Today, the Friday following Thanksgiving Day, is Black Friday, the day often regarded (especially by retailers) as the beginning of the holiday shopping season. In recognition of “Black” Friday, today we look at three Giants.
Buddy Black – Bruce Bochy‘s successor as manager of the San Diego Padres, Black pitched three seasons late in his career with the Giants, 1991-94. He did not have the success in San Francisco that he had earlier with the Royals and Indians. Considered by his teammates a bit of an intellectual (Black has a degree in finance from San Diego State, where Tony Gwynn was a teammate), he was pegged early on for a career as a manager by Cleveland GM John Hart, who served as a mentor.
Al “Blackie” Dark – A three-time all-star during his Giants playing career (1950-56) Al Dark was captain of two pennant winners, one of which also took the World Series. The Giants had the sense to trade him as his decline started. He became manager of the Giants in 1961, and led them to the World Series in 1962. In fact, his .569 winning percentage makes him the most successful manager in San Francisco history. But by 1964, his Baptist preachings and multiple instances of insensitivity/racism toward the Latino and African-American players led to his firing.
Gus “Blackie” Mancuso – Although Gus Mancuso had only been the backup catcher with St. Louis, Giant manager Bill Terry always felt that trading for Mancuso after the 1932 season was the best trade he ever made. He knew Mancuso was particularly good at blocking the wayward pitch, and he wanted this skill because of Hal Schumacher‘s sinker and , of course, Carl Hubbell‘s screwball. Mancuso would be the starting catcher on two pennant-winning Giant teams in the 1930s, and the backup on another.