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Giants: Past & Present    by Dan Fost order for
by Dan Fost
Order:  USA  Can
MVP Books, 2013 (2013)
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

As the present season becomes more and more of a question mark, San Francisco Giant fans may well wish to relive the team's two recent World Series successes by spending some time paging through Giants Past & Present by Dan Fost.

This updated '2012 Championship Edition' not only takes the reader back to the early days of the franchise in New York but it also follows the move West and the team's march to the 2010 and 2012 pennants.

Over forty, short, well illustrated chapters chronicle team highlights that include looking at all the positions from catcher to the outfield plus important playoff games, general managers, broadcasters and sportswriters. Giant fans will also find of particular interest the sections on Gaffes and Controversies, Salaries, Nicknames, Uniforms and Bullpens, Dugouts and Clubhouses.

Naturally the Giant-Dodger rivalry merits its own section. The paragraph that discusses the 1951 season when the Giants rallied from 13 games back to tie the Dodgers is very sweet. That was the year Bobby Thompson delivered the coup de grace to hand the G Men the pennant with one of the most famous home runs in baseball history.

'Since 1901 the two teams have played more head-to-head games than any other rivals in baseball,' writes Fost. 'As of the end of 2012, the Giants have won 1,108 games to the Dodger's 1,091.'

You may be familiar with the players with monikers such as the Freak, Kung Fu Panda, the Say Hey Kid and Stretch, but do you know who was called the Dominican Dandy, Beauty, the Baby Bull or the Count?

As you page through the section on catchers, notice how the equipment has changed. The gear worn by Buck Ewing in 1889 isn't anything like what Buster Posey straps on today. Also, Pablo Sandoval's 2009 photo serves as quite a contrast to what the third baseman looks like today. The Panda has added quite a few pounds!

One of the curious omissions in the book can be found in the Voices of the Giants section. The only folks pictured are Russ Hodges, Lon Simmons, Hank Greenwald and Renel Brooks-Moon. One has to wonder why Miller, Flemming, and the popular TV duo of Kuiper and Krukow were omitted.

An entertaining book with lots of interesting information about the Giants franchise, this is a coffee table book that will do more than gather dust in the family room. When kindred orange and black fans notice this Giant retrospective it will unquestionably generate a little baseball banter on the team's current state of affairs.

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