From Left to Right: Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal

The city by the bay has featured some of the most fearsome and legendary athletes for over 70 years. The San Francisco Giants have proved to be the team of the bay, having the most championships of any team in the area, and producing unbelievable as well as controversial players. A lot of multiple MVP winners are featured, and I will go against my normal word to only include players who have rings. The Giants never won a championship in San Francisco until 2010, so that would be somewhat unfair. Without much else to do, here are the four greatest and most legendary Giants of all time.

Barry Bonds

I am well aware of the controversy that surrounds the disputed single-season/all-time home run king. But has there ever been a player to drill both the excitement and fear that Bonds has? To the point of even walking him with the bases loaded. That stretch from ’01-’04 is almost otherworldly status, after being the best player of the nineties. He hit 209 home runs as well as posting a 1.368 on-base plus slugging. What. He also won the Most Valuable Player award and set the single-season home record in 2001 at 73. The man became a robot. The steroid allegations came after these seasons. Truth is, many players were juicing during this time, and they didn’t begin widespread testing until 2003. He is a hall of fame in my book.

Willie Mays

The first hero of the bay is one of the greatest five tool athletes to play the game. It’s actually funny to think that Mays was Bonds’ godfather. After starting his career as a New York Giant, he brought his talents out west once his team moved. As a member of San Francisco, the Say Hey kid appeared in 14 straight all-star games. He also won the 1965 National League Most Valuable Player. In his career, Mays batted .302 with 660 home runs which is sixth all-time. No controversy so an easy Hall of Fame candidate for the baseball writers.

Willie McCovey

If you get a cove in a bay named after you you’re doing something right with your life. And Willie McCovey absolutely did. A teammate of Mays, McCovey was also one of the scariest hitters of the sixties. He and Mays formed an incredible one-two punch and nightmares for pitchers. The hall of Famer hit 521 career home runs including 469 as a member of the San Francisco Giants from 1959-1973 and again from 1977-1980. He took home MVP honors in 1969, Rookie of the year in 1959, and appeared in six all-star games. A treasure for the Giants.

Juan Marichal

Finally a pitcher on here! Marichal was the best to do it in orange and black from 1960-1975. He rode in the shadows of Koufax and Drysdale down south but was a dominant force on the mound. In his Hall of Fame Career, Marichal went 243 and 142 with a 2.84 Earned Run Average. He appeared in the all-star games a staggering ten times, forever etching his name into Giants history.

Conclusion

It’s really unfortunate to think none of these players earned rings during their tenures in baseball. They were all deserving, but regardless, not only are they the best San Francisco Giants players but some of the greatest players of all time. If you’re wondering where any New York Giants, there should be a whole other list for them alone.

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