Former Giants owner Peter Magowan passed away at the age of 76 on Sunday after a battle with cancer. Magowan, a New York City native whose fandom of the Giants stretched back to their days in NYC, was part of an investment team that bought the franchise for $100MM in 1992. Magowan & Co. saved the Giants from leaving San Francisco for Tampa Bay, which looked likely at the time, and also brought in outfielder Barry Bonds on a then-record six-year, $43.75MM free-agent contract in advance of the 1993 season.
Bonds stayed with the Giants for the rest of his illustrious playing career, which ended after 2007, and was the face of the organization as it moved from Candlestick Park to Pacific Bell Park (now Oracle Park) in 2000. Oracle Park, a stadium the Magowan-led Giants built largely without public funding, has been regarded as one of the game’s elite venues since its inception. Both the Giants’ signing of Bonds and their privately financed ballpark angered Magowan’s fellow owners, he told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle in 2016.
In addition to his run atop the Giants through 2008, Magowan was known for his charitable endeavors, especially with HIV/AIDS awareness and youth baseball. Since Magowan’s passing, there has been an outpouring of sympathy, including from commissioner Rob Manfred, Giants CEO Larry Baer, Bonds and fellow franchise icons Willie Mays and Buster Posey. MLBTR joins the baseball community in sending condolences to Magowan’s family and the San Francisco organization.
Here’s more from Magowan’s longtime league, the NL:
- The Brewers entered the winter with a need at second base, which is arguably still the case now even after they signed Cory Spangenberg to a modest contract. But while the free-agent market was rife with established second basemen at the beginning of the offseason, options are dwindling as spring training nears. The Brewers could still pick up a veteran free agent who’s remaining on the market, but they’re unlikely to offer anyone more than a one-year deal, in part because of hard-charging prospect Keston Hiura’s presence, Todd Rosiak and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report. As things stand, it appears they’ll divide playing time among Spangenberg, Hernan Perez and Tyler Saladino at the outset of 2019, as Rosiak and Haudricourt observe, with 2018 second base option Travis Shaw heading back to third. Regarding the Brewers’ outlook at second, manager Craig Counsell admitted Sunday, “As I look at it right now, it’s definitely a job that will be shared,” though he did express confidence in the choices they have on hand.
- Although the Pirates bought out infielder Jung Ho Kang’s 2019 option after last season, he re-signed with the team on a cheaper deal eight days later. Manager Clint Hurdle suggested Sunday that Kang drew interest from elsewhere during his short stint on the market, per Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, but was determined to “make good” with the Pirates. The 31-year-old Kang is “thankful” to the organization, according to his interpreter, as it has stuck by him amid off-field tribulations. Kang, of course, sat out nearly all of the previous two seasons after a DUI arrest in his native South Korea rendered him unable to secure a U.S. visa. There was also a sexual assault claim against Kang in 2016, though charges were never filed.