Joe Panik’s time with the Giants has come to an end. After six seasons and a World Series title with San Francisco in 2014, Panik will become a free agent after declining his designation for assignment on Tuesday.
Panik, a first-round pick by the Giants in 2011, had a number of memorable moments during his time with the Orange and Black. Here are five of our favorites:
Incredible barehanded play with triple-A Sacramento
Okay so this play didn’t technically happen with the Giants, but it might be Panik’s greatest defensive effort of his entire career. During a rehab assignment with the River Cats in 2015, Panik made a bare-handed sang of a grounder that tipped off the glove of the first baseman. Not anticipating the ricochet, all of Panik’s momentum was taking him the other way, making the play all that more impressive. Panik completed the incredible effort with a rifle throw to first while still on one-knee.
Panik’s record setting series in Colorado
In September 2017, Panik became the first Giants player in history to record 12 hits in a three game series, when he caught fire at Coors Field. During the stretch, Panik went 12-for-15 with a home run, four extra-base hits and five RBIs.
Walk-off in Game 3 of 2016 NLDS
It was a moment where even the biggest skeptics couldn’t help but start believing that the even-year magic was a real thing.
Panik’s walk-off in the 13th inning capped off one of the Giants’ wildest playoff victories in recent memory, one that also included a Conor Gillaspie go-ahead triple off Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning to give San Francisco the lead, one that they promptly blew after giving up a two-run homer in the ninth. Game 3 will likely go down as the Giants’ final playoff win of the Bruce Bochy era.
Panik’s home run in Game 5 of 2014 NLCS
Leading 3-1 in the series vs. the Cardinals, Panik helped launch the Giants into their third World Series in five seasons, with a two-run blast off Adam Wainwright in the third inning to give the San Francisco a 2-1 lead. A rookie at the time, it was Panik’s first big postseason moment of his young career.
The Giants would go onto win 6-3, punching their ticket to face the Kansas City Royals in what would be an all-time series. Speaking of which…
Panik’s double-play flip in Game 7 of 2014 World Series
You knew this was coming, right? In what is now one of the most iconic plays in Giants postseason history, Panik and Brandon Crawford combined for a spectacular double play in the deciding game vs. Kansas City.
With things tied at two runs apiece and no outs in the third inning, Panik dove to his right side, snaring an Eric Hosmer grounder that seemed destined to make its way to center field. As the speedy Lorenzo Cain chugged to second, Panik flipped the ball to Crawford instead of transferring it with his throwing hand. Unfazed, Crawford threw a rocket to Belt at first to get Hosmer upon review.
The play will forever go down as one that helped the Giants win the 2014 World Series, and the greatest moment of Joe Panik’s career as a San Francisco Giant.