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Giants honor greats with Wall of Fame

Giants honor greats with Wall of Fame

SAN FRANCISCO -- What's important to remember about the Giants' Wall of Fame is that it's as much for the fans as it is for the players honored. Perhaps even more so.

By displaying the honorees' plaques on AT&T Park's outer wall along King Street, the Giants made the "shrine" perpetually accessible to fans.

"You can [visit] it in the middle of January," managing general partner Peter Magowan said after Tuesday's dedication ceremony.

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Of the charter group of 43 players to meet Magowan's criteria for inclusion, 21 attended for the unveiling of the plaques, which are mounted on six areas of panels. Also present were Stacey Beck, the widow of right-hander Rod Beck; Pat Bonds, the widow of right fielder Bobby Bonds; and Mike Alexander, brother-in-law of late catcher Tom Haller.

One alumnus, Matt Williams, summarized the feelings not only of the ex-Giants, but also the couple of hundred fans watching the festivities.

"I'd like to tell everybody how proud I am to stand in the presence of greatness," the former third baseman said as he spoke to the crowd while standing in front of the assemblage of alumni that included Hall of Famers Orlando Cepeda, Willie McCovey and Gaylord Perry. "How proud all of us were, regardless of where we went beyond the Giants, to wear that uniform. It is a very special place in all of our hearts to be called a Giant."

Meant as a perpetual tribute to the organization's finest San Francisco players, the Wall will recognize players meeting the following criteria: They must have played at least nine seasons for the Giants, or they must have played at least five years while making at least one All-Star team with the Giants, and they must be retired.

Magowan, who's retiring next week, seemed to sense that these standards could be altered in the future.

"It will be a living museum that will grow and change over time," he said.

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

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