Friday, October 22, 2010

1987-Humm Baby

Between 1971 and 1987 the Giants were a mostly bad team, with records over .500 only 4 times and of course never qualifying for post-season play.
The era was notable for Bob Lurie's purchase of the team in '76, saving it from being moved to Toronto, and the hiring of Frank Robinson in '81 to be the first black NL manager. Fans could only settle for random feel-good moments, such as Joe Morgan's last game homer against LA in '82, and no-hitters by Halicki in '75 and Montefusco in '76.
This was the era in which all the primary contributors to this blog became hardcore Candlestick bleacher bums.
The team bottomed out in the mid 80s, going 66-96 in '84 then 62-100 in '85.
Then Al Rosen was hired as general manager, followed by Roger Craig being named as manager.
From Wikipedia:

From 1986 to 1992, Craig was the manager of the San Francisco Giants. In Craig's first five full seasons with the Giants 1986–1990, they never finished with a losing record. Prior to coming to San Francisco, Craig served as a pitching coach for the 1984 World Champion Detroit Tigers and as manager of the San Diego Padres (the Tigers' opponent in the 1984 World Series) from 19781979. From 19691984, he had become one of the better-known pitching coaches in Major League Baseball, working for the Padres (19691972; 19761978), Houston Astros (19741975) and Tigers (19801984), with a knack for teaching the split-finger fastball to his charges.

Under Craig (who along the way, instilled the unique motto and rallying cry "Humm Baby", the Giants won the National League Western Division title in 1987. The original term of "Humm Baby" was given to the roster's third catcher for the 1986 season, Brad Gulden, who was on his way out of baseball but he managed to squeeze onto the roster for the 1986 season. Craig felt that Gulden didn't really have the talent but he had the heart so he called him the "Humm Baby"

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