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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jeffrey Leonard, Former Giant, Aims to Dance With the Stars

Posted By on Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 2:18 PM

click to enlarge He's a dancing man...
  • He's a dancing man...

Can HacMan become a dancing man?

Jeffrey Leonard, a gent whose name induces palpable waves of San Francisco Giants nostalgia among the put-upon faithful, is looking to put a new spin on his legacy. And a swing. And a dip.

The former outfielder, best remembered for his MVP performance in the ill-fated 1987 National League Championship Series, has announced that he's got happy feet -- and aims to compete on a forthcoming season of Dancing With the Stars.

That'd mark quite a turnaround for "HacMan," who was also known as "Penitentiary Face" during his playing days due to his perpetual scowl and surly demeanor.

Leonard played parts of eight seasons in San Francisco, and was an All-Star in '87. But he carved his name into Giants lore in the NLCS that year, when he slammed a homer in four consecutive games and trotted around the bases with his right arm dangling limply at his side -- "one flap down."

That wasn't enough to beat the St. Louis Cardinals, however. The Giants blew Games 6 and 7, sealing one more epic failure in the team's pained San Francisco legacy -- which, thankfully, changed forever with last year's World Series triumph.

Leonard's MVP performance in a losing cause made him something of a tragic figure in Giants fans' collective memory. But the team's status as champs, and, perhaps, the future sight of Leonard dancing away on national TV will go a long way toward hacking away those recollections once and for all.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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