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The Giants and Their City

Major League Baseball in San Francisco, 1976–1992

Forthcoming

DescriptionSearching for a home and a home run—an overlooked era of Giants and San Francisco history

The San Francisco Giants have been one of the most successful franchises in baseball in the 21st century, as evidenced by the three World Series championship flags flying in the breeze over Oracle Park—one of the most beautiful baseball venues in the world. However, the team was not always so successful on or off the field. The Giants and Their City tells the story of a Giants franchise that had no recognizable stars, was last in the league in attendance, and had more than one foot out the door on the way to Toronto when a local businessman and a brand-new mayor found a way to keep the team in San Francisco. Over the next 17 years, the team had some very good years but more than a few terrible ones, all while trying to make a home in a city with a unique and confounding political culture.

The Giants and Their City tells the story of the team’s struggles to win ballgames, find its way back to the playoffs, and also to stay in San Francisco when, at times, it wasn’t clear the city wanted them. Lincoln A. Mitchell tells us a baseball story about beloved Giants players—like Vida Blue, Willie McCovey, Kevin Mitchell, and Robby Thompson—and includes interviews with Art Agnos, Frank Jordan, Dianne Feinstein, John Montefusco, Will Clark, Kevin Mitchell, Mike Krukow, Dave Dravecky, and Bob Lurie, among others. He describes important events in Giants history, such as the Mike Ivie grand slam, the Joe Morgan home run, the 1987 playoffs, the 1989 team, the Dave Dravecky game, and the earthquake World Series.

A uniquely San Francisco story, The Giants and Their City also demonstrates how sports teams and cities often have very complex relationships.

AuthorLincoln A. Mitchell is a native San Franciscan and has been a Giants fan since the mid-1970s. He is an adjunct research scholar at Columbia University’s Arnold A. Salesman Institute of War and Peace Studies and the author of five books, most recently San Francisco Year Zero: Political Upheaval, Punk Rock, and a Third-Place Baseball Team.