With the San Francisco Giants’ 2016 season now well in the rearview, let’s look back and hand out some fun superlative awards from the past year.
The “I’m Ready for My Close-Up” Award: Conor Gillaspie
Conor Gillaspie was thrust into a starting spot for the San Francisco Giants by injuries during the final week of the regular season. With the Giants needing to win to get in to the postseason, Gillaspie came up big. He played some of his best ball of the year, hitting .500/.529/.857 over the final five games with a pair of doubles, a home run, and five RBI.
Never known for his defense, Gillaspie flashed some leather in that time as well. He saved his best for last, literally, making one of the catches of the year on October 2nd. In game 162, Gillaspie put it all on the line in the third inning when Justin Turner popped one up near the stands down the left field line.
Gillaspie carefully moved over, but never took his eye off the ball as he drifted closer and closer to a camera well. “Careful” went out the window as he reached over the railing to glove the ball, and he took a nasty spill into the well. He landed on first on a camera before colliding with a cameraman, and ended up flat on his back on the cement floor.
No matter to Gillaspie, he popped right back up to show the ball to the umpire before re-entering the field of play with a skillful leap over the fence. As Vin Scully said, “all’s well that ends well”.
That was just the beginning for the veteran infielder. In his first taste of postseason action, he came up with the two biggest hits of October. He wasn’t afraid of the spotlight, maybe because of his close-up on October 2nd.