POLL: Giants Memorable Moments — Belt's 18th inning HR against Nats vs Win over Dodgers in 1962 playoffs


PROGRAMMING NOTE: NBC Sports Bay Area is looking back at the Giants' 60 Memorable Moments since the franchise moved from New York to San Francisco. Tune into SportsNet Central at 6pm to see the next two moments you can vote on! Then, after the Giants and Rockies conclude on Saturday, tune into Postgame Live to see which moment will move on to the next round! Make your vote count!

1. Brandon Belt's 18th inning homer against the Nationals in 2014 NLDS (Three-time winner -- Defeated Dave Dravecky's comeback after cancer in 1989)

(From Alex Pavlovic)
By the end of an 18-inning win over the Nationals in Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS, the Giants were drained in every way. It would be understandable if some of them have few solid memories of the six-hour, 23-minute marathon game, but Brandon Belt will never forget the details. His solo shot off Tanner Roark in the top of the 18th was the difference in a 2-1 win. Four years later, the moment is still fresh in his mind, from his preparation for the at-bat to the emphatic bat drop: 

(From Brandon Belt)
"I remember chugging a Red Bull. It was late into the night and that's tough, it's mentally draining and physically draining to be in a game like that, where you're giving everything you've got to win a baseball game. I was drained at that moment to say the least. I remember chugging a Red Bull and going out there and thinking, 'I'm just going to try and get on base and see what happens.' I remember just not trying to do too much and he gave me a pitch that I could handle, that was kind of in my happy zone. It felt like one of the first home runs I ever hit. It's like you're in Little League and you hit a home run and it's like you're in a dream and it's not real life -- it was kind of the same way. 

"We had just played so long and it was such a big moment in the game, and the fact that I was able to come through and help us win with such a big hit, it was surreal to me. I felt like I was floating around the bases. I think (the bat drop) was relief, more than anything. When I do that I don't really know I do it. It was really just relief. The way the game was going, we had to assume it was over after that. The bullpen had done so well and everyone was so tired. It was going to be tough for (the Nationals) to come back after that.

"We were just ready to go home. We had a long flight after that. We just put so much effort into it and all the guys did so great. Pablo came up with a big hit in the ninth inning and Petit throwing (six shutout) innings. For me, that was the pivotal game of that entire playoffs. We were playing the best team in the NL and to be able to come home up 2-0 was huge."


2. Victory over the Dodgers in three-game playoff to win 1962 NL Pennant

(From Alex Pavlovic)

Twice in recent years, the Giants have learned about the intensity of the Wild Card Game. But the 1962 group took winner-take-all to another level. Could you imagine a three-game series with the rival Dodgers to determine the National League’s representative in the World Series. That’s what happened in 1962, and it ended in dramatic fashion. 

The Giants and Dodgers finished the regular season tied at 101-61, with San Francisco storming back over the final week and making up the last game of the deficit on the final day of the season. After blowing out Sandy Koufax in the first game of a three-game tiebreaker, the Giants lost by a run the next day. On Oct. 3, 1962, they played one game for the right to face the Yankees in the World Series. 

The Giants trailed 4-2 heading into the ninth, but Matty Alou hit a leadoff single and Willie McCovey and Felipe Alou drew one-out walks. Willie Mays hit a rocket up the middle to bring a run home and a sacrifice fly by Orlando Cepeda tied the game. A bases-loaded walk of Jim Davenport gave the Giants a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. 

The win at Dodger Stadium was the 103rd of the season for a loaded Giants club that would lose the World Series in seven games. Mays hit 49 homers that year, Cepeda added 35, Felipe Alou hit 25 and McCovey hit 20. Four of the team’s starters won at least 16 games.


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