One of the saddest periods of my sports fandom was the year 1998, when 39-year old Orel Hershiser crushed my dreams and signed with the Giants. How in the hell could one of my childhood Dodger heroes join the enemy? His number will probably never be retired with the Dodgers -- unless perhaps Russell Martin builds on the good start to his career -- but in honor of Hershiser's uniform number, I want to build a list of 55 reasons why the Giants are so hated. I'll get the list started:
1) The aforementioned signing of Orel Hershiser
2) Juan Marichal going batty on John Roseboro's head:
3) Joe Morgan breaking the Dodgers' hearts with a homer off Terry Forster in the final game of the 1982 season.
4) The Shot Heard Round The World, followed by Russ Hodges uterring one of the most annoying calls in history.
6) Wind. Stu Miller, pitching in the 1961 All-Star Game at Candlestick Park, was blown off the mound by a gust of wind. Nice weather, San Francisco.
7) Fred Breining, who hit three Dodgers with a pitch in a July 1983 game.
8) Mark Sweeney. On August 9, 2007, the Dodgers sent Travis Denker to the Giants to acquire the veteran pinch-hitter. Over parts of two seasons with the Dodgers, Sweeney hit .168/.261/.200. His OPS+ of 23 was lower than Andruw Jones had with the Dodgers. To top it all off, the veteran Sweeney ended a 2007 game by getting doubled off first base on a foul popup to the catcher.
9) Juan Pierre. Before 2007, the Giants were rumored to be interested in the light-hitting centerfielder. The Giants' interest led the Dodgers to increase their offer and eventually sign him to a five-year deal. Thanks, Brian Sabean.
10) One Flap Down
11) The Fan. My God, what an awful movie. The 1996 film portrayed a rather prickly superstar who signed as a free agent with the Giants. Where did they ever get that idea? And the final parts of the movie unrealistically revolved around a baseball game played in San Francisco in near monsoon conditions.
12) In little league, I played on the Giants for two straight years. In a similar vein, my nephew also had to play little league for the Giants a few years back. My brother was a coach and one time my uncle, a lifelong Dodger fan, came out to visit. Before the game, my uncle and brother were playing catch off to the side, then my brother put on his Giants cap, mandatory issue for the coaching staff. My uncle, rather than tossing the ball back to his nephew, simply dropped his glove and ball and walked away, refusing to be associated with such a disgusting spectacle. I love my uncle.
13) Jack Clark was drafted by and played ten years for the Giants.
14) The Grateful Dead, an abomination if there ever was one, were a group of Giants fans.
15) This jersey:
That's my list. It's up to you to come up with the remaining 40 reasons.