Dan 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!
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~King of Cali