04 February 2011
Countdown to Scottsdale #15: Eli Whiteside, C
Little did I realize at the time that was Eli's first MLB appearance since 2005. Little did any of us know the impact he would have on the next two years of Giants baseball. You'll recall the night that Eli became Jonathan Sanchez's personal catcher. It was the same night Dirty held the Padres without a hit at AT&T Park. Yes, that's right: The lone Giants no-hitter in the past 35 years was caught by none other than Eli Whiteside. He should thank his lucky stars from here to eternity that Bengie Molina's wife went into labor that night. After that, Eli had his spot in the catching rotation — and his place in Giants lore — secured. And as Big Money began to slowly deteriorate, the simple country boy from Mississippi became more and more of a fixture on this team.
Then came Gerald "Buster" Posey. And the rest, as they say, is history. Eli did his best to get some playing time after Bengie was traded away to the Rangers and Gerald became the everyday backstop. He even fought his way into a few games during the dog days to give a breather to the future Rookie of the Year. But by the end of September, Young Goodman Whiteside was pretty much an afterthought. He can always brag to $126M man Barry Zito that he made the postseason roster, but he didn't make it into a single game. Regardless, he was there to share in the champagne shower when it was all said and done, and he deserved every moment.