I remember the first time a baseball player I liked left the Giants and went to another team. Brett Butler left the Giants to join the Dodgers and — gasp! — said a bunch of things about how he always wanted to be a Dodger. Immediately, he was dead to me, or as dead to me as a baseball player can be to a little kid. This basically meant putting a photo of Matt Williams in front of the autographed Brett Butler photo that I had on my wall, and then I moved on. While I’d liked watching Brett Butler play baseball and liked him because he wore orange and black, he wasn’t one of my absolute favorite Giants. He wasn’t Will Clark.
When Will Clark left the Giants, I was crushed. Devastated. It didn’t help that the Giants had also just won 103 games and missed the playoffs by one game. Watching the season end in a heartbreaking fashion while knowing it was probably the last time I’d see Will Clark play for the team crushed me. It was then that I learned that as fun as it can be to follow a baseball team, it’s not so fun when you get attached to a particular player and they leave the team. Now that I’m older, I understand that it’s a part of baseball, but that still doesn’t make it any easier to see your favorite player play for another team.
I’ll always have a sentimental attachment to all of the players from the 2010 team (except for you, Jose Guillen), because that’s the Giants team that finally won the World Series here in San Francisco. I’ll always remember all of them (again, except you, Jose Guillen) fondly and wish them well wherever they end up. I have to admit that watching members of the 2010 team leave the Giants this offseason is making me somewhat sad and extremely sentimental. (As an unrelated, but sort of related side note, if Matt Cain ever leaves the Giants, I will be crushed in that same way I was when Will Clark left. Please don’t ever leave, Matt.)
One of my favorite players from that team will always be Andres Torres. I admit to expressing surprise (in a “who the hell is this guy?” kind of way) when Torres came out of nowhere and made the team in 2009. I’m pretty sure if you search the ol’ internet, you might even find proof of these comments. (I apologize, Andres. I didn’t know how awesome you could be.) And then Torres had his amazing breakout season in 2010, taking over as the starting centerfielder after Aaron Rowand was injured. In true superhuman fashion, Torres also had an appendectomy in September of 2010 and came back to the team two weeks later.
Torres became a fan favorite due in large part to his backstory and his incredibly friendly personality. I loved hearing stories about him saying hi to every single person every single day and seeing his smile in the dugout. You couldn’t help but like and root for Torres. I know he had a disappointing 2011, but I still think he had some value to the team, especially defensively. I’m definitely going to miss watching him play, and I wish him the best of luck in New York. He’ll always be one of my favorites.
“We won the World Series. How would I ever forget the Giants, the fans, all the people? I’ll always respect them and always thank them for everything. I always said I’ll put some part of the Giants in my heart.” – Andres Torres