SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS IN THE POSTSEASON
The San Francisco Giants have become one of the most successful National League teams of the past decade, but their history dates back to the early portion of the 19th century. Beginning play as the New York Gothams in 1883, the team would change its name thanks to an exclamation from their manager Jim Mutrie after an extra-innings win over Philadelphia, who called them his Giants. The nickname stuck and the New York Giants would begin one of the golden ages of baseball in New York City.
The New York Giants would win World Series in 1905, 1921, 1922 and 1933, but it was their win in 1954 that still holds a special place in the hearts of New Yorkers. Riding the stellar play of Willie Mays and Monte Irvin, the Giants would win the National League Pennant and would face the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. Perhaps one of the series' most memorable moments came in the first game, when Willie Mays made an over-the-shoulder basket catch, which is considered one of the best in the history of the game. The Giants would make quick work of the Indians and would sweep them in four games, but few would have expected that this would be the Giants' last championship of the 20th century.
The Giants moved to San Francisco before the start of the 1958 season and would manage to put together a World Series roster in 1962, when they would be matched up with the New York Yankees. The series culminated in an unforgettable pitching matchup between the Giants' Jack Sanford and Ralph Terry of the Yankees, and the only run scored in that Game 7 came on a double play ball. The Giants came tantalizingly close to winning, but were ultimately undone by the dynastic Yankees.
The Giants would make World Series appearances in 1989 and 2002, but they finally got over the hump in 2010 by defeating the Texas Rangers in five games. Riding the heroics of pitching phenom Tim Lincecum, closer Brian Wilson and World Series MVP Edgar Renteria, the Giants ended more than 50 years of postseason frustration in one foul swoop, and would surprise their fans yet again in 2012 with a sweep of the Detroit Tigers. While they've been loveable losers for much of their history, the Giants have become a major contender in the National League and should be in the title conversation for years to come.
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