Jack Thomas "J. T." Snow Jr. (born February 26, 1968) is a former Major League Baseball player. He played all but two games in his career as a first baseman, and played nine of his 13½ seasons with the San Francisco Giants. He was known for his exceptional defense. After his retirement as a player, Snow worked in radio and television broadcasting. He has also worked as a special assistant to the general manager for the Giants.
|J. T. Snow|
Snow with the San Francisco Giants
|Born: February 26, 1968
Long Beach, California
|September 20, 1992, for the New York Yankees|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 27, 2008, for the San Francisco Giants|
|Runs batted in||877|
|Career highlights and awards|
His father, Jack, worked with JT at first base, throwing balls from shortshop purposely in the dirt to teach his son the trade of digging balls out of the dirt.
Snow attended Los Alamitos High School in Los Alamitos, California and was awarded All-Orange County honors in baseball, football, and basketball. He played safety his junior year (1984) and quarterback his senior year (1985) on the varsity football team. Receiver Rob Katzaroff set an Orange County record with 93 single-season receptions (a record which still stands after the 2017 season) while Snow played quarterback. On the basketball team, Snow played point guard. On the baseball team, Snow played with future Giants reliever Robb Nen and future UCLA Bruins outfielder Katzaroff. All three Griffin baseball players from the 1985 season were eventually drafted to play minor league baseball.
While a switch-hitter earlier in his career, Snow batted exclusively left-handed after 1998. In 2000, he led the league in sacrifice flies with 14. After a two-year injury-riddled stretch from 2002 to 2003 where his batting average was .246, Snow rebounded in 2004 with a .327 average, hitting .387 after the All-Star break (which ranked second only to Ichiro Suzuki in the Major Leagues).
In the 2000 National League Division Series against the New York Mets, with the Giants trailing 4–1 in the bottom of the ninth, Snow hit a three-run pinch-hit homer against Mets reliever Armando Benítez. However, the Giants failed to capitalize on their momentum, eventually falling in the 10th inning and going on to lose the series.
In the 2002 World Series, Snow was scoring a run in Game 5 off a Kenny Lofton triple and lifted 3-year-old Darren Baker, the Giants' batboy and son of then Giants’ manager Dusty Baker, by the jacket as he was crossing home plate. Darren had run out to collect Lofton's bat before the play was completed. This turned into a touching and memorable incident, but easily could have resulted in disaster with a small child wandering into the path of Snow and David Bell as they both barreled home to score. Following the incident with Darren Baker, Major League Baseball required batboys and girls to be at least 14 years of age. A photograph of this incident now hangs in the Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, New York.
In the 2003 National League Division Series against the Florida Marlins, with the Giants trailing 7–6 in Game 4 in the ninth inning, he attempted to score from second base on a single to left field, but Jeff Conine's throw to the plate came in time as catcher Ivan Rodriguez tagged Snow at the plate as Snow barreled into him, ending the game and the series. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first postseason series to end with the potential tying run thrown out at the plate.
Snow's tenure with the Giants effectively ended when the team declined to offer him salary arbitration before the 2006 season. He signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Boston Red Sox on January 6, 2006. After his father's death in 2006, Snow wore his father's number 84 in his honor. He served primarily in a platoon with Kevin Youkilis at first base until he requested to be designated for assignment due to a lack of playing time. He was granted his designation June 19, and was officially released eight days later.
At the end of the 2006 season, Snow retired from baseball and began working as a color commentator on Giants radio broadcasts alongside play-by-play announcer Dave Flemming. He has also served as an advisor to the Giants' general manager, Brian Sabean, and as a roving minor league instructor for the Giants. Since 2013, he has worked as a college baseball broadcaster for Pac-12 Network.
On September 24, 2008, the Giants signed Snow to a one-day contract to allow him to retire as a Giant. However, rather than immediately retiring after signing the symbolic contract and receiving no actual pay as is usually done, Snow was penciled into the starting lineup and took the field on September 27 against the Dodgers, but was replaced before the first pitch. It was a move that allowed Snow to officially take the field as a Giants player one last time. Eugenio Vélez, Omar Vizquel, and Rich Aurilia threw balls in the dirt to mess with Snow during fielding practice prior to the first pitch, but Snow still made the plays. For his brief official appearance, he received the prorated league minimum salary of $2,100.