The San Francisco Giants traded Willie Mac Award winner Andres Torres and relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez, both of whom helped the Giants win their 1st championship since 1954, to bring in Angel Pagan after the 2011 season. Pagan had a checkered career in New York, and there were some who wondered whether Pagan would ever showcase his potential for a full season.
One year later, the San Francisco Giants had a second championship and Pagan was offered a four year, $40 million contract to stay a Giant. Pagan had a career year in 154 games in 2011, with a slashline of .288/.338/.440 that included a team high 15 triples.
Pagan was never able to stay on the field after that, with injuries being the key factor in his absence in the outfield. In 2016, Pagan was moved to left field to compensate for the addition of free agent Denard Span and also improve the team’s defense. For most of the season, however, Pagan seemed to outperform Span and that will ultimately be his legacy as a Giant.
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That will always be part of the Angel Pagan legacy as a Giant. What he did for the Giants and also what he could have done for the Giants had he stayed healthy.
When fans seemed to doubt Pagan the most, however, he tended to outplay expectations. Sometimes that happened in the oddest of moments.
Honorable Mention: We can’t write a piece on Angel Pagan without at least mentioning his take down of a fan who ran onto the field during a game this season.
Giants play by play announcers Dave Flemming and Jon Miller give us the blow by blow of the Angel Pagan takedown.
In one of the more odd scenes you will see on a field, a man jumped out of the stands and began running towards Pagan in left field. He appeared to be offering Pagan a flower and he reached out his hand to suggest he would take it. As the man came close enough, Pagan took the man down to the ground so security to come take him off the field. The World Wrestling Entertainment style move had the fans roaring in the bleachers and throughout AT&T Park. We couldn’t write a piece about Pagan without giving an honorable mentioned to that moment.
So without further delay, here are your top five Angel Pagan moments with the San Francisco Giants.
May 1, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan (16) celebrates with third base coach Tim Flannery (1) after hitting a solo home run during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Angel PaganMoment Number 5: Pagan Three Run Homer in Arizona
Pagan had missed most of 2013 with injuries, and there were a lot of question marks as he began 2014. With the season beginning on the road, the Arizona Diamondbacks had a 5-3 lead heading into the 8th inning, and after the Giants tied it, Pagan hit a 3 run home run nearly into the pool. The Giants led all of baseball in home runs in April that season, and this long ball from Pagan was as big as any of them.
Oct 22, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan (16) hits a single against the St. Louis Cardinals during the seventh inning of game seven of the 2012 NLCS at AT
Angel PaganMoment Number 4: First Pitch Leadoff Home Run in the NLCS.
With the San Francisco Giants down 1-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series, Angel Pagan lead off the bottom of the first innings launching a home run down the right field line and immediately taking a lead in Game 2.
July 24, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan (16) leaps to catch the ball to start a double play during the seventh inning at AT
In the eighth inning of a tie game and a runner on first, the San Diego Padres Carlos Quentin drove a ball deep to left center field. Angel Pagan made a tremendous diving catch laying completely out for the ball. Chase Headley, who had been at first base had already rounded second when the catch was made. Pagan sprung to his feet and fired a perfect strike to Brandon Crawford, who relayed the ball to Brandon Belt in time for the double play. It was one of the most sensational plays of the 2012 season for the Giants, which is saying something in a championship year. It wasn’t Pagan’s most important catch, however, which came later that season.
Angel Pagan in the outfield at Yankee Stadium 9/21/13. Photo by Denise Walos
Angel PaganMoment Number 2: Pagan’s Diving Catch in the 2012 NLDS.
With two on and two out in Game 5 of the National League Division Series versus the Cincinnati Reds, the Giants were winning 6-3. Pagan raced in on a bloop into right center field and made a sensational catch with an even more sensational fist pump afterwards. His catch ended a huge threat by the Reds and helped lead the Giants to the NLCS.
May 25, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan (16) scores the winning run after hitting an inside-the-park homerun in the bottom of the tenth inning against the Colorado Rockies at AT
Angel PaganMoment Number 1: Pagan’s Walk-off Inside the Park Home Run.
Angel Pagan’s greatest moment was bittersweet because he injured his hamstring on the play. However, if there is ever a moment to remember the impact Pagan had on the Giants, it’s the walk-off inside the park home run versus the Colorado Rockies on May 25, 2013. Despite not making the post-season that year, Pagan’s winner kept the Giants in first place at the time and was one of the most exciting moments of the championship era he was a part of. For many Giants fans, this will be the first moment they think of when they think about Angel Pagan’s impact in San Francisco.
Pagan saluted his teammates and the fans any time he was able to make a play for the Giants. As we reflect on his Giant’s career, we can look back at these moments and give a farewell salute to Angel Pagan.