Pittsburgh outfielder goes from pirates to giants exactly 25 years after Barry Bonds
The home run leader of his baseball career changed teams for the only time during the winter of 1993, leaving the Pirates to sign a free agent contract with the Giants. Of course, he would stay there on his way to not only career home run records and a season, but also the Most Valuable Player award record.
Now, 25 years later, another MVP-winning outfielder leaves the Pirates for the Giants. Pittsburgh this week traded All-Star slugger Andrew McCutcheon to San Francisco.
McCutcheon, who unlike Bonds is past his prime, should still prove to be a significant improvement for the Giants, whose outfielders ranked last in home runs in the National League last year. He hit 28 home runs with 88 RBIs, and finished with a .278 batting average.
Those numbers are solid, but they pale in comparison to the numbers Bonds posted before and after leaving Pittsburgh. In fact, he was the reigning MVP in the National League, earning his second award in the 1992 season.
His impact on the Giants was immediate, as the fifth-place team suddenly became serious contenders. After acquiring Bonds San Francisco he improved by thirty wins, finishing with 103 wins in 1993.
A few seasons later, Bonds led the Giants to their first National League West championship in nearly ten years, when Kevin Mitchell and company won the 1998 pennant before falling to the Oakland Athletics in the interrupted Bay Series. by an earthquake.
Bonds would win successive MVP awards over the next few seasons, and San Francisco would make the postseason three more times before finally claiming another pennant. In 2000 they owned the NL West Division, only to come up short in the Championship Series against the New York Mets.
Finally, in 2003, Bonds led the Giants to the Fall Classic. In one of the most memorable World Series in baseball history, San Francisco lost to the Anaheim Angels in seven games.
In less than ten years, Barry Bonds had brought the Giants their first pennant in more than a decade. His impact remained even after he retired as the home run leader of his career, as San Francisco has since been able to capture three pennants.
If McCutcheon can repeat his same production from last season, the Giants, who just a month earlier acquired All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria from the Tampa Bay Rays, should be favorites to claim their fourth World Series title of the current decade. .