Q&A With Dan Fost – Author Of Giants Past & Present, Win A Copy!

Dan FostDan Fost the author of Giants Past & Present has taken the time to do a Q&A with me. He also would love to give an autographed Giants Past & Present book to a lucky Giants fan. All you have to do is leave a comment. Tell us who was your favorite Giant player of the past and why? Then you can have a chance to win an autographed book. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t win. You can still purchase the book at www.giantspastandpresent.com. I have read the book, and it’s a must have for all Giants fans!

When moving to San Francisco in 1989 who was your favorite Giants player that year?   I loved Robby Thompson. He was a hard-nosed, hard-working second baseman, a great player who exemplified the working class nature of that team, and someone I loved rooting for.  
Since you grew up a Yankees fan and became a Giants fan in 1989, would you say you’re more of a Giants or Yankees fan?
    You never give up on your boyhood team, and I did enjoy it last year when the Yankees won the World Series. But in recent years, I have given the matter a lot of thought, and am sure I would root for the Giants if they played the Yankees in the Fall Classic. The Giants are my hometown team now, and the drought has been so long – and the Yankees have such an embarrassment of riches, both in titles and in big money players – that I would much rather see a trophy come to San Francisco.  
The Giants haven’t won a World Series Championship since moving to San Francisco. Do you think the curse will end soon?
I wish I could say that it will. I do think this Giants team has a good chance of going all the way. That is, they should contend for a playoff spot, and if they can make it to the post-season, their pitching could carry them pretty far. But to beat the Yankees, or Phillies, or Cardinals, I’d love to see the Giants have at least one or two big bats.    
I really like how you broke up every position in your book and you talked about past players to the current ones. What would your All Star Giants team be?
 In my research, I gained a real appreciation for the players of the dead ball era, and probably include a few more of them than many modern fans might.   Catcher: Buck Ewing. Possibly the greatest ballplayer of the 19th century. 1B: Willie McCovey. Tough not to pick Bill Terry, but Stretch was such a fearsome hitter. 2B: Frankie Frisch: A winner all the way. 3B: Freddie Lindstrom, another Hall of Famer. I’d love to see Pablo Sandoval supplant him; Matt Williams almost did it, and the Panda has potential. SS: John Montgomery Ward was a jack-of-all trades, someone who could play nearly any position and pitch, and started the first players’ rights movement as well. LF: Barry Bonds. I never saw anyone better. CF: Willie Mays. Nobody ever saw anyone better. RF: Mel Ott. Nice when the guy with the fewest home runs in your outfield hit 511. RHP: Christy Mathewson. Sorry, Juan Marichal, but I think Matty is the greatest of all time. LHP: Carl Hubbell. The Meal Ticket was an amazing talent, and a lifelong Giant – even serving as pitching coach in San Francisco. Closer: Robb Nen. I loved Rod Beck, but he lived on the edge, and had us fans perched there too many times as well.    
With all the records and achievements that Barry Bonds has achieved. Do you believe he’s Hall of Fame worthy?
Absolutely. I don’t like the idea of pinning a morals clause on players. Plenty of scoundrels did plenty of bad things and still made it into the Hall. If Bonds is so bad, then put Balco on his plaque – but how can you keep all those home runs, all those MVP awards, out of the Hall as if they never happened?     
I’m sure you have met a lot of Giants players over the years. Who is your favorite Giants player off the field?
Omar Vizquel. He is a class act, funny, friendly, made time for me when he had no idea who I was. He is also quite intelligent and well-versed in art and music. He’s also one of my favorites on the field; I watched in awe of some of the plays he made at shortstop, and really appreciated his contributions when he was in San Francisco.    
Is there any Giants books that you may possibly be writing in the future?
I don’t have any plans to do so. I am most interested in exploring the little-known aspect of the Giants (at least little known in the rest of baseball, beyond the die-hard Giants fans), that the team suffers from the same hard-luck propensity that once plagued the Red Sox and still afflicts the Cubs and Indians. You don’t think of the Giants in the same breath as those teams, but where is the World Series trophy for San Francisco? It still hasn’t happened.  
How do you feel about the Giants chances this year? What do you believe are their strengths and weaknesses?
I am more optimistic this year than I have been at any time since Bonds’ heyday. Even last year, it didn’t seem the Giants had the horses for a winning record, and yet they racked up 88 wins and contended for the wild card. This year the secret is out: The pitching keeps getting better, and now they have even better hitters. I hope Meulens can get his boys from Fresno – Bowker, Schierholtz, Velez – to show some pop at the plate. I hope Bochy doesn’t stick with Renteria or Rowand too long if they don’t show signs of a comeback from last year’s dismal performance. The weakness is the lack of  a big bat, but I see a team rich in potential. I pick them to win the division.    
 I know you’re a freelance writer. How can Dan Fost fans look for your material on the Giants? What are you doing now aside from writing books?
I am blogging at www.giantspastandpresent.com, and have started a channel of videos at www.youtube.com/giantsbook. You can also be a fan of the book at www.facebook.com/giantsbook, and follow me at www.twitter.com/giantsbook. I once wrote a story on John Bowker for Giants magazine, and hope to do some more work for them this year. In addition, I have a Web site at www.danfost.com where you can see my other writing. I have covered Silicon Valley for the past 13 years, mostly as a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, but more recently as a freelancer for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and San Francisco magazine, and I will continue to do so.  
What is something that you would like to tell the readers about yourself that they might not know about you?
I was once held in contempt of court for invoking a journalist’s right to refuse to answer a prosecutor’s questions under cross-examination in a murder case that I had covered as a reporter. The contempt citation was overturned, and Fost v. Superior Court remains a significant precedent in California media law.
Thank you very much Dan for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this. Everyone that I know that has seen your book loves it!
Hey Giants fans don’t forget to leave a comment and tell us who was your favorite Giant player of the past and why? Dan will pick one winner to get an autographed Giants Past & Present book!

You can follow Dan
~King of Cali


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  • Jake VanSLochteren says:

    I have always been a giants fan for as long as i can remember. My grandma was always watching them play. I think my faviort player of the past is matt williams. I loved the way he played the game he always worked hard. I always considered him a blu collar guy. He also singed and returned an autograph card my best friend sent him for my birthday one year. I also loved wii the thrill being a youg left hander i always tried to copy his swing. I half to say kevin mitchell is on my list of favs as well. I guess i could go on and on of all these giants playes i grew up admiring. i used to like bret buttler as well until became a dodger! then i couldnt stand him being i thought it was against the unwrittin rules of baseball haha. I was reall dumbfounded as a kid when that happened. My faviort pitcher in that day was Rick Reuschel. Mike Krukow also was on my list but i think i liked in more in the broadcast booth lol.. well iam just a giants fan and i got way off subject rembering these guys as a kid.

  • Michael says:

    I in 18 years have already seen and even met some great giants but it has to be between barry bonds because he is one of the greatest of all time and jt snow he wasn’t flashy but he was a great player was constant and he came through when we needed it I’m also liking this new crop of players like lincecum and the panda and I can see potental in bowker and scheirholtz and hopfully posey

  • Bob Cullinan says:

    My favorite Giant? Matt Williams. He played hard every day, he didn’t seek the spotlight, and…oh yeah…he hit home runs.

    The best thing about Matty…when he’d hit one out, there was no show-boating, no exaggerated trot. He’d just put his head down and run around the bases. Perfect.

    I moved away from the Bay Area briefly in 1994, and returned in June of that year. My friend Meg took me to a Giants game as soon as I got back “home.” We entered the stadium on the right field side, and just as we got to he grandstands, Matt Williams hit one out, and it landed just a few feet from us. I took it as a sign.

    Sadly, Matt had his best year in ’94. He was on-track to win the home run title…but that was all wiped out by the strike.


  • Jason says:

    My favorite player was Will Clark. I even named a cat Nuschler. Sadly, when he signed with Texas, I had to let him go (wrong uni).
    I’ve been a fan since 1983 (when I first played Little League on the Giants). The ’89 team was definitely one of my favs.
    I live in Oregon now, but still follow the Giants religiously.

    Mr. Fost, obviously there are no bad seats at the Giants Park. But, do you have a favorite location to watch games from?

  • Dan Pera says:

    Despite the fact I love Will Clark and Barry Bonds, I have to say that the guy I’ll always love and respect the most is Robb Nen.

    He wasn’t a longtime Giant, but the years he was with us, he gave us a dominant presence at the end of the bullpen. His insane slider was like 92 mph. Just absolute pure filth. Plus, his theme song, “Smoke on the Water” is just too epic for words.

    I’ll never forget how he pitched himself into an early career grave by giving up his shoulder in 2002. He gave everything he had, and never pitched again as a result. Love Robb Nen.

  • Christina Ozuna says:

    ROBB NEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    great pitcher and I was fortunate enough to get a picture with him at the unvieling of the wall by ticket windows!!!

  • Armando988 says:

    My favorite player is and will be Barry Bonds. Brought so much attention and excitement during every at bat. Looking forward to see the giants Win the division this year.

    Ps: Bonds as a hitting coach?

  • ID says:

    Favorite Giant of all time?

    Had to remove any player before 1983, since I didnt see them live in their prime.

    Growing up in the Humm Baby era certainly offered plenty of options, Will Clark, Kevin Mitchell, Matty Williams, Rick Reuschel, Steve Bedrosian (or not).

    The Bonds glory era was more successful than joyous, but Barry Bonds, Jason Schmidt, Robb Nen, and Jeff Kent deserve consideration.

    My favorite Giant is The Thrill. He was boyhood idol, blessed with the sweetest swing and smooth glove, with fire in the belly to boot.

    3 greatest Will Clark memories:

    1. The single. Will cracks the GW RBI off Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams, to send the Giants to the ’89 series.

    2. Game 1, ’89 NLCS, Will hits a grand slam off future HOFer (and Giant killer) Greg Maddux, OUT of Wrigley Field. Story has it that he read Don Zimmer lips during a meeting on the mound, the rest is history.

    3. Had to look up the date on this, saw it in person. June 22nd, 1988, in a 8-7 win vs the Padres, The Thrill clubs 7 RBIs

  • Tom Chow says:

    I’d have to say Willie McCovey will always be my favorite player. This is a man who has always showed his love of the game. Whether you were at a game or you ran into him, he always acknowledged you with a smile and a handshake or wave. As a player his performance said it all. He continues to support Giants baseball and is committed to the game, the fans and it’s players. His commitment to baseball since 1959 says it all. What other former player can say that?

  • cameron says:

    The Giants have been part of my life for over 40 years. I’ve seen the greats in both Willie Mays and Willie McCovey and the up and comers in Dave Kingman and Steve Ontiveros. My Favorite Giant Player would be
    Barry Bonds, no one in history could accomplish his feat of over 700 home runs and do all the things he was able to do like
    steal, catch the baseball, run, hit with power and RBI strength.

  • Mike says:

    My favorite player as a kid wasn’t a star,far from it actually.It was Alan Gallagher,a 3rd basemen from the early 70’s.
    I just liked the way he played.He played the way the game should be played.Slid hard,dove for balls,always got his uniform dirty.Thus his nickname – Pigpen.
    My most recent favorite was Omar Vizquel.

  • […] get him a few extra hits.   ~King of Cali   If you haven’t already checked out the Q&A With Dan Fost – Author of Giants Past & Present. Check it out and then leave a comment. You will have a chance to win an autographed copy of his […]

  • 22gigantes says:

    Hey Steve, very nice Q&A with Frost. I enjoyed reading it, as it brought back some great memories. Man, it is so hard to nail down just one favorite Gigante. When I first started following the team, we had a shorttop named LeMaster (or as my Dodgers buddy called him “Johnny Disaster”), we had Willie Mac at 1B (who I had a chance to meet in person about 15 years ago), we had Bill “Mad Dog” Madlock at second, Darrell Evans at third, Marc Hill, Mike Sadek and Dennis Littlejohn behind the plate, and a cat by the name of Mike Ivie was starting to come into his own (before he got all touchy feely and quit the game). In the outfield I remember Terry Whitfield, Larry Herndon and Jack Clark. And we had Vida Blue, Ed Halicki, and The Count in the rotation, with Greg “Moon Man” Minton, Gary Lavelle, and Bob Knepper in the pen. That 1978 team didn’t do shit but I didn’t care because I was hooked on ’em anyway.

    OK, so now that I have given you an entire dissertation on the first team I remember as a kid, I would still have to say that my all-time favorite Giant is……..(drum roll please)……….

    WILL “THE THRILL” CLARK! (1986-93)

    My dog is named after him, my blog is named after him, and — after stalking him for 25+ years — I finally got his autograph and got to talk to him for a little bit in Scottsdale last month. I felt like a 13-year old girl having her first Biebergasm. Pure joy.

  • Dan Fost says:

    Hey everyone, thanks so much for all the great stories and memories. I am going to help the King of Cali pick a winner, but I wanted to respond here that you guys are all true fans and I love all the picks.

    I was intrigued to see how many people picked Barry Bonds. I am totally with you! People ask me all the time if San Francisco has turned on him, but I don’t think any of us who watched him play can now say we didn’t appreciate his exploits on the field.

    And to answer Jason’s question: Since the ballpark opened in 2000, I have shared a season ticket in section 317, the View level behind home plate. I absolutely love it up there – you can see the whole field, and the bay, and really appreciate this gorgeous ballpark and city.

  • […] Giants Past & Present has picked a winner from the comments that were submitted on the “Q&A With Dan Fost – Author Of Giants Past & Present, Wing A Copy!” post. Dan liked all the comments and was torn between a few different comments. He did […]