July 24, 2021

2011: Ryan Vogelsong’s Cinderella story (McCovey Chronicles)


This month, as part of our decade retrospective, we’ll be looking back at the best thing to happen to the Giants each year of this decade. This is the pick for 2011.

I’m a sucker for comeback stories.

It’s arguably the best part of sports. It’s why Rocky won Best Picture over Martin Scorsese’s Joker prequel. It’s why people think about Bobby Thomson hitting a home run when they hear the phrase “the shot heard ’round the world.” It’s why players play until the final out.

That’s why I love Ryan Vogelsong. He’s not just the best thing to happen to the Giants in 2011—which, in retrospect, was a pretty miserable year—he’s also one of the greatest comeback stories ever.

I feel like I need to break that down a little bit. His comeback didn’t have the same dramatic highs as the 2012 NLCS, and he certainly didn’t have the casual, superstar charm of Buster Posey returning from a shattered leg to conquer the baseball world.

No, Vogelsong’s reunion with the Giants was grit personified. There wasn’t any talk about “reinventing himself”; there wasn’t some newfound skill set that gave him the edge he lacked before. He just showed up and started…

Read “2011: Ryan Vogelsong’s Cinderella story” at McCovey Chronicles