“The Giants are paying me millions of dollars to pitch a few innings every couple days. And they think I’m crazy!”
That’s how reliever Greg Minton described his role as a one or two-inning pitcher for San Francisco in the late 1970s and 1980s. Minton was a tall, skinny righthander who used his curve ball to great effectiveness, saving between 19 and 30 games every season from 1980-1984.
He was at his best in 1982 when the Giants fought to the final weekend of the season for the AL West division title. That year he appeared in 78 games, finishing 66, saving 30, and posting a stingy 1.83 ERA in 123 innings. In August he went nearly three weeks without allowing a run, saving six games and winning another for the G-Men.
In 1983 Minton and lefthander Gary Lavelle became the first teammates to both record 20 saves, with Minton recording 22 and Lavelle 20.