ORACLE PARK — The reunion of the 1989 National League champion San Francisco Giants team preceding the finale of a four-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies was highlighted by an announcement from team president and CEO Larry Baer.
The Giants will be retiring Will Clark’s number 22. Clark knew it was coming, but was still flabbergasted.
“Wow,” Clark said. “You guys are screaming, and I’m trying to scream right through my skin right now. To know I’m going to be out on that wall with Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Barry Bonds … is absolutely unbelievable … This is my Hall of Fame.”
An honor typically reserved for Hall of Fame inductees, Clark will join Bonds as the only Giants not enshrined in Cooperstown to have their numbers hung on the wall on the suite level in the left-field corner. Unofficial club policy has been to notretire a number of a non-Hall of Famer, but the for Bonds opened the door for Clark.
He will be the 11th Giant to have his number retired, not including Jackie Robinson’s 42, which is retired throughout Major League Baseball. San Francisco also has plaques on the facade of the second deck to honor New York Giants manager John McGraw and pitcher Christy Mathewson, neither of whom wore numbers.
Clark wore 22 for the Giants from 1986 through 1993, and was one of the most feared hitters in the National League. In 1,160 regular-season games for the Giants, he hit 176 home runs, drove in 709 runs and hit .299. On the 1989 NL championship team, he posted a .333/.407/.546 slash line and finished second to teammate Kevin Mitchell in MVP voting.
Andrew McCutchen will likely go down as the final Giant to wear 22 before its retirement, though Yangervis Solarte did wear it in Spring Training before switching to 26 for the month-plus he played in San Francisco.