Why Belt says 2021 was his 'favorite' season playing baseball originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Brandon Belt has experienced a lot in his 11-year MLB career with the Giants. However, there is one season in particular that remains at the forefront.
In an interview Wednesday on KNBR's "Tolbert & Copes" show, the two-time World Series champion explained how the 2021 MLB season stood out to him the most.
"I would say, as a whole, that was probably my favorite season I've ever played of baseball," Belt told hosts Tom Tolbert and FP Santangelo. "I mean, that was a lot of fun; it was just neck and neck really the entire season."
Belt explained how the Giants came into every game last season with extreme confidence, thinking they would win each night.
"That is something different that I've never experienced, a lot of people don't get to experience," Belt continued. "But you just knew coming to the field that you were going to win."
Of course, the 34-year-old understood that there were going to be some losses throughout the season but ultimately, it didn't matter because of the Giants' supreme confidence.
Moreover, Belt described competing against the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West title as what baseball is "all about."
"That's competition at its highest," Belt explained. "We're competitors and that's what we want to do; we want to compete against the best and that's what we were doing day in and day out.
"And that was the most fun I've had for an entire season in my baseball career."
Belt also was asked when he knew the Giants were legit contenders last season.
"I would say once you're going into June and you're in first place, you've done it for a couple months, you're like, 'OK, I think we're going to be a lot better than everybody thought we were going to be this year,' " Belt replied.
Belt noted that it was fun that the Giants kept winning and once the team got to the summer challenging the Dodgers for the best record in MLB, that was when the gravity of their success hit the team.
"Once you got into the first part of June, you're like, 'OK, this was legit. Let's keep on going and see what we can do this year,' and we did and it was just an awesome year," Belt concluded.
Not only did the Giants as a whole have an incredible year in 2021 -- winning a franchise-record 107 games, which was also tops in MLB -- but Belt himself had a year to remember.
In 91 games, the veteran slugged a career-high 29 home runs and drove in 59, slashing .274/.378/.597. His .975 OPS was the second-best of his career, with his best (1.015) coming during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season.
This year, however, was not the follow-up Belt and the rest of the Giants expected as he was ruled out for the remainder of the season after opting for knee surgery.
Despite a disappointing 2022 campaign, many around the organization believe that San Francisco would like to have Belt back next season.
Regardless of how this offseason plays out, at least Belt will have fond memories of the Giants' record-setting 2021 campaign.