The Giants First Game in San Francisco
Updated: Oct 15, 2020
April 15, 1958 was the perfect day for baseball. The sun was shining bright and a crowd of 23,448 had gathered in Seals Stadium to witness history. Major League Baseball had entered the West Coast and was here to stay. What better inauguration than one of the game’s oldest rivalries? Both the Giants and Dodgers were loaded with talent young and old. The Dodgers had players such as Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax. The Giants fielded a talented team with names such as Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda and Ruben Gomez.
The game started off promising for the Giants when Gomez struck out Gino Cimoli for the first at bat on the West Coast. After Reese grounded out, Snider forced a walk. Gil Hodges ended the top of the first inning with a ground out. Don Drysdale started on the mound for the Dodgers that day and he played well in the first inning getting three quick outs.
Things deteriorated quickly for the Dodgers starting in the bottom of the third inning. First, Drysdale walked both Danny O’Connell and Valmy Thomas. Ruben Gomez smelled blood and hit a single to load the bases. Jim Davenport made history with a sacrifice fly to right field giving O’Connell the opportunity to score the first run on the West Coast in Major League Baseball history. Jim King was swept up in the moment and hit a single to right field with Thomas making the score 2-0. Drysdale quickly ended the inning on a couple of fly balls which were caught.
The fourth inning began with Gomez striking out Dick Gray. Gomez elected to walk Carl Furillo before Rube Walker grounded into a double play to abruptly end the top of the inning.
Orlando Cepeda was immediately tagged out on a flyball but Daryl Spencer made everyone forget when he hit a homerun. O’Connell grounded out before Thomas drew a walk.
The fifth inning was one sided as three Dodgers went up and three Dodgers got out. Cepeda made Don Bessent pay and launched a homerun to centerfield, giving the Giants a commanding 7-0 lead.
The sixth and seventh innings were pitcher's duels and drew little excitement as neither team scored. The eighth inning saw Willie Kirkland hit a Ron Negray throw for a single. Jim King scored on that play to essentially end the game. The Giants won the first Major League Baseball game on the West Coast 8-0 and started to win over the hearts of San Francisco.