On this day, 48 years ago, a legend was born. Perhaps the greatest left handed hitter since Babe Ruth himself, took his first breath of air and began a life of excellence that has yet to slow down. No, I am not talking about Ken Griffey Jr or Barry Bonds, but the true GOAT….. Mr Brian Freaking Giles.
If you have not heard of Brian Giles, there is a chance you don’t know a damn thing about baseball (or you just didn’t watch the Pirates during the early 2000’s).
In the middle of their 20 years of losing season, the Buccos were blessed with a handful of players who actually had an ounce of talent. At the top of that list, you will find Mr. Giles. During his four and a half season in Pittsburgh, Giles was a 2x All Star and the face of the franchise. He was responsible for hitting one of the most memorable home runs in PNC Park history and making one of the best catches the city of Pittsburgh will ever see.
Listen to Lanny Frattare lose his mind on both of those plays. Just an overall incredible display of athleticism. As someone who grew up in the late 90’s and early 20’s this was THE guy to watch. Sure, kids in New York had Derek Jeter who won them championships and kids in the bay area had Bonds, who was a 7x MVP but dammit, this was OUR super star and we loved the shit out of him.
The best part about Giles was the fact that unlike A-Rod, Bonds, Roger Clemens and others, he was able to be a star of the game the right way. He was totally clean.
I mean look at those honest numbers. As soon as he gets traded to Pittsburgh and has pressure on him to be a star, the guy delivers. You know how? From working hard and doing things the right way.
There have always been rumors and the haters won’t stop until they can frame this innocent man but guess what, you can’t find information that doesn’t exist. Brian’s excellence on the diamond was 100% natural.
He definitely didn’t get away with it because he played for a shitty team that no one cared about. It’s not like his home run numbers dropped off after he was traded to the Padres or that he had violent outbursts off the field.
No, sir. Not Brian Giles. He was a good, clean ball player who kids like me were lucky to look up to. He was an incredible role model! I mean just look at how his little brother turned out!
All kidding aside, if you have the internet or just a half functioning brain, it is easy to get an idea as to what type of guy Giles was. However, I personally have never met the guy so I would NEVER write something to expose him; especially on his birthday.
The thing I will remember Giles most for was his final gift to the city of Pittsburgh. While it was sad to watch such a wonderful human go as far away as possible, what made his goodbye a bit easier was the fact that we got Oliver Perez and Jason Bay in exchange for him.
So happy birthday, Mr. Giles. I hope you have a wonderful day. Just make sure to stay away from Petco Park….. and women.