It’s Time. The Giants Need to Retire #22.
Eric Byrnes spent a lot of time on his KNBR show yesterday trying to drum up support for his #Retire22 campaign. As anyone knows, there is no greater Will Clark fan than me. Growing up, he was the ONLY poster I had in my bedroom and I had like 6 of them. He was the main reason I became a switch hitter, I taught myself how to hit left handed because I had a man-crush on that swing.
The Thrill has no business ever being elected into the hall of fame and he probably won’t ever get the chance anyway having fallen short of the 5% vote needed to be included on future voting lists. The HOF is all about numbers and reputation. People visiting the HOF would get to Will’s shrine, look at his numbers and just go, “WTF is he doing here?”
But to a Giants fan base, he was everything. At least anyone age 8-21 or so who grew up in the mid/late eighties–and that grown up fan base makes up a large percentage of the season ticket holders today. And his number, 22, will be forever attached to his greatness in a Giants uniform. He was the sole source of pride for Giants fans at the time he burst into the major leagues by blasting a Nolan Ryan fastball for a bomb in his first at bat and he led the way as the team emerged from the darkness of their long time losing culture. That’s why I get irritated when I see guys like Roger Kieschnick wear it. And he’s not nearly the worst looking player to ever try to wear that number. Ryan Rohlinger? Keiichi Yabu? Dustan Mohr? Damon Minor? There are others but it hurts me to type their names.
NO ONE should wear 22 for the Giants ever again. No one should have worn it for the last several years. And yet Murphy continues to brainlessly dole it out to, well, pretty much anyone…….
And I’m not listening to the static about teams only retiring numbers if the player gets into the HOF. The Braves did it with Murphy. And they retired Chipper Jones # like a minute after he retired. There are probably many other examples across MLB of teams retiring numbers because of what the number means to their specific fan base.
And THAT is the core reason why the Giants should retire #22. Because of what he meant to the fan base. There is ZERO reason that teams should be held hostage by the stupid HOF and their elitist approach to those they accept or those they keep out.
You can read Byrnes’ blog post about this at byrnes22.com or you can find this worthy grass roots movement on twitter at #Retire22