Clarke on Giants jersey retirement: ‘This is my Hall of Fame’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayria
SAN FRANCISCO — On Thursday night, Will Clark watched the Giants take on the Chicago Cubs from a suite on the third level of Oracle Park. If he had turned at any point and looked two hundred feet to his left, he would have seen a very good sign of what was to come.
The Giants have already cleared space on their wall of retired numbers, covering a plank with a black cloth that sits between 20 and 24. On Saturday, the Giants will – finally – retire Clarke’s No. 22, and one of the most popular players in franchise history can’t wait. During an interview for the upcoming Giants Talk podcast, Clark said the ceremony would be one of the best moments of his career.
“I didn’t think it was going to happen because the Giants’ policy was that you have to be a Hall of Famer,” Clark said. “Then when he retired the Barry (Bonds) number a few years back, needless to say, that kind of opened the door. The Giants approached me in 2019 and I thought it was the greatest honor I could get to be a Giant. as can be found.
“You’ll hear it on Saturday, but it’s my Hall of Fame. That’s how I’m treating it.”
Clarke, now a special assistant to the organization, will be the 11th player to be retired by the number Giants. Fans have battled for the honors over the years, but the Giants didn’t inform Clarke about their decision until 2019.
The ceremony was originally scheduled to take place in July of 2020, but the pandemic canceled those plans. Mario Aliotto, the veteran executive vice president of business operations, kept in regular contact with Clark, and early last year—when there was still uncertainty about ballpark safety—he informed him that it would be pushed back another year to guarantee. Maybe the Giants could have a full house on Clark’s big day.
It was perfect in the end. Clarke’s 22 will be retired in 2022, slipping between Monte Irvine’s 20 and Willie Mays’s 24. The Giants expect a host of other veterans, including Bruce Bocchi, Orlando Cepeda and Buster Posey, to have their jerseys at home on Saturday. retirement ceremony at some point.
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Clark said that at least a half-dozen former Giants teammates are coming for the event and that many of his family members will be at Oracle Park. He said the anticipation has been “building up” for the past two years as he looked forward to this day.
“Now that it’s here I’m very ready,” he said. “I am ready for it. All my family and friends who are coming out are very much looking forward to it and coming here and having a great time. I really want to share it with them and share it with everyone I want to. Fans too.”
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