Before he retired the Cardinals with his now-legendary 9th inning blast, Travis Ishikawa almost retired himself.
Earlier this season, at the ripe old age of 31, the journeyman first baseman was four years removed from his last regular job in the Major Leagues, with the 2010 World Series-winning San Francisco Giants, and struggling to stick with a team, any team.
An April job with the Pirates ended quickly, and Ishikawa was faced with a harsh reality: accept a minor league contract, or accept the fact that he might be done.
He picked the former, from his old boss, Brian Sabean and the Giants.
That meant trekking down to Fresno, where his family drove to watch him toil in the minors. That was when he thought about quitting, his wife, Rochelle, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
That is, until injuries to the Giants' normal lineup led to a July callup.
Ishikawa was back, and he stuck around and played his way onto the postseason roster and into the starting left fielders' position, a job he'd only performed three times in the regular season.
He was there Thursday for his bat, despite a poor play earlier in the game, and was left there by manager Bruce Bochy even in the late innings, when other skippers might have gone with the defensive replacement.
The Giants travel to Kansas City for Game 1 against the Royals on Tuesday night.