Today I am heading out to Arizona with my 10 year old son. We are staying with an old friend of mine and will be hitting 3 Giants Spring Training Games, 1 at the Rangers park and 2 in Scottsdale. I figured today was a perfect day to post a package that I received from my friend, reader of the blog and fellow Giant fanatic Jim aka mrhaverkamp. Jim is a generous guy and the only person I have met face to face (a few times now). When he saw my new Chili Davis player collection he dropped a few nice additions into the mail for me:
First up is a trio of Mother's Cookie cards:
I decided to do a little research and see how accurate the preview really was.
The "young and steady" infield also did quite well. The right side of the infield was manned by 2 second year players featuring star 1B Will Clark who cranked 35 HRs, 91 RBI and hit .308 and Robby Thompson with 10 HRs, 44 RBI and a .262 BA. Jose Uribe was the SS for the season but 3B Chris Brown was traded mid year in a blockbuster steal for the Giants. Brown was traded to the Padres with Mark Davis, Mark Grant and Keith Comstock for Dave Dravecky, Craig Lefferts and Kevin Mitchell. Mitchell finished the year as the Giants 3B, Dravecky was a huge get as a starter and Lefferts was a solid lefty out of the bullpen.
From a pitching standpoint, Mike Krukow struggled following up his 20 win season with a 5-6 record and 4.80 ERA. He would last 2 more years for the Giants sporting winning records both years with ERAs under 4. Scott Garrelts spent the full season as a reliever and ended the year with a 11-7 record, 3.22 ERA and 12 saves. The top starters were Mike LaCoss (13-10, 3.68 ERA), Kelly Downs (12-9, 3.63 ERA) and Atlee Hammaker (10-10, 3.58 ERA). The Giants used a closer by committee approach with Jeff Robinson earning 10 saves, Don Robinson 7 saves and Lefferts 4 saves in addition to Garrelts 12.
The newcomers to watch didn't do much for the Giants. Mark Grant started 8 games and appears in 16 before being traded to the Padres. Terry Mullholland didn't make it up to the big leagues but did get called up in 1988 and lasted in the big leagues until 2006. Mackey Sasser only made it up for 2 games going 0-4. Ty Dabney never made it to the major leagues and wasn't able to produce anywhere close to his Class A numbers prior to retiring in 1989 but did spend parts of 2 years in AAA.
The summary was spot on, the Giants were pretty healthy in 1987 and ended up winning the NL West going 90-72, losing to the Cardinals in the NLCS 4 games to 3 with Atlee Hammaker losing to Danny Cox in game 7. Interestingly enough, Jeffrey Leonard won the NLCS MVP on the losing team with 4 HRs, 5 RBI and a .417 BA.
I remember the season well. I was 16 years old and attended quite a few of the games in person. The Sportsflics team did a decent job on the team preview.
Jim, thanks for the Chili cards and allowing me to remember and reflect on one of my favorite Giants seasons from my youth.