San Francisco Giants: The Biggest Moments From Departed Giants

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Jul 21, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Hector Sanchez (29) hits a sixth inning grand slam home run against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Hector Sanchez

Hector Sanchez was never the most productive, nor popular, Giant, but in his five seasons and 244 games wearing the orange and black, he had some great moments. He hit just 10 home runs as a Giant, but two were grand slams (including one that ignited GumGate, Part 2), and one came with a full count and two outs in the top of the ninth, and turned a two-run Washington Nationals’ lead into a one-run Giants’ lead. Between 2012 and 2015, Sanchez had four walk-off hits, tying for the team lead with Angel Pagan. Though his overall numbers weren’t great, Sanchez was born with the clutch gene.

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On April 15th, 2014, the Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers got together, and had one of their annual extra-inning battles. In the 12th inning of a 2-2 ballgame, Brandon Crawford stood at third base, waiting to cross the plate as the game-winning run and celebrate with his teammates. Facing Dodgers’ reliever Brandon League, Sanchez took his spot in the batter’s box for his third plate appearance. Sanchez had walked and struck out after entering the game as a pinch-hitter, and was hitless in his four career at-bats against League. But on a 1-1 count, Sanchez lined a tailing fastball up the middle, which bounced off second baseman Justin Turner‘s glove and in to center field, allowing Crawford to score to end the game.

At 12:14 AM, the Giants celebrated. Sanchez threw his helmet into air and laid on the ground in the fetal position as his teammates dog-piled on top of him, feigning punches and knees into his ribs. After the game, Sanchez revealed that he had to end the contest because he had to take his daughter to school in the morning.

Sanchez never really blossomed the way the team would have liked, but it’s entirely possible that he was rushed as a big leaguer and not given enough time to truly develop. He’s one of three catchers the Chicago White Sox have signed this offseason, and he may get a chance to prove himself on the Southside.

Next: Yusmeiro Petit