Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Finley makes his mark

Congratulations to Giants center fielder Steve Finley, who joined baseball's elite 300-300 club (home runs and stolen bases) tonight, taking Arizona's Claudio Vargas deep to right for his 300th career round-tripper.

In his rarified new statistical neighborhood, Finley joins his teammate Barry Bonds (who smacked career homer #717 in the ninth inning), Barry's dad Bobby, Barry's godfather Willie Mays, Andre "the Hawk" Dawson (no relation to Barry, so far as I know) and Reggie "Don't Call Me Colonel" Sanders, who hit his 300th homer just this past weekend.

Interestingly, of the six 300-300 players, five — Finley, Mays, Sanders, and the Bondsmen — played at least one season for the Giants.

Finley's arrival in San Francisco in the twilight of his career — he's 41, joining Bonds (who turns 42 next month) and Moises Alou (40 in July) in what may well be the oldest starting outfield in major league history — makes for a fitting coda. Giants GM Brian Sabean has been trying to acquire Finley's services for at least five years, either by trade or via free agency. When Sabean finally lands his quarry, the guy's practically qualified for AARP membership.

Of Finley's accomplishment, the usually taciturn Bonds said for the record, "It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Awesome."

We concur.

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