Apr 28, 2015

Former Met Infielder: Brian Giles (1982-1984)

Brian Jeffrey Giles was born on April 27, 1960 in Manhattan, Kansas.

He was the grandson of George Giles who played in the Negro Leagues from 1929-1937.

George Giles began his career with the Kansas City Monarchs at age 18 becoming their regular first baseman. George batted .292 in 1929 & was second in the league with seven triples. The scouting report on him said he was a fine glove man with limited power, but a good contact hitter.

That year he was the first Monarch to sit out due to contract disputes & eventually moved on to the St. Louis Stars, Homestead Grays & back to Kansas City. In 1935 he signed with the Brooklyn Eagles & batted .345 with seven steals (second in the league) & became the teams manager. He would move on to play for four other teams before retiring.

His grandson Brian Giles attended Kearney high school in San Diego & was signed by the New York Mets in the third round of the 1978 draft. Giles not known as a big hitter, batted .299 at A ball Lynchburg (1979) & .286 at AA Jackson (1980) getting pushed up to AAA Tidewater in 1981.

He made his MLB debut as defensive replacement in the 12th inning of a 4-2 Mets loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on September 12, 1982. He was back at Tidewater the next year returning to the Mets in August batting .210 behind a young Wall Backman at second.

Although the scrappy Backman batted .272, he made 16 errors & had a fallen out within the organization. So in 1983 the second base job was up for grabs in Spring Training. Giles won the position & played his only career full season for the ’83 Mets.

He hit .245 but showed speed with 17 stolen bases (4th on the speedy club) he hit 2 HRs with 15 doubles & 27 RBIs but posted a low .308 on base %. Giles posted .980 fielding % but made 14 errors & the next year he was in Tidewater & Wally Backman was back at second base in Shea Stadium. Giles did show good range & turned 87 double plays with his frequent DP partner 19 year old Jose Oquendo.

At the end of 1984 he was drafted (Rule V) by the Milwaukee Brewers, and then went to the Chicago White Sox for nine games in 1986. He spent the next three years in the minors before signing with the Seattle Mariner for 1990.

In 1990 he had a career day playing for the Mariners, hitting two HRs including a grand slam & seven RBIs in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays. In a six year career he batted .228 with 10 HRs 27 stolen base & 50 RBIs posting a .985 fielding %.

No comments: