SAN FRANCISCO — It’s been nearly two years since Madison Bumgarner last wore a Giants uniform, but the team’s fans haven’t forgotten what he accomplished during his tenure in San Francisco.
Those who watched Bumgarner pitch for the Giants never will.
In his first appearance in a Diamondbacks uniform in front of fans at Oracle Park since leaving the Giants in free agency in December, 2019, Bumgarner received a long standing ovation from a crowd that remains eternally grateful for the three World Series titles he helped bring the franchise.
At the end of the second inning on Tuesday, the Giants played Bumgarner’s old warmup song, “Fire on the Mountain” by the Marshall Tucker Band, over the Oracle Park speakers and showed Bumgarner standing in the first base dugout on the video board.
Standing-O for Madison Bumgarner pic.twitter.com/1GQGe9XcJ1
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) August 11, 2021
Giants fans rose to their feet to cheer on Bumgarner, who tipped his cap to the crowd before stepping over the dugout railing. The left-hander put his hand over his heart and continued waving to fans.
A man who needs no introduction. pic.twitter.com/vQvBtO2hDK
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) August 11, 2021
Bumgarner returned to San Francisco and started against the Giants as a member of the Diamondbacks last year, but no fans were allowed at regular season MLB games due to COVID-19. In Arizona’s first trip to Oracle Park this season, Bumgarner was on the injured list and didn’t travel with the team.
In an interview last week, Bumgarner told MLB.com he was glad he wasn’t pitching against the Giants during this week’s two-game series.
“It’s a special place to me,” Bumgarner said. “I played there for a long time and did some pretty cool things there, so I’m excited to go back. Last year I played there, but there were no fans and it was cool to be back there, but a little bit strange at the same time without fans. I’m honestly looking forward to it.”
During a four-game series between the clubs in Arizona last week, Bumgarner tossed seven innings of one-run ball against his old team in the only game the Diamondbacks won.
Since signing a five-year, $85 million deal with Arizona, Bumgarner has posted a 5.06 ERA in 26 starts and has missed time in each of the last two years due to injury. The former Giants ace may be starting to turn a corner, however, as he owns a 1.97 ERA in five starts since returning from the injured list after the All-Star break.
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Author: Kerry Crowley