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Memorable Dodgers-Giants batting performances in my lifetime

Remembering some rivalry guys, dating back to 1976

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Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants Photo by Bernstein Associates/Getty Images

Back when physical ticket stubs were a thing, I had a decent collection going, roughly two decades’ worth of games starting in about 1990. For the longest time I had the bright idea of wanting to figure out who had the best stats in games I intended, but every time I started to compile the numbers, I would give up one or two box scores in.

Though it might have been cool to know if Lenny Harris hit .447 or something with me in the stands, I have long since given up that idea, partially because I figured the usual suspects would end up being the ones who excelled anyway.

Now it’s Rivalry Week at SB Nation, and it’s mostly the same story for Dodgers vs. Giants. I wondered who did the best for Los Angeles against San Francisco, and vice versa, during my lifetime (since 1976). For the most part, the players we know were the ones who did the best in rivalry games.

Ron Cey hit 30 home runs against the Giants in 109 games since 1976, hitting .343/.439/.632 while driving in 86. The only Dodger with more than 20 homers against the Giants was Eric Karros, with 23 homers and a team-best 89 RBI in 144 games.

On the other side, it’s no surprise that Barry Bonds leads the Giants in homers against the Dodgers in the last 44 years. Bonds hit 53 homers in 197 games against LA, hitting .274/.465/.602. That’s nearly double the next-highest total, 27 homers by Matt Williams in 122 games.

Buster Posey has played in 161 games against the Dodgers, trailing only Bonds in that department, while hitting .293/.365/.420. Another catcher, Mike Scioscia, played in the most Dodgers games against the Giants in my lifetime, with 172, more than Andre Ethier (160 games), Matt Kemp (153) and Bill Russell (150).

Reggie Smith hit .314/.376/.602 with 16 homers in 65 games for the Dodgers against the Giants, and even went into the stands in San Francisco to fight a fan.

Will Clark for the Giants hit .315/.385/.494 with 32 doubles and 15 home runs in 128 games against the Dodgers. Joe Morgan hit .262/.373/.467 in 30 games for the Giants against the Dodgers, and his home run on the final day of the 1982 season helped eliminate Los Angeles from the playoff race.

Playing both sides

Jeff Kent hit .299/.401/.563 with 13 homers in 56 games for the Dodgers against the Giants, and hit .247/.315/.467 with 16 homers in 72 games for the Giants against the Dodgers.

Brett Butler hit .302/.392/.384 in 70 games for LA against SF, and hit .322/.383/.410 in 52 games for the Giants against the Dodgers, probably the most balanced of the group who played for both teams. And in classic Butler fashion — something I ignored at the time — he had nearly as many times caught stealing (16) as stolen bases (20) in all of his Dodgers-Giants games.

Juan Uribe, properly identified by Grant Brisbee at The Athletic as the one member of the rivalry who is beloved by both sides, hit .286/.319/.495 in 33 games for the Giants against LA, and hit .275/.318/.423 in 56 games for the Dodgers against SF.

Bill Madlock hit .347/.441/.490 in 16 Dodgers games against the Giants, and hit .293/.329/.490 in 37 games for the Giants against the Dodgers.

Dusty Baker hit .299/.366/.412 with 19 doubles and nine home runs against the Giants with the Dodgers as a player, and the Dodgers were 72-50 (.590) in those games. As a manager with the Giants (1993-2002), Baker was 63-73 (.463) against the Dodgers.