On Saturday, the San Francisco Giants retired the number of Mississippi State legend Will Clark, best known at Magnolia State for his role in the “Thunder and Lightning” tandem.
During a pregame ceremony at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Clark became the 11th San Francisco Giant to have his number retired. The Giants placed Clark’s number 22 between Major League Baseball phenoms at Monte Irvin and Willie Mays, who wore numbers 20 and 24, respectively.
Although the Giants typically retire the number of players who are members of the MLB Hall of Fame, the team changed their protocol in 2018 when they retired Barry Bonds’ number and essentially decided to give Clark the same honor.
“This is my Hall of Fame. It’s incredible to be recognized with the incredible names of this historic franchise,” Clark said during his retirement speech. “I always wanted to win and make others around me winners. We all did that together here. I’m Will ‘the Thrill’ Clark, I’m a part of San Francisco and I’m a giant forever.”
The Giants originally planned to hold Clark’s retirement ceremony in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused the event to be postponed by two years. The delay seemed a little random, as the retirement came in 2022, 22 years after Clark’s last game as a Giant and one honoring the number 22.
During his 15-year MLB career, Clark appeared in six All-Star games, won two Silver Slugger Awards, won a Golden Glove Award and hit 284 home runs.