Ripper knows hit-streak record vulnerable

Ripper knows hit-streak record vulnerable

Ripper knows hit-streak record vulnerable
SAN FRANCISCO -- Pablo Sandoval hit safely in the season's first 20 games. Then Angel Pagan sustained a streak that matched the length of Sandoval's. Monday night, Melky Cabrera's 11-game hitting streak dissolved, but that didn't obscure the fact that he ranked among the hottest hitters in the Majors.

So Jack Clark senses that somebody will someday eclipse the 26-game hitting streak he built in 1978, which remains the Giants' longest since they moved from New York to San Francisco in 1958.

"Oh, eventually it'll be broken. Absolutely," Clark said Tuesday of his record. "If it was up in the mid-30s or something I would think it would last, but I'm surprised it lasted this long. ... I'm very proud to have had it for as long as I've had it and to do it while playing in Candlestick Park, which was a difficult place to play."

Clark, who's involved in broadcasting in St. Louis, said that preserving his streak never preoccupied him. For one thing, that happened to be the summer when Cincinnati's Pete Rose hit safely in 44 consecutive games.

"So nobody paid much attention to my streak," Clark said.

Also, Clark never tried to flip pitches to the opposite field just to get a single.

"I was trying to hit it out of the park," said Clark, whose all-out hacks earned him the nickname "Jack the Ripper."

Clark, who led San Francisco in home runs four times (1978, 1980-82), often sacrificed consistency for power.

"You're counted on to take your shots at a two- or three-run home run early or late in the game. It's not that easy, that's for sure," he said.

In that sense, the free-swinging Sandoval reminds Clark of himself.

"He lets it fly," Clark said in admiration. "And that's what the fans like. They don't come to see Pablo Sandoval or Jack Clark turn into a Punch-and-Judy hitter. I'd rather not have a hitting streak than be tagged with that, you know?"