SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – It’s an argument certain to trigger hours of bar room debates and generational rifts.
Who is the best sports team in San Francisco Bay Area history?READ MORE: Light Showers Forecast For North Bay With Chance of Sprinkles Further South
If you believe the recent avalanche of hype, it would appear to be the Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green Golden State Warriors.
But wait just a minute. The hard court fearsome foursome has yet to even win one title together so it’s just a bit premature for such a coronation.
Here are what we believe would be the three front runners for the Bay Area’s best of all time.
The Bill Walsh, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott led San Francisco 49ers of the 1980s
The dynastic 49ers of the 80s would be hard to argue against. In the decade, the 49ers won Super Bowl titles in 1982, 1985 and 1989 and added another in 1990
for good measure. Head Coach Bill Walsh became a NFL legend and Hall of Famer for his innovative offensive attack.
Montana, Rice, Lott and Fred Dean are also all in the Hall Of Fame for playing key roles in some or all of those victories.
Montana led 31 fourth-quarter comebacks during the decade including 92-yard game-winning drive in the closing moments of Super Bowl XXIII.
Rice is regarded by most to be the greatest wide receiver to have played the game. By the time he retired, the 13-time NFL Pro Bowler had set nearly every all-time record for wide receivers, including receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895) and touchdown receptions (197).
The Bruce Bochy, Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner led Giants
As odd – or maybe we should say even – as it sounds the San Francisco Giants have been unbeatable in the World Series in even number years since 2010.
The Giants head into the second half of the 2016 season with the best record in baseball, igniting thoughts among the San Francisco faithful that another World Series title in just a few months away.
And yes, it’s an even number year.
Posey won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2010, hit .375 in the National League Division series and was the first rookie to ever get four hits in a NLCS contest leading the Giants to a 6-5 win over the Phillies.READ MORE: UPDATE: CHP Deactivates Amber Alert After Children Found Safe in Modesto; Missing Woman Still Sought
In 2012, he was named the National League MVP and oddly enough was also voted the National League Comeback Player of the Year as the Giants rolled to another World Series crown.
No Giants fan will forget Bumgarner’s dominating performances on the way to the 2014 World Series crown and the World Series MVP award.
Bumgarner threw a four-hit, complete game shutout in Game 5 against Kansas City and then strolled in from the bullpen in Game 7 to quell a Royals rally and clinch the team’s third title with a five scoreless inning relief stint.
His World Series ERA (0.29) set an all-time record among pitchers who have at least 25 innings pitched. Bumgarner was also the first pitcher in Series history to pitch a shutout with no walks and at least eight strikeouts.
Not to be overlooked, Bochy is considered a master at using his bullpen and roster. The Giants have rolled to a 57-33 first half record despite having six key players on the disabled list.
The Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers A’s of the 1970s
The Oakland Athletics three-peat of World Series crowns in 1972, 1973 and 1974 has not been equaled in the more than 40 years that have followed.
Jackson, Hunter, Fingers and manager Dick Williams earned Major League Baseball Hall of Fame plaques in part because of their performances over that time span.
There were other notable stars on the roster that helped capture one or all of the titles including Vida Blue, Gene Tenace – the 1972 Series MVP, Ken Holtzman, Blue Moon Odom, Sal Bando and Joe Rudi.
Known for their flare and freewheeling style, the A’s beat the heavily favored Big Red Machine of the Cincinnati Reds in seven games in the 1972 Series. Three of the Oakland wins came on the Reds home field.
In 1973, Oakland rallied from a 3-to-2 game deficit to capture the World Series title over the New York Mets. Jackson not only won the regular season American League RBI crown but also the World Series MVP award.
In the 1974 Series, Oakland topped the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games as Fingers proved to be nearly unhittable in late inning relief. He was awarded the Series MVP award for his efforts.MORE NEWS: Santa Rosa Police Investigate Stabbing of 2 Teen Girls at Recent Sideshow
So who is the best team in Bay Area history? Let the debate begin.