Vintage Teams: New York Giants
You may now know them as the San Francisco Giants, but “The City by the Bay” didn’t always have a professional baseball team. That’s right – this winning club used to reside on the Eastern seaboard in New York. The Giants were one of the many teams that used to call the Big Apple home but ultimately left for new opportunities.
How did the team do before their move? Was there any Hall of Famers on its lineup? Here’s what you need to know about the New York Giants, why they moved west, and who some of their most famous players were.
New York Giants 1911
Where Did They Come From? Where Did They Go?
Originally, the Giants weren’t even that – they were the New York Gothams who played in the National League. Founded by John B. Day and Jim Mutrie in 1883, it wasn’t until 1885 that the team became the Giants. This franchise once finished with 106 wins in 1904, opting out of the World Series because its ownership believed the American League was the equivalent to the minors. The Giants would agree to postseason rules the following year, win 105 games, and beat the Philadelphia Athletics 4-1.
Their logo alternated throughout the years in color, but the general look didn’t change much. It featured the letters “N” and “Y” overlapping vertically, which helped to distinguish it from the New York Yankees. Their last logo, which ran from 1947 to 1957, is more reminiscent of the San Francisco Giants logo and even used black and orange colors.
It was a poor on-field product and financial woes that made it an economic necessity for the New York Giants to look elsewhere for a home. Their search brought them to the opposite coast, allowing the franchise to shine on its own as the Golden City’s only professional baseball team. Fans of the now-San Francisco Giants have enjoyed the team’s winning ways in recent years, having won three of the last seven World Series.
Who Were Their Stars?
Twelve-time All-Star Mel Ott, whose jersey was retired by the club, played his entire professional career as a member of the New York Giants. He spent his time between right field and third base when he wasn’t knocking the ball out of the park. Ott sent over 500 balls the distance in his 22-year career, with his best year coming in 1942 when he finished third in MVP balloting. While he never won the award, he was in the top 20 in balloting in 13 of his 22 seasons.
Another lifetime player was Carl Hubbell, who played as a pitcher for the New York Giants. He pitched almost 3,600 innings and struck out nearly 1,700 batters. He boasted a win rate of over 62 percent, winning 253 of his 433 career starts. Hubbell was selected as an All-Star nine times and was among the top 10 in MVP balloting for five years – two of which he won!
Giants of the West
It must have been hard to watch the Giants pack up and head west, specifically if you knew the winning ways the club experienced in the past. However, now the citizens of San Francisco are more than happy with the club’s decision to relocate. With a little sunshine and some smart player acquisitions, the once New York Giants turned into perennial pennant contenders once again as the San Francisco Giants.
If you’re planning on heading to a game at AT&T Park this season, make sure you’re outfitted with the latest Giants gear! Grab your black and orange from Fanatics.