SAN FRANCISCO -- Travis Ishikawa revealed Friday that the Giants actually tried to keep him within their organization after last season, which he spent at Triple-A Fresno.
But Ishikawa, a homegrown Giant who played on the 2010 World Series-winning team, chose to avoid the first-base glut that includes Aubrey Huff, Brandon Belt and Brett Pill. That led Ishikawa to sign with Milwaukee as a free agent last December. Despite being a non-roster player in Spring Training, Ishikawa made the Opening Day squad.
"It came down to trying to figure out the best scenario for me," said Ishikawa, who spent 10 seasons in the Giants system and still lives in Danville during the offseason. "I felt like Milwaukee was my best chance to make the club and be able to contribute at the big league level."
Speaking nearly three hours before Friday's first pitch, Ishikawa admitted that his heart and mind were stirred by facing his former team.
"I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to feel tonight," said Ishikawa, who started at first base and batted seventh. "I've been excited all day today."
Ishikawa's primary postseason contribution in 2010 occurred in Game 3 of the Division Series at Atlanta, when he drew a pinch-hit walk in the ninth inning and scored the tying run. The Giants proceeded to win, 3-2. Ishikawa also started at first base in Game 4 of the World Series, which the Giants won, 4-0.
"Gosh, you win the World Series, that's something you're never going to forget," Ishikawa said.