Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Barry Bonds is only one of three

I don’t know anybody that can predict the future, although once Giants manager Roger Craig said prior to the 1988 Playoffs; "don’t ever bet against the Dodgers pitching and Kirk Gibson" later I witnessed in Dodger Stadium the home run by Kirk Gibson that beat the Oakland Athletics in the first game of that World Series and also Orel Hershiser win the MVP of that classic. Roger:Humm Baby" Craig was 100X100 correct. If we could all predict the future in this business like Craig did prior to the 1988 playoffs we will all be wise men.

In the XX Century only three players have walked intentionally with the bases loaded. In 1901 Nap Lajoie of the Philadelphia Athletics in 1944 Chicago Cubs Bill Nicholson and in 1998 Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants.

Maybe the ultimate respect for a hitter is to get the intentional walk with the bases loaded. That would be like a General surrendering even before the battle has started.

I was fortunate enough to be a witness of one of those three times in history when a player walked intentionally with the bags loaded. It was on May 28, 1998 at Candlestick Park in front of 12,066 in attendance(reading my scorecard) it was in the bottom of the ninth inning the Giants against the Arizona Diamondbacks, bases where loaded for the Giants, there were 2 outs and the Diamondbacks were leading by a score of 8-6. Buck Showalter manager of the Diamondbacks ordered the intentional walk to Bonds. Showalter said after the game: "I know it was a little unorthodox,but I just felt it was the best chance for us to win a baseball game. "

Barry Bonds walked intentionally to make the game 8-7, then Brent Mayne came to the plate and hit a hard line drive to right field that was caught.
Game over, Diamondbacks 8 Giants 7.

That we might not see again in our lifetime, or maybe we will. But there is one thing for sure from this reporter, I have never ever seen a hitter intimidate a pitcher and a manager like Barry Bonds. An argument could be made and I will be the first to say that in my book,Willie Mays was the best player of all time, but Mays never got walked intentionally with the bases loades, neither DiMaggio, Mantle, Aaron, R.Jackson, Jimmy Foxx, Babe Ruth and thousands of others.

Historical note:
Intentional walks were not included in official scoresheets until 1955. But the strategy got its start in 1896 when William "Kid" Gleason captain of the New York Giants odered his pitcher Jovett Meekin to walk Chicago slugger Jimmy Ryan tro get to George Decker, a much weaker hitter who history has it struck out to end the game.


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