Has there ever been a fifth outfielder as successful as the Giant’s Gregor Blanco? Not many guys can say they have two rings while playing minimal roles with a club. Usually players in those roles hop from club to club, but not Gregor.
Today, Gregor Blanco posted a video that eerily seemed like a farewell. If indeed this was Blanco’s last season as a Giant, there might not be a bench player with as many significant moments that he’s had. For the last five years, Blanco has frustrated fans, and brought much joy. His defense is a major moment for us fans, but his bat came up big a few times as well.
Even if he doesn’t leave, some appreciation for a highly underrated Giant needs to be shown. The “White Shark” has come up big a few times for the Giants, so as a tribute to his five years as a Giant, here are our top five Gregor Blanco moments. His Instagram video can be seen below:
Oct 22, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Gregor Blanco hits a solo home run against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning during game two of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Gregor Blanco Moment Number 5: Leadoff Home-Run in the 2014 World Series
During the stretch run in 2014, Gregor Blanco filled in for an injured Angel Pagan and performed admirably as the Giants went on to win the World Series against the Kansas City Royals. His big moment here was a leadoff home-run in game 2 of the World Series. After winning Game One by the score of 9-0, it seemed like the Giants were on pace to wipe the floor with the Royals. Gregor Blanco started off Game 2 with a bang. He battled Ventura to a full count on seven pitches. The eighth pitch was a 98mph fastball from Ventura. Blanco crushed it, sending it into the bullpen to give the Giants an early 1-0 lead. Unfortunately the lead didn’t hold, but it was a heck of a moment for Blanco.
Jul 22, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Gregor Blanco (7) reacts to striking out during the seventh inning of an inter-league baseball game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Gregor Blanco Moment Number 4: 2-Run Homer, Game 4, 2012 NLDS
Gregor Blanco had some random pop in that bat of his. In 2012, as the Giants were on the comeback for their second straight elimination game win, he came up to the plate with a runner on in the second inning. Angel Pagan hit a leadoff home-run in that game, on Mike Leake‘s second pitch of the evening. The Reds tied it up in the bottom of the first though and it looked like they might have stolen the momentum back. Up stepped Blanco, and on the second pitch of the at-bat, he deposited Leake’s pitch five rows up into left center field. That home-run gave the Giants the lead and they never looked back. A 9-3 win in game four saw the Giants get the series to a decisive game five. We all know what happened then.
Jun 24, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Denard Span (2), right fielder Gregor Blanco (7) and left fielder Angel Pagan (16) celebrate in the outfield at the end of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at AT&T Park the San Francisco Giants defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 5 to 4. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports
Gregor Blanco Moment Number 3: Catches in Game One of the 2012 World Series
When Melky Cabrera got suspended in 2012 for PED’s, Gregor Blanco stepped up big time during the stretch run, and the postseason. His defense was on display for all to see in the postseason. While a lot of his moments here have been offense related, his defense was usually exceptional. His defense was on display in 2012, and there is a big moment from that season coming up later, but Blanco made two ridiculous plays in Game 1 of the World Series. Take a look at his two diving catches in the opening game of the 2012 World Series:
May 29, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Gregor Blanco (7) throws the ball from left in the third inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Gregor Blanco Moment Number 2: The Bunt
Game two of the 2012 World Series. The Giants were getting fooled by Doug Fister after demolishing Justin Verlander in Game 1. The Giants had runners on first and second with nobody out in the bottom of the seventh. Gregor Blanco stepped up to the plate and laid down a routine bunt to get both runners in scoring position. The bunt just rolled up the line, staying on the edge of the grass the entire way. Miguel Cabrera was going to try and let it go foul, but it just never went over the lip of the grass. The Giants ended up getting one run out of it, but of course ended up winning the game on their way to the sweep of the Detroit Tigers.
Apr 1, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Gregor Blanco (7) makes a diving catch against the Oakland A
Gregor Blanco’s greatest moment as a Giants is probably unanimous. Flashback to Wednesday, June 13th, 2012. The Giants were leading the then NL Central Member, Houston Astros 10-0. If Matt Cain hadn’t been in the middle of a perfect game bid, this catch honestly wouldn’t mean anything. However, the catch that preserved Matt Cain’s Perfect game might be the best catch in the Giant’s San Francisco history. Take a look at the video, and relive Gregor Blanco’s greatest moment as a Giants.