Thank You, Ryan Vogelsong
It was just announced that Ryan Vogelsong will take the mound one final time in his career, tomorrow afternoon at AT&T Park. Vogelsong was had a long and storied career with many ups and downs, but he began his career in San Francisco, and had his best years here. He was drafted by the team in the fifth round of the 1998 MLB Amateur Draft. He got the call up to the bigs in 2000, and had an ERA of 5.78 between 2000 and 2006 while splitting time between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants. He also missed the 2003 season after undergoing Tommy-John surgery.
He was then released by the Pirates and bounced around in the Minor Leagues and in Japan until 2010, where he played in the Minor Leagues for the Angels and the Phillies. In 2011, the San Francisco Giants decided to give him a shot to revive his career with the team that drafted him. He showed his gratitude for the Giants each time he took the mound over the course of the 2011 season. He went 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA, was named to the All-Star team, and even received a Cy-Young vote. His 2011 season was one of the most inspirational things I have ever seen in professional sports. Watching Ryan Vogelsong go out every five days and dominated opposing lineups after all that he had been through to that point in his career.
The 2011 season was full of heartbreak for Giants fans, the team missed the playoffs the year after winning the World Series, and Buster Posey broke his leg. Going into the season, we were all incredibly hopeful that we would be World Series contenders again, we all witnessed the last year of Tim Lincecum’s dominance as a starter, and Brian Wilson’s last year of dominance as a reliever, but most importantly, we all witnessed how fantastic Ryan Vogelsong was every time he took the mound.
The 2012 season was full of hope and promise, and it ultimately ended in an unbelievable run to the World Series in which the team won six straight games while facing elimination. Throughout the regular season, Ryan Vogelsong was again great, going 14-9 with an ERA of 3.37, but he was even better once October rolled around. In the playoffs, Vogelsong was outstanding. He went 3-0 in 4 games while posting an ERA of 1.23, including 5.2 shutout innings in game three of the World Series.
After the 2012 season, Vogelsong would continue to perform for the Giants, and would go on to win another World Series in the 2014 season. During the playoffs in 2014, he tossed 5.2 innings of 1 run ball against the Washington Nationals. He would go on to play for the Giants again in 2015, and then play one more year in Pittsburgh in 2016.
Ryan Vogelsong won 48 games for the Giants, and also won two World Series rings, but he also provided fans like myself with more incredible memories than I can count. Vogelsong was an incredible Giant, and was one of the biggest reasons that I would watch the team play. We were all incredibly inspired by his story, and we all felt that we could be #VogelSTRONG.
Thank you, Ryan Vogelsong,