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Tim Lincecum: New Face of the San Francisco Giants

Tim Lincecum may end up the greatest Giants pitcher ever Tim Lincecum may end up the greatest Giants pitcher ever

Tim Lincecum is just what the San Francisco Giants needed in the wake of the Barry Bonds era – someone likeable to lead the team. In contrast to the bald, muscle-bound and surly Bonds, Lincecum is a shaggy-haired, tall and lanky, small-town kid, who comes off genuine and humble. The two-time Cy Young-winner made his post-season debut by pitching a shut out against the Atlanta Braves this month. That’s more good news for Bay Area baseball fans.

Lincecum grew up in Bellevue, Washington, just outside of Seattle in the Pacific Northwest. And he’s never strayed from the West Coast. Lincecum played NCAA ball in Seattle for the University of Washington Huskies. He became the first baseball player in that school’s history to be selected in the first round of the MLB draft when the San Francisco Giants scooped him up in 2006.

He quickly worked his way up through the Giants’ farm system, another series of West Coast teams, before making his major League debut in 2007 against the Philadelphia Phillies. He was called up mid-season that year.

The next year he won the 2008 Cy Young as the National League’s best pitcher, becoming the first second-year player to take the honor in over two decades. He was also only the second Giant to win the award.

In 2009, his streak of dominance continued. Among his accomplishments that year was a streak of twenty-nine scoreless innings. He made history that year when he won his second consecutive Cy Young, becoming the first pitcher in history to capture the award in each of his first two full seasons in the majors.

By the end of the 2010 regular season, Lincecum had won his third consecutive National League strikeout title, while throwing more Ks than any other MLB pitcher in his first four seasons.

Naturally, he got the start when the Giants hit the playoffs. He stepped up against the Atlanta Braves, pitching a complete game, earning a shut out, and setting a franchise record for post-season strikeouts with 14.

Bay Area ball fans love Tim Lincecum, but the pitcher has also earned the admiration of baseball pundits around the continent. The San Francisco Giants spent a good chunk of their recent history as the scorn of the MLB for harboring steroid slugger Barry Bonds. Although the hometown fans didn’t seem to have a problem getting behind Bonds on his record-breaking homerun streak, they must be a little more at ease rooting for the likes of Lincecum, who can win games without bringing shame to his team. At last, Giants fans can hold their heads high.

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Last modified on Thursday, 30 June 2011 05:18

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

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