diego as Marichal pitches a five-hitter and rookie Dave Kingman clubs a two-run homer. After a 37-14 start that featured winning streaks of nine, four and five games (twice), the Giants held on to edge the Dodgers by one game in the standings. Pittsburgh defeated the worn-out Giants, 3-1, in the NL Championship Series.

Aug. 24, 1975 -- Ed Halicki enlivens the second game of a doubleheader against the Mets with a no-hitter in a 6-0 victory.

April 9, 1976 -- The Giants outlast the Dodgers, 4-2, in an Opening Day that almost wasn't. The club was sold to Toronto interests during the offseason, but real estate mogul Bob Lurie put together an offer that kept the franchise in San Francisco. A crowd of 37,261, the largest for a Giants home opener since 1966, showed up to express its appreciation.

Sept. 29, 1976 -- Entering the game with a 15-14 record, John Montefusco sets out to prove that he's not a .500 pitcher. He does so by firing a no-hitter at Atlanta in a 9-0 win.

April 15, 1977 -- Another opener for the ages. Los Angeles whips the Giants, 7-1, but that was irrelevant as a crowd of 37,813 showers the beloved McCovey, back from a three-year exile in San Diego and Oakland, with a two-minute ovation in pregame introductions.

May 28, 1978 -- Mike Ivie's pinch-hit grand slam off Don Sutton helps the Giants top the Dodgers, 6-5, in a game that typified a charmed year. Despite finishing third, the Giants led the West for much of the season and revitalized baseball in San Francisco by drawing 1.7 million, more than double their 1977 total.

June 30, 1978 -- McCovey cracks his 500th career homer in the first game of a doubleheader at Atlanta off Jamie Easterly.

June 29, 1980 -- McCovey announced his retirement a week earlier and wouldn't play his final game for another week, but this was the goodbye that Giants fans will remember. His ninth-inning, pinch-hit double breaks a 3-3 tie and gives the Giants a 4-3 victory over Los Angeles in the first game of a doubleheader.

Oct. 3, 1982 -- Take that, Dodgers! Eliminated in the NL West race two nights earlier, the Giants knock the Dodgers from contention on the season's final day as Joe Morgan's three-run, seventh-inning homer sparks a 5-3 triumph.

April 8, 1986 -- You've gotta like these kids. First baseman Will Clark and second baseman Robby Thompson start their first regular-season game together. Clark homers in the 8-3 season-opening victory over Houston. Galvanizing a team that finished last in the previous two seasons, rookies Clark and Thompson help San Francisco regain respectability.

Aug. 7, 1987 -- The Giants outlast Houston, 3-1, igniting a 37-17 stretch that carries San Francisco to its first West title in 16 years. But St. Louis overcame a 3-2 series deficit to win the NL Championship Series in seven games.

Oct. 9, 1989 -- After Kevin Mitchell's MVP season (.291 average, 47 homers, 125 RBIs) propels the Giants to the West championship, the Giants seal their NLCS triumph over the Chicago Cubs as Clark breaks a 1-1 tie with a two-run single off Mitch Williams in the eighth inning. The Oakland A's proceed to sweep the Giants in a World Series interrupted by the Loma Prieta earthquake prior to Game 3 at Candlestick.

April 12, 1993 -- Opening Day at Candlestick brings a 4-3, 11-inning victory over Florida and, more importantly, symbolizes the start of a new era for the Giants. After the Peter Magowan-led ownership group prevented the franchise's move to Tampa, the Giants signed Barry Bonds to a six-year, $43.75 million contract in what proved to be the best free-agent acquisition in history.

Oct. 3, 1993 -- A bittersweet season ends with a 12-1 loss at Los Angeles. The Giants won a remarkable 103 games, but Atlanta finished one game better and captured the division crown.

Sept. 27, 1997 -- Capping Brian Sabean's first full season as general manager, the Giants defeat San Diego, 6-1, to win the NL West. Dreams of greater glories fade with a Division Series loss to ultimate world champion Florida.

April 11, 2000 -- Pacific Bell Park opens with a crowd of 40,930 and a 6-5 loss to the Dodgers, who receive three home runs from Kevin Elster. The Giants would proceed to exceed three million in attendance in each of their first seven seasons at their beautiful bayside ballpark.

Oct. 5, 2000 -- J.T. Snow's dramatic three-run, ninth-inning homer forged a 4-4 tie in Game 2 of the Division Series against the New York Mets. But the Giants were unable to capitalize on that momentum in a 5-4, 10-inning loss, and the Mets won the series in four games.

April 17, 2001 -- Bonds victimizes Los Angeles' Terry Adams to collect his 500th career home run. Many more highlights await the left fielder during the season.

Oct. 5, 2001 -- Facing Los Angeles' Chan Ho Park, Bonds hits his 71st and 72nd homers to break Mark McGwire's single-season record. Bonds adds another homer two days later off Dennis Springer of the Dodgers.

Aug. 9, 2002 -- Bonds becomes the fourth player to reach 600 homers by connecting off Pittsburgh's Kip Wells in the seventh inning of a 4-3 loss.

Oct. 14, 2002 -- Kenny Lofton's single off Steve Kline scores David Bell with the winning run in a 2-1 victory over St. Louis that gives the Giants their third San Francisco pennant. Despite Bonds' incredible .471 average, the Giants would lose a seven-game World Series to Anaheim.

Sept. 28, 2003 -- The NL West champion Giants finish the regular season with their 100th victory. But they fade in the postseason with a four-game loss to Florida.

Sept. 17, 2004 -- Bonds reaches another numerical summit against San Diego's Jake Peavy by clobbering his 700th home run in a 4-1 victory.

May 28, 2006 -- Now, it's just Barry and Hank. Bonds hits his 715th career homer, a two-run drive off Colorado's Byung-Hyun Kim, to pass Babe Ruth for second all-time and put Aaron's mark of 755 squarely in sight.

June 6, 2006 -- Breaking Christy Mathewson's 102-year-old franchise record, Jason Schmidt strikes out 16 Florida Marlins in a 2-1 victory. It's a fitting deed for Schmidt, whose .678 Giants winning percentage (78-37) is the highest since the team moved to San Francisco.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}