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J.T. Snow to take the field one last time as a Giant

Big League Stew

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The Giants have announced that 40-year-old J.T. Snow, who played first base for them from 1997 to 2005 and has not worn a major league uniform since 2006, has signed a "ceremonial contract" so that he may retire as a Giant.

And all was right in the world.

Wait. What in the name of the National Football League is a-goin' on here? Randall Cunningham (Philadelphia Eagles) and Jerry Rice (San Francisco 49ers) are among the legion of former football stars who signed similar deals so they could retire with their original teams.

This also seems like something hockey would do.

However, Snow and the Giants will do the NFL — and presumably the NHL — one better. The "ceremony" includes allowing Snow to suit up and take the field one last time at first base before being replaced by a current player before Saturday's first pitch against the Dodgers.

Giants general manager Brian Sabean says he respects Snow, who performs several different jobs within the organization and is thought to be a candidate for GM somewhere, someday. Sabean did not like that Snow's career, a solid one in which he hit .268 with 189 homers, ended unceremoniously in mid-2006 after the Red Sox cut him with all the ceremony of excising a hangnail.

"It's a good statement of what we think of him," Sabean said. "He is one of the most popular players and one of the truest professionals we've had in uniform."

There is no word on whether the grounds crew at AT&T Park will plant a cornfield in time for Snow to disappear into it.

The Giants also have yet to announce if Darren Baker, the young son of Reds manager Dusty Baker, has also accepted a ceremonial contract to be brought back to reenact the most famous moment of the '02 Series. It was in Game 5 that Snow whisked Baker, then three years old, out of harm's way after the little boy wandered near home plate to retrieve a bat as runners were scoring.

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