Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cards from the first Rangers-Giants Matchup - June 12th, 1997

As some of you may have already heard, the Rangers and Giants were actually the two teams that started off Interleague play way back in 1997. 1998 Score celebrated a few of the historic firsts from that game with a number of cards, and so I figured now would be a good time to show them off for you guys!

The first card signifies the very first NL DH, Glenallen Hill:
Hill went 0 for 3 with a sacrifice fly. The back of the card also mentions that this front features him fouling out to first base - a very cool addition to the card!

The next card I have mentions the very first Interleague hit, which came in the top of the first inning off the bat of Daryl Hamilton:
Hamilton was erased on a Double Play during the very next at bat, but the record was set, and Hamilton became the answer to a trivia question for the rest of time. And guess who gave up that first hit? None other than Darren Oliver, who will pitching in this World Series as a reliever for the Rangers, but who started and went 7.2 innings in that June 12th game for the Rangers as well.

Oliver had a really good chance of winning that game for the Rangers too, if it wasn't for Stan Javier, who hit the first Interleague homerun:
Now Javier's HR came in the third and was only the first run for the Giants, who were down 3-1 entering the 7th. But after 2 singles and a HBP to start the 7th, Oliver gave up a single and a sac fly to tie the game up at 3. Then, with men on 1st and 3rd, Javier hit a double off of Oliver to knock in Barry Bonds and put the Giants ahead for good, 4-3. Even crazier - despite allowing 6 of 7 hitters to reach base and giving up the lead, Oliver stuck around through the 7th and into the 8th inning, where he was finally pulled after a Barry Bonds double with 2 outs.

And that's all of the Interleague Moment cards I have from 1998 Score! Game 1 of Rangers-Giants history was a nail biter, and wasn't truly decided until late in the game. Let's hope this year's meeting between the two teams is just as exciting, whichever team wins!

(Personally I'm rooting Texas, but really I'm just glad to see the Yankees and Phillies watching from home!)

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