If you’re a regular reader around these parts, you know that we have a certain fondness for Bay Area nostalgia and the like. From Willie McGee and Joel Youngblood to Alton Lister and Chris Gatling, nothing tickles us like a name from another lifetime that hasn’t resonated in about a decade or so.
Thus, you can imagine our delight when we came across a new Giants book called Game of My Life: Memorable Stories of Giants Baseball.
The author, Matt Johanson, is a lifelong Giants fan, so it’s obviously written from a fan’s point view, covering the entirety (or thereabouts) of the Giants’ stay in San Francisco.
Each chapter is dedicated to a different San Francisco Giant and his “memorable story.” One of the cool things about the short, behind-the-scenes anecdotes is that they range from well-known superstars (Willie Mays, The Thrill, Robb Nen) to more obscure players (Al Gallagher, D-Lew, Brian Dallimore).
Since we’re feeling generous, we’re providing an excerpt from the third chapter of the book: Felipe Alou’s tale from October 1962, titled “The good Lord heard my prayer.” Matt Johanson’s words follow post-jump.
In his lifetime of baseball, Felipe Alou played in 2,082 major league contests and managed more than 2,000 more. His games in high school, college, the minor leagues, winter ball and spring training account for at least another thousand. Only once, though, has the devout Christian prayed for his team to win a game.
That occurred on Oct. 3, 1962, when the National League pennant race came down to a single game between the Giants and the Dodgers and a ninth inning comeback for the ages.
“That season was a great comeback and that game was a great comeback,” Alou said. “We arrived in the top of the ninth inning trailing, 4-2. I knew I was going to bat in that inning. As soon as the bottom of the eighth was over, I actually went to the clubhouse to pray and to ask God to help us…”
Game of My Life: Memorable Stories of Giants Baseball [Official Site]