© Lance Iversen | 2015 Apr 21
When the San Francisco Giants retired Barry Bonds’ number 25 last season they broke a longstanding rule of only retiring the numbers of former Giants who made it into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Bonds joined a group that featured legendary Giants like Christy Mathewson, John McGraw, Bill Terry, Mel Ott, Carl Hubbell, Monte Irvin, Willie Mays, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, Gaylord Perry and Willie McCovey.
Bonds was the only person who isn’t enshrined in Cooperstown to be in that exclusive club, but while celebrating the 30-year reunion of the 1989 National League championship team this weekend, the Giants announced that they will retire Will Clark’s number 22 next season, meaning Clark will join Bonds in that legendary group without being in the Hall of Fame.
It appears that Barry Bonds’ number retirement marked a turning point for the franchise and that they are now going to immortalize more legendary Giants who aren’t enshrined in the hallowed halls of Cooperstown, opening the door for many more legendary Giants to be further immortalized in the storied history of the franchise.
Many have begun to speculate about who will be the next Giant to have their number retired, and there are many deserving candidates, but most agree that the man most-deserving of receiving that honor next is Tim Lincecum.
Dave Flemming, the play-by-play announcer for the Giants on KNBR, stopped by the Tolbert, Krueger, & Brooks show on Monday to discuss a potential Tim Lincecum jersey retirement.
“I hope, someday, we see Tim back at the ballpark,” Flemming said. “I mean, a part of this is going to be him…we all want to see him, Giants fans want to see him…and now that the door is open for non-Hall of Famers to have their numbers retired, Tim Lincecum would be right near the top of the list of any Giant to have that number 55 hang up there forever.
“I think part of that will be Tim willing to be back around a little bit. The Giants have asked him a lot of times and I totally respect the fact that it’s still new for him, he was still giving it a shot to try and be a player, so I’m not dogging him for that, but at some point in the next few years it would be great to see him around a little bit and I know Giants fans would love that. That might get the ball rolling ’cause he deserves to be up there.”
Flemming then discussed Lincecum’s importance to the franchise and to the fans, and also mentioned a dream scenario for him to make a reappearance in the Bay.
“I think he’s the most purely-beloved player,” Flemming continued. “Just out-and-out, just pure love from the fans of anybody we have. Barry got incredible ovations and the anticipation for his at-bats, but just pure, just joy, it might just be number 55. My dream is if the Giants could somehow get in the playoffs and they could surprise everybody by running him out there for a first pitch.”
Tim Lincecum spent the first nine seasons of his career with the San Francisco Giants, going 108-89 with a 3.61 ERA while compiling 1,704 strikeouts in 1643.2 innings. He won three World Series rings in San Francisco, won back-to-back Cy Young awards in 2008 and 2009, threw two no-hitters, was a four-time all-star, and was the 2010 Babe Ruth Award winner.
Listen to the full interview with Dave Flemming below. To hear him discuss a potential Tim Lincecum jersey retirement, start from 13:20.