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MLB Today: Will the Thrill Gets His Due

September 28, 2019 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Will Clark will be recognized by the San Francisco Giants next year.
The Giants will retire Will Clark’s number next season. (Cooperstown Cred)

We haven’t had a chance to touch on the fact that next year the San Francisco Giants plan to retire No. 22 to honour former great Will Clark.

This will mark just the second time in franchise history that a player not enshrined in Cooperstown will earn this distinction, the first coming last year when the team recognized Barry Bonds.

Clark spent more time with the Giants (eight seasons) than any other team in his career, leaving San Francisco after the 1993 campaign. Since then, a whopping 21 players have donned No. 22 for San Francisco, including Eli Whiteside, Jake Peavy, Osvaldo Fernandez and Mike Matheny, all of whom wore it for multiple season.

A former Golden Spikes award winner as the top dog in college baseball, Clark was a hell of a player, but not Hall of Fame worthy, falling short on his first year on the ballot. The closest comparable player that made it in to the Hall is Edgar Martinez. Perhaps if Clark hadn’t dealt with elbow issues towards the end of his career, he may have enjoyed one or two more big seasons that could have helped his Cooperstown cause.

Will the Thrill had one of the sweetest swings (see video below) we’ve had the pleasure of watching over the years, and he certainly justified being taken second overall in the 1985 draft, definitely enjoying a better career than No. 1 overall pick B.J. Surhoff.

Interesting fact: Clark homered in his MLB debut in his first ever at-bat (off Nolan Ryan, no less), and also went yard in the final game of his career.

Quick Hits

  • Given the amount of injuries Joey Gallo has dealt with this season, Texas is not expected to give him nearly as much time in centre field in 2020, but he’s going to remain in the outfield. Injuries really sucked the life out of what was clearly a major breakout season for the slugger.
  • Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw looked good on Thursday, and man, does he ever love to stick it to the Padres. He’s now 13-0 over his last 19 starts against San Diego. Kershaw needed a big start like Thursday after getting touched up by the Rox last time out. He slightly improved his hit rate this season, yet his ERA keeps rising since 2016.
  • Raise your hand if you thought Texas Rangers starter Mike Minor was going to reach 200 strikeouts this season. Yup, that looks about right. Minor did a better job of keeping the ball in the yard, which led to success pitching in Arlington Stadium as he easily enjoyed his finest season ever, and finally justified his draft status as the seventh overall pick in 2009.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

Rocker Amanda Marshall has only released three albums since starting her career in 1995. From her debut effort, this is “Dark Horse,” the fifth single the album produced.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below what your favourite memory is of Will Clark.

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