1997 Giants: Team of Dustiny

Posted on August 8, 2017

Manager Dusty Baker of the San Francisco Giants watches batting practice before a game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California in 1997. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

 

Earlier this week a big ceremony was held in San Francisco before a Giants game at AT&T Park to honor the 1997 club. This team went from last place in 1996 to capturing everyone’s hearts at Candlestick Park in ’97 by becoming the “Team of Dustiny” that captured the NL West flag behind skipper Dusty Baker and a special group of ballplayers.

I had the pleasure of photographing this team from spring training in Scottsdale during March of 1997 all the way through their stunning defeat in Game 3 of the National League Division Series against the Florida Marlins in San Francisco in October. Since I have dozens of Fujichrome slides scanned that I shot during the season I thought it would be fun to dip into my online archive and relive some of the memories from that special 1997 campaign. Let’s take a look!

I started the year in one of my favorite places on the planet- Scottsdale, Arizona on assignment for Upper Deck. Shooting a bunch of rolls of Fujichrome at a Cactus League game every day enjoying the heyday of the trading card industry when there were lots-o-dayrates out there for all of us hungry baseball shooters wasn’t a bad way to spend a few weeks in March!

Brad Mangin’s 1997 spring training pass to shoot for Upper Deck.

Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants smiles during a spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1997. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Rod Beck of the San Francisco Giants pitches during a spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1997. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

By the time the regular season rolled around I was ready to go after having my own spring training. The Giants were coming off such a bad season in 1996 that not much was expected in ’97. New general manager Brian Sabean made his famous trade over the winter sending fan-favorite Matt Williams to the Indians for Jeff Kent, Julian Tavarez, and more. He also sent pitcher Allen Watson to the Angels for J.T. Snow. Along with a few other moves Sabean put together a supporting cast to go along with superstar Barry Bonds, who was in his prime and doing his thing the old-school way.

Brad Mangin’s 1997 regular season credential to photograph the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park for Sports Illustrated.

Bill Mueller of the San Francisco Giants bats during a game in 1997 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Bill Mueller of the San Francisco Giants bats during a game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California in 1997. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Kirk Rueter of the San Francisco Giants pitches during a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California in 1996. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants bats during Game 3 of the NLDS against the Florida Marlins at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California in 1997. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants bats during a game on August 18, 1997 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Jeff Kent of the San Francisco Giants takes batting practice before a game on April 5, 1997 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Jeff Kent of the San Francisco Giants bats during a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California in 1997. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Marvin Benard of the San Francisco Giants bats during a game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California in 1997. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Manager Dusty Baker of the San Francisco Giants watches his team take batting practice before a game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California in 1997. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Mark Gardner of the San Francisco Giants pitches during a game 1996 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Shawn Estes of the San Francisco Giants sits in the dugout during a game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California in 1999. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Glenallen Hill of the San Francisco Giants in action during a game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California in 1995. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

JT Snow of the San Francisco Giants warms up before a game against the New York Mets at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, CA on April 5, 1997. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

JT Snow of the San Francisco Giants plays defense at first base during a game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, CA in 1997. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Rich Aurilia of the San Francisco Giants bats during a game against the Florida Marlins at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California in 1999. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

SRod Beck of the San Francisco Giants enters the field while leaving the bullpen through a door in the right field fence in right field so he can come into the game and pitch during a game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California in 1995. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Rod Beck of the San Francisco Giants in action during a game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California in 1994. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Brian Johnson of the San Francisco Giants bats during a game in 1997 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Wide interior view of Arizona Diamondbacks batter Luis Gonzalez striking out to end a game against the San Francisco Giants in 1997 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Brian Johnson and Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants high five after a game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California in 1997. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

The Giants finished with a 90-72 record and won the NL West. Next up for them were the wild card winning Florida Marlins. The first two games in the best of five series would be in Miami, with the last three (if needed) at home in San Francisco. The Giants and their fans- myself included- were very confident going into the series. Things went bad pretty quickly when the Marlins won the first two games at home in dramatic fashion, then the Giants came home for Game 3. I was super excited to be shooting this game on assignment for Sports Illustrated with both V.J. Lovero and Peter Read Miller- two legends. Being the third guy I was in s super cool overhead box just to the third base side of home plate. The fun was short-lived as the Marlins spanked the Giants to win the series 6-2 thanks to a Devon White grand slam.

Brad Mangin’s credential to photograph Game 3 of the NLDS between the San Francisco Giants and Florida Marlins for Sports Illustrated at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1997.

There was one piece of Giants fun left on the 1997 calendar- the ground breaking ceremony for Pacific Bell Park. This event was held at the location of the new ballpark at Third and King Streets on December 11. This was a day I never thought would happen and it is hard to believe it was 20 years ago!

Pass to cover the Pacific Bell Park ground breaking on December 11, 1997.

Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants at the ground breaking ceremony for Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco, California on December 11, 1997. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

The ground breaking for Pacific Bell Park, the new home of the San Francisco Giants, on December 11, 1997 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Looking back on the 1997 season has been fun to do this week. Of course I am bitter I was not at the famous Brian Johnson game. I did watch it on television! I also watched the ceremony the other night on TV and enjoyed seeing all the players out on the field in the old-school 1997 style BRIGHT WHITE uniform tops. It’s amazing how bright those things look compared to the current “French Vanilla” tops (Jeff Kent’s words not mine) that they currently wear. Most of all I am glad that I was around to photograph this team and smart enough to organize my original transparencies- because they are mine. I own them. No one else does. I love my archive!

What Others Are Saying

  1. Paul Hallaman August 8, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    What fantastic shots, Brad. They have brought back some happy memories. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Brad Mangin August 9, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Thanks Paul- glad the pictures reminded you of this great season!

    Brad

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