A native of Puerto Rico, Jose Pagan broke into the major leagues with the San Francisco Giants in 1959 originally as a third baseman. His ability to cover a wider range along with a strong throwing arm enabled the Giants management to move him to the shortstop position, where he remained for the rest of his 6-plus years tenure with San Francisco, 1959-1965.
Jose Pagan was a well-regarded defensive player and showed patience in the batters box. In 1962 his all-around play helped the SF Giants win the NL pennant, and in the World Series in a losing cause to the Yankees he led both teams with a .368 batting average, with 7 hits in 19 at bats, one homer, 2 Runs and 2 RBI. In the regular 1962 season Jose Pagan batted .259, compiled a .315 on base pct, lined 38 extra base hits, drew 47 bases on balls, 77 Ks, scored 73 runs and had 57 RBI. Traded to Pittsburgh in mid-1965, he was then moved to third base.