Oct. 01, 2016
On This Day (1999) Giants Played Last Game at Candlestick
Candlestick Park opened on April 12, 1960. It was widely applauded. The Sporting news called it, "simply wonderful, marvelous, ubeliveable. Baseball has never known anything like it."
It was the home field of the San Francisco Giants from 1960 until the end of the 1999 season when the team moved to AT&T. Factoid- the only thing moved from Candlestick to AT&T was both foul poles, the fog horn and home plate. The Giants lost their last game at Candlestick on Sept. 30, 1999 to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 9-4, before 61,389 fans.
It was also home to the San Francisco 49ers from 1971 to 2013.
Candlestick was the first to be built of reinforced concrete and it was the first major league ballpark since Cleveland's Municipal Stadium (The Mistake by the Lake) was built in 1931.
Ground was broken in 1958 for the stadium and the Giants selected the name of Candlestick Park, after a name-the-park contest on March 3, 1959. Prior to the choice of the name, its construction site had been shown on maps as the generic Bay View Stadium.
As a baseball field, the stadium was infamous for the windy conditions, damp air and dew from fog, and chilly temperatures. The wind often made it difficult for outfielders trying to catch fly balls, as well as for fans, while the damp grass further complicated play for outfielders who had to play in cold, wet shoes. Architect John Bolles designed the park with a boomerang-shaped concrete baffle in the upper tier to protect the park from wind. Unfortunately, it never worked.
During the first All Star Game of 1961 (one of two played in the park—the other was in 1984), Giants pitcher Stu Miller was blown off balance by a gust of wind and was charged with a balk. Two years later, wind picked up the entire batting cage and dropped it 60 feet (18 m) away on the pitcher's mound while the New York Mets were taking batting practice.
The stadium also had the reputation as the coldest park in Major League Baseball. It was initially built with a radiant heating system of hot water pipes under the lower box seats in a space between the concrete and the ground. The pipes were not embedded in the concrete, however, and did not produce enough heat to offset the cold air. However, it was nothing a few frosty beers couldn't solve!