3. Rich Aurilia: 1995-2003,07-09
Early in Rich Aurilia's career we didn't know what kind of a player he was just yet. It took him a few years to get his stroke in the big leagues. Once he found it, it was 5 straight years of good production. Between 1999-2003 Aurilia hit 13 or more HR's each year. His best year was 2001 when he made the All Star team and batted .324 with 37 HR and 97 RBI. He also led all of Major League Baseball with 206 hits in 2001 and won the SIlver Slugger.
My personal story about Aurilia comes from the 2003 season. The Giants were in Chicago to play the White Sox in mid June. It was great, a chance to see a Giants game with my Sox friends. Well the Giants were down 4-2 heading to the 9th and I was getting all sorts of shit from my buddies. Then Bonds tied it with a HR. The bases ended up loaded on this tie game. Rich Aurilia did not start that night and was called on to pinch hit. He hit a Grand Slam and put the game away. My friends shut up, and I had a nice ride home. Thanks Rich.
2. Alvin Dark: 1950-1956
Before he was a semi successful manager, Alvin Dark was an All Star shortstop. The former Rookie of the Year played 6 and a half seasons in New York. He was the SS on the 1954 Giants team that swept the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. Dark batted .412 in that series. The three time All Star routinely had over 150 hits by season's end.
Alvin Dark had a batting average of .292 in a Giants uniform. He played in 150 games or more for 5 straight years and hit 14 or more HR's each year. Dark led the National League in doubles in 1951. It's probaly the secret weapon in that comeback over the Dodgers. Alvin drove in over 100 runs twice as a Giant. Dark can thank Leo Durocher for making him his everyday shortstop.
1. Travis Jackson: 1922-1936
If you haven't heard of Travis Jackson don't feel bad. I really hadn't either. He's before mine or my father's teams so he was never in my sights. But that's why I did this, for guys like Travis. His name gets lost the longer time goes on. So why is he number one? Well, his nickname out there at short was "Stonewall". It was said he was one of the finest fielding middle infielders of his time.
Jackson could hit the ball a little too. He had six seasons with a batting average above .300. There were 6 times in his career that he hit over 10 HR's. Once reaching the lofty plateau of 20 round trippers. Travis drove in 101 runs in 1934 and hit his high water mark for batting average in 1930 at .339. The Giants went to 4 different World Series with him at SS and won only once, in 1933. He was a lifetime .291 hitter. In 1982 the veterans committee elected Travis Jackson to the Baseball Hall of Fame.