Snow falls at winter meetings
Former Giants first baseman J.T. Snow announced his retirement today, along with a deal to work for the Giants in several capacities. The six-time Gold Glove winner, who played for the Giants from 1997-2005, will do everything from broadcast to “roving minor league instructor.”
The photo shows Snow being tagged out at the plate by the Marlins’ Pudge Rodriguez in the final play of the 2003 National League division series.
Snow tried to score from second to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, but the notoriously slow infielder was dead by two steps. The son of NFL Hall-of-Fame linebacker Jack Snow tried to jar the ball loose from Pudge, but Pudge is too good a catcher for that. Snow was out and the Giants’ season was over. It would be their last visit to the playoffs.
What made that play especially interesting was that Rodriguez had just scored the go-ahead run in the previous half-inning in the exact same kind of play — only he was able to knock the ball away from Giants catcher Yorvit Torrealba. So his ability to hang onto the ball despite being knocked ass-over-teakettle by Snow was especially fitting:
One of Snow’s strangest moments was when he snatched Dusty Baker’s three-year-old son Darren, acting as a batboy, off the field as Snow crossed home plate in the 2002 World Series:
And yes, that’s catcher Bengie Molina, whom the Giants just signed this week.
I’ll remember Snow most fondly for his incredible range at first base. His ability to spear sharply hit balls on the line, or go deep into foul territory to catch pop fouls, has been missed ever since he left the team. Incidentally, the Giants have no first baseman signed for 2007, unless they’re planning on playing Rich Aurelia there.