Bob Brenly caught for the San Francisco Giants from 1981-1988, left for one half season with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1989, and returned to the Giants where he finished his playing career that same season. He made the NL All Star team in 1984 when he had his best season, hitting .291 with 20 HRs and 80 RBIs. He helped lead the Giants to the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1987 with 18 HRs and 51 RBIs, but the Giants lost that series in 7 games. That was to be Bob’s only playoff appearance as a player. Bob played in one very bizarre game against the Atlanta Braves in 1986. Although known as a good defensive catcher, Bob made 4 errors in one inning. But he more than redeemed himself by homering in the 5th inning, hitting a game tying 2 run single in the 7th inning and then hitting a walk off game winning HR in the bottom of the 9th. Bob probably is more well known for managing the Arizona Diamondbacks to their first World Series championship ever in his first year as a manager in 2001. His Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in seven games shortly after the horrific events of 9/11 in what some call the greatest World Series ever (I went to two games including the Tino Martinez game tying HR and the Derek Jeter game winning HR in Game 4 which earned Derek the nickname “Mr. November,” but the end of Game 7 was the single worst baseball moment in my life to date). Bob’s managerial tenure ended in 2004 and he has been an excellent broadcaster since. Here is his Opening Day memory.
“For me personally, I think it would have to be the 1983 season. I had just come off my best year as a big league player and we opened against the Padres at home at Candlestick Park and, unfortunately, we lost the ball game, but I think I had 3 or 4 hits in that game and it was kind of reaffirming after having a good year in ’82. I think a lot of people thought it was a fluke season and we’ll never be able to do it again and then to start off the ’83 season that way, it felt very good. I also particularly remember that Opening Day because there was a representative from my hometown newspaper back in Coshocton, Ohio, and because I had the good game and I was a hero back home.”
In fact, Bob’s Giants lost to the San Diego Padres 16-13 and he went 2 for 4 with 4 RBIs and a home run.
See you in two. Richie