#%#@! Candlestick Park… The much maligned structure, where the winds howled and crowds roared. But when it really mattered, the old stadium stood tall the day the ground shook and saved thousands of lives. Great moments. Great misery. Great times…
“If Willie Mays hadn’t played at Candlestick Park he would have hit 800 home runs.”
– Bob Stevens, San Francisco Chronicle
October 3, 1982: My future wife and I attend our first (of many) Giants games. Lil’ Joe Morgan crushes the ball and Tommy Lasorda’s Dodgers with one swing of the bat! And man did I have a crush on Nancy or what? Were still together and going to Giants games coming up on 30 years now.
Opening Night 1991: Fireworks lined the right field chalk line and went off after the National Anthem. Well the wind blew the smoke and flaming embers into the stands causing the first ten rows to scamper for cover. After the smoke cleared, the game was a dud, as the Giants lost to the Dodgers 1-2. I never saw fireworks along the foul lines again. And fortunately their weren’t many more Opening Nights at the ‘Stick.
I remember seeing Matt Williams absolutely crush a ball in ’94 or ’95 that would have been a high majestic home run in any other park. On this windy night at Candlestick it died in the left fielder’s glove on the warning track
“Sitting in the dugout at Candlestick is like sitting in the bottom of a toilet. All that tissue blows in, and no one flushes it.”
– Whitey Herzog, former St. Louis Cardinal manager
The end of Beatlemania: On August 29, 1966 The Beatles took to the stage at 9.27pm, and performed 11 songs: Rock And Roll Music, She’s A Woman, If I Needed Someone, Day Tripper, Baby’s In Black, I Feel Fine, Yesterday, I Wanna Be Your Man, Nowhere Man, Paperback Writer and Long Tall Sally. The breezy concert lasted just 33 minutes. And John strummed the intro guitar notes of “In My Life” just prior to leaving the stage.
I wasn’t there but I read the book… July 2, 1963: Juan Marichal and Warren Spahn duel in the greatest pitched game in Candlestick history Both pitchers go the distance and Marichal winds up with the 1-0 “W” when Willie Mays homers of Spahn in the 16th inning!
“Giant players who leave Candlestick act like they’ve been paroled from Devil’s Island.”
– Bob Knepper (traded to the Astros)
The stadium everyone hated saved tens of thousands people on October 17, 1989. Because Candlestick did not buckle or crumple under the stress of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake, everyone there was able to walk out alive. Candlestick was the true MVP (Most Valuable Park) of the 1989 World Series. I was there with my brother Mike that day. An hour earlier he had just come over from the East Bay on the Cypress Freeway , which did collapse.
“Vini Vidi Vixi” – “I came. I saw. I survived.”
– John Crawford, Copywriter