There is a rally cry resounding in the San Francisco Giants’ clubhouse tonight: “Get Marco to a World Series.” It’s a war-cry with a personal edge for a player who has only been a Giant for 5 days shy of 3 months, but has become not only a major producer, but part of the heart of this team. Swinging the bat with amazing efficiency this post-season with a NL Leading .481 batting average, he has more than proven his worth to this team, he has solidified himself as an integral part of the Giants line-up.
He hits the ball hard, runs the bases swiftly, and is as acrobatic a second baseman as you will find in the league. Amazing considering he is 36 years old and has been in the league since 1994. His road to the Major Leagues was long and arduous, at one point traded as a “player to be named later”, Marco scraped, fought and never gave in. Then in 2002, as a member of the Mets minor league club, Scutaro had break-out year hitting .336, and was named to the Minor League All-Star Team. Scutaro finally received his first call up in July of ’02 with the Mets. Since then he has played reliable baseball for the Oakland A’s, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, and now the San Francisco Giants.
18 years in professional baseball and Marco Scutaro has never had the opportunity to play on baseball’s biggest stage. He came close with the A’s, and remembers seeing veterans on that team with tears in their eyes when they fell just short. At the time he didn’t understand. He does now. He knows how it feels to work hard for something all your life and fall just short. He knows how it feels to be on the outside looking in. He finally understands how hard it is to get to the Fall Classic, and the kind of magic it takes.
Marco Scutaro has been that magic for the San Francisco Giants, becoming only the second player in Major League Baseball history to have a 20 game hitting streak to end a season, and follow it up with a 10-game hitting in the same post-season. It seems as though every time the Giants needed a big at bat, Scutaro delivered.
Scutaro is having the kind of post-season that little kids dream about in sandlot ball parks all over the United States, the kind of magical post-season that turns good players in to great players, and great players into legends. With the strong team mentality, and unselfish play that puts winning first and individual accomplishment second, and the trust of every player in the club house, it seems like the “player to be named later” has finally come home.