Giants First Base Comes Full Circle

When the Giants passed on the Thrill to Texas

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff returns to Texas where he grew up outside Ft. Worth and starred in baseball and basketball at Brewer High. (Published Saturday, Oct 30, 2010)

    When Giants fan-favorite Will Clark arrived in Texas to play at first base for the Rangers, Major League Baseball was a much different beast than it is today.

    At the time, another Bay Area baseball luminary who made his name with the Oakland A’s, Jose Canseco, was bringing a whole new dynamic to the Rangers clubhouse.

    But first for some perspective, consider the days when now-Rangers owner Nolan Ryan was a rarity in baseball by hopping on an exercise bike after each his starts as one of the sport’s premier fireball pitchers.

    Baseball players by and large were simply not workout warriors, and weight lifting, for instance, wasn’t at all a scene in the Texas clubhouse until one half of the Bash Brothers arrived on the scene.

    Looking back at that time in the mid-‘90s, a Mitchell Report who’s who was occupying many of the lockers when the Ballpark at Arlington was in its infancy, but Clark was different, he wasn’t in that mix and was one of the few throwbacks.

    Will the Thrill had one of the best swings ever imported from the Bay Area to Texas. He was also easily one of the most intense players of his time. This was a trait revered in his days at Candlestick, but truly an oddity for the Rangers who had a long history of laidback personas in key roles on the team.

    It’s odd to think how a fiery-competitor like the Giants’ Aubrey Huff, who grew up in and around Ft. Worth watching the Rangers of that era, was actually witnessing firsthand another San Francisco first base-favorite at work in Texas.

    Clark’s legacy has perhaps come full circle from the Bay Area to Texas and back. All the while, Giants fans have been the beneficiaries.

    NBC Bay Area Sports Reporter Laurence Scott is in Texas with Sports Director Raj Mathai covering the Giants run for a World Series title.