“What about Juan Marichal? When are the Giants going to do something for him?”
I almost froze in my tracks when I heard those words this past Monday. A middle-aged lady in a Giants ballcap stood next to Willie McCovey’s statue. She was talking to a teenage kid, probably her son.
We were passing by on our way to find our tile. The comment was very timely to me. I had been thinking the same thing in the past few months when I was doing some research on Marichal. The Dominican Dandy was such a central figure in the Giants SF history.
Of course, it's common knowledge how great Marichal was. Lesser known are his still good relations with the team. Quite frankly, I have no insider knowledge on that one but I do remember he tossed out the last first pitch at Candlestick.
Marichal was not as great as Mays nor as beloved as McCovey. But Giants fans have not seen the likes of Wonderful Juan, that is, a first-ballot Hall of Fame pitcher who wore the Giants uniform for the vast majority of his career, since Carl Hubbell, who retired in 1943.
Giants principal owner Peter Magowan has done a great job with the park formerly known as Pac Bell. All the little touches to the franchise’s past are there and Mays and McCovey have been immortalized with statues.
It’s my belief that Juan Marichal deserves to be next.