Well, at least Giants fans didn't have to once again endure seeing Brian Wilson in a Dodgers uniform this weekend. Not yet, anyway.
Wilson, one of the heroes on San Francisco's first World Series championship team in 2010, was placed on the disabled list last week with elbow inflammation. After Wilson signed with the Dodgers for the final month of the 2013 season, Giants fans experienced the trauma of seeing him pitch against his old team — twice in Los Angeles and once in San Francisco (no runs, no hits allowed, one win). So it's not like the current Giants-Dodgers weekend series that concludes tonight in Los Angeles would have shown SF fans something new regarding the pitcher around whom "Fear the Beard" became a rallying cry.
But Wilson is scheduled to come off the DL in time for the Dodgers' three-game series in San Francisco beginning April 15. So even if the shock has warn off, it's still going to be weird to see Wilson in Dodger blue next week.
Or will it?
Some fans might seethe with anger toward a perceived turncoat, but they need only to step back and look at the long history of Giants-turned-Dodgers, a history that includes not only "the Beard" but also "the Barber," and put their fantasies about loyalty in perspective.
Wilson is merely the latest Giant-turned-Dodger. Some of the more notable players who preceded him include Jeff Kent, Jason Schmidt, Brett Butler, Tom Haller and Sal "the Barber" Maglie (from the teams' New York era). Perhaps most discomfiting for fans of both teams was when Juan Marichal, who reigned as the most hated Giant for 10 years, concluded his Hall of Fame career as a Dodger.
And don't forget, this sort of history is like a switch hitter — offensive from both sides. Among the more notable Dodgers-turned-Giants are Duke Snider, Ron Hunt, Roger Craig and Dusty Baker — the latter two of course former Dodgers players who became wildly popular and successful Giants managers.
So, let's neither fear nor revile the Beard. Let's move on ... by looking back. The starting shortstop for the original SF Giants in the first major league game played on the West Coast, on April 15, 1958, was Daryl Spencer. In the fourth inning, Spencer hit a pitch from Don Drysdale over the fence in left-center at Seals Stadium for the first home run in the Giants' San Francisco history.
Four years later, as the Giants and Dodgers tangled in a three-game playoff for the National League pennant, Spencer served as a reserve infielder for the Dodgers.
Also wearing a Dodgers uniform for that 1962 playoff, when the Giants' ninth-inning comeback victory in Game 3 brought the first World Series to San Francisco, was Leo Durocher.