The Giants bring major league baseball back to San Francisco today, when they will raise the World Championship banner high above AT&T Park like conquering pirates. Along with the start of a new baseball season come a couple of recent books about the Giants, one a celebration of last season's misery, one an examination of a classic game from the '60's.
A Band of Misfits is by longtime San Jose Mercury News beat writer Andrew Baggarly. No less a Giant than Rich Aurelia says of this tome: "After being a part of the Giants organization for so many years, it was an honor - and excruciatingly fun -- to watch this team in 2010. I was as happy for them as if I'd won the World Series myself, and there's no better writer to cover this great season than Andy Baggarly. He is one of the few members of the media who is there day in and day out and who truly understands the game of baseball."
The Greatest Game Ever Pitched recounts a 1963 pitching duel between 42-year-old Warren Spahn and 25-year-old Juan Marichal. The Braves and Giants took the field on July 2, 1963 at 8:21 PM in cold and windy Candlestick Park. Four hours later, the two pitching legends were deadlocked in a scoreless tie when Willie Mays, with one out and no one on, hit a walk-off home run to end the game. Marichal and Spahn each threw more than 200 pitches and went 16 innings without relief.