17 August 2012

The New York Giants apologize to baseball fans

This letter comes from the management of the New York Giants baseball team (before they moved to San Francisco and became the San Francisco Giants).  It was published on May 27, 1951 as an open apology to the people of Minneapolis for the team's decision to promote an outfielder from their AAA-league Minneapolis Millers farm team up to the major leagues:
It would be most unfair to deprive him of the opportunity he earned with his play.  We honestly admit too, that this playter's exceptional talents are the exact answer to the Giants' most critical need.  Please be assured that the New York Giants will continue in our efforts to provide Minneapolis with a winning team.
Why did the Giants call up a player just after the season had started?  Perhaps because he was batting .607 in his first 14 games at Nicollet Park (and was an outstanding fielder).  Here he is in the clubhouse:

Some of you will recognize a very young (19-year-old) Willie Mays.

Photo credit John McNab.


  1. Took me a couple of readings to work out that the Millers are/were a Giants farm team. They must love their baseball there …

    1. Good point. I've amended the post to add "farm team."

      When I was a kid, the Millers were still there, and in 1958 they became a farm team for the Boston Red Sox. I was too young to remember Willie Mays (or Ted Williams before him), but I do remember a Miller who was called up to the Sox: Carl Yastrzemski.

  2. Antiques Roadshow had an appraisal of Willie Mays' Millers jersey in 2004. They authenticated it using a picture of the right arm which showed the same mend as was on the jersey.


  3. I was just telling a buddy about this, and he says Willie didnt get his first hit until after 24 at bats after he got moved. I don't have time to check that out, maybe you or another reader can verify that.

  4. I finally got around to checking my buddys claim.
    He is pretty good, my buddy, but wasn’t 24, it was 12 at bats without a hit.
    Then his 13th at bat, he nailed a home run off future Hall of Famer Warren Spahn, who later joked, "I'll never forgive myself. We might have gotten rid of Willie forever if I'd only struck him out."
    Willie batting average improved, but it was his fielding that got him rookie of the year for 1951.

    That’s one of the cool things about baseball. Can you imagine being the manager of that team, patiently waiting around for a guy that had been batting .607 to finally get a hit?


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