|HAD ONE SWEET SWING.|
|'93 WOULD BE HIS FINAL SEASON IN SAN FRANCISCO.|
DEFINING THE PLAYER
- Like #103 Barry Bonds and #104 Roger Clemens, #108 Will Clark and #107 Nolan Ryan share a bond. The Thrill homered in his first major-league at-bat for the Giants off The Express on April 8, 1986. Clark's homer was a loud pronouncement that the former Olympian and Golden Spikes winner at Mississippi State was going to be a future star. The seven-time All-Star played 15 seasons, had a .303/.384/.497 slash line and 2,176 hits.
- On Oct. 4, 1989, in Game 1 of the NLCS, Clark almost singlehandedly put the Cubs in an 0-1 series hole. With the Giants leading 4-3 in the top of the fourth, Clark came up with the bases loaded and two out against #85 Greg Maddux. Catcher Joe Girardi went to the mound, and Clark later said he could read Maddux's lips: "Fastball, high inside.'' Maddux being Maddux, the first pitch was right where he wanted it, and Clark turned on it and sent it onto Sheffield Avenue for a grand slam. The Giants would go on to win 11-3 and Clark would go 4-for-4 with six RBI and four runs scored. This was the reason pitchers and catchers began covering their mouths during mound conferences.
- Clark was an 8.6-win player in '89, finishing runner-up to teammate #136 Kevin Mitchell for NL MVP. He slashed .333/.407/.546, with 111 RBI, 23 homers and a league-leading 104 runs scored. He had a career-high 175 OPS+.
FIVE FINAL FACTS
- Clark was taken with the second overall pick in the '85 draft, behind #8 B.J. Surhoff.
- An elbow injury sidelined Clark 47 games during his '86 rookie season, and he was fifth for NL Rookie of the Year after batting .287 with 11 homers and 41 RBI.
- Clark led #77 Tony Gwynn by one point (.334-.333) for the NL batting crown entering the final day of the season in '89. Gwynn went 3-for-4 while Clark went 1-for-4, giving Gwynn the title, .336-.333.
- A memorable six-pitch at-bat against Cubs closer #49 Mitch Williams occurred in Game 5 of the NLCS. With the bases loaded again and two out in the bottom of the eighth in a 1-1 game, Clark laced a single to left, driving in two. The Giants would hold on for a 3-2 win, advancing to their first World Series since '62.
- Signed a four-year contract to replace college teammate #52 Rafael Palmeiro in Texas in December '93.