Giants sign Snow to one-day contract
First baseman will take field on Saturday prior to first pitch
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will start their seventh first baseman of the year Saturday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers. But it'll be a purely ceremonial and highly fitting roster decision.J.T. Snow will technically come out of retirement and take the field so he can re-retire as a Giant, fulfilling a wish he shared with general manager Brian Sabean. Although Snow spent nine seasons with the Giants (1997-2005), he last played with the Boston Red Sox in 2006. "I think sometimes from a personal and professional standpoint, things need closure," Sabean said at an AT&T Park news conference on Wednesday. "I don't think anybody that has ever been associated with J.T. as a Giant would want anything but what we're attempting to do." During the news conference, Snow signed a one-day contract -- which pays him approximately $2,100, the pro-rated Major League single-day minimum -- that will take effect on Saturday. Noting that the Giants contacted the Commissioner's Office to request permission to honor Snow in this manner, Sabean said that although he can't guarantee the details, Snow and the rest of the Giants lineup will hit the field a few minutes earlier than usual. He'll then leave the field at an appropriate time before the first pitch so the fans can shower him with an ovation. "I'll get out of there as quickly as I can," Snow jokingly said. Sabean said that he and Snow discussed participating in a game. But a chance remains that the Dodgers will still be trying to clinch the National League West. Under that circumstance, a Snow appearance would besmirch the game's integrity.
"This is probably the more respectful way to do it," Sabean said.Merely trotting on and off the field will suffice for Snow.
"It's exciting for me," said Snow, 40, who Sabean drafted in 1989 during his tenure as the New York Yankees' scouting director. "This is where I grew up as a player. ... This is going to be a fun day."Sabean said that he began thinking about unretiring Snow last year, although this season was a more suitable time to execute the plan, since the Giants are observing the 50th anniversary of their inaugural campaign in San Francisco. Sabean finally approached Snow with the idea earlier this month. "I was shocked; I was surprised," Snow said. "It's a neat feeling." Snow, a six-time Gold Glove Award winner who hit .268 with 189 home runs and 877 RBIs in 15 seasons with the Yankees, Angels, Giants and Red Sox, ranks among the Giants' San Francisco-era top 15 in batting average (12th, .273), games (seventh, 1,182), at-bats (12th, 3,822), runs (12th, 561), hits (11th, 1,043), doubles (eighth, 228), home runs (14th, 124), RBIs (eighth, 615) and walks (fifth, 565). Snow and right-hander Mike Krukow are the only two-time recipients of the "Willie Mac Award," given annually to the Giants' most inspirational player. Snow won it in 1997 and 2004.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.