In Memoriam: Candlestick Park
Last night we said goodbye to the historic Candlestick Park in San Francisco as it hosted it’s last game. The San Francisco 49ers took on the Atlanta Falcons during the Park’s record 36th Monday Night Football game. Although the first half of the game was looking a little bleak for the 49ers, they turned it around in the second half and, after a few close calls, came out on top winning 34-24.
In light of the buildings closing and subsequent demolishing, let’s take a look back at the history and the memories that Candlestick Park has given us since it’s opening in 1960.
HISTORY (winners of games in bold):
1958, August 12th– Ground broken on the new home of the MLB’s Giants, who were making the transition from the east coast as the “New York Giants” to their new title as the “San Francisco Giants.”
1960, April 12th– Opening day of Candlestick Park. The first pitch was thrown by the Vice President, a man by the name of Richard Nixon.
1960-1– The Oakland Raiders played their last three games of the 1960 season here and used the stadium for the entirety of their 1961 season as well.
1961– The first All Star game of 1961 was played there and the winds at the stadium were usually strong but never strong enough to knock someone over. Until today! Giants pitcher Stu Miller was blown off balance by a huge gust of wind (and subsequently charged with a balk!)
1962 World Series (NY Yankees v. San Fran. Giants)
1963– That nasty wind strikes again! This time picking up an entire batting cage during a New York Mets batting practice and dropping it 60 feet from the pitchers mound.
1966, August 29th– The Beatles perform their last full concert at Candlestick Park.
1970-1- CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS. Preparations were being made to convert the stadium into the San Francisco 49ers new home (previously held at Kezar Stadium.) Extra stands were built around the outfield and astro turf was added. (Later to be removed in 1978, and replaced with a bluegrass surface.)
1971 National League Championship Series (Pittsburg Pirates v. San Fran. Giants)
1982 NFC Championship Game (49ers v. Dallas Cowboys)
1984 All Star Games
1985 NFC Championship Game (49ers v. Chicago Bears)
1987 National League Championship Series (St. Louis Cardinals v. San Fran. Giants)
1989 National League Championship Series (Chicago Cubs v. San Fran. Giants)
The 1989 World Series was to be held at Candlestick with the San Francisco Giant’s taking on their Bay rivals the Oakland A’s, (Oakland A’s v. San Fran. Giants) but was postponed due to a 7.1 earthquake. Although the earthquake (and it’s massive 5.2 aftershocks) destroyed bridges, roadways, and homes, with a total of 63 deaths and 3,757 injures, Candlestick held it’s ground. By some miracle, the structure received minimal cracks and damages and no one inside the structure was injured. Many credit the World Series and Candlestick for saving so many lives. Since the World Series was on, people left their jobs to watch or be at the World Series, therefore, when the quake struck at 5:04pm, the roadways were less trafficked than they would have been during a normal work day.
1990 NFC Championship Game (49ers v. St. Louis Rams)
1991 NFC Championship Game (49ers v. NY Giants)
1993 NFC Championship Game (49ers v. Dallas Cowboys)
1995 NFC Championship Game (49ers v. Dallas Cowboys)
1997 National League Division Series (Florida Marlins v. San Fran. Giants.)
2000– The San Francisco Giants leave Candlestick to play on their new home field of Pacific Bell Park (Now At&T Park), now leaving the 49ers as the sole pro sports team to use the stadium.
2011, December 11th– A transformer blows out before the 49ers MNF game against the Pittsburg Steelers causing a power outage postponing the game for over a half an hour. The lights came back on and the game resumed, until to stop once again in the second quarter when the power went out a second time, which delayed the game another 20 minutes.
2012 NFC Championship Game (49ers v. NY Giants)
2013, December 23rd– the 49ers play their 36th and final Monday Night Football game at Candlestick against the Atlanta Falcons, beating them 34-24.
-Candlestick was notorious for being windy and cold. So much so that the Giants awarded special pins to fans that stayed for extra innings. The pins at the Giants “SF” monogram (comically dusted with snow) and the slogan “veni, vidi, vixi” which is Latin for “I came, I saw, I survived.”
-The first modern baseball stadium and the first to be built entirely of reinforced concrete.
“Cave of the Winds”
some even called it “The Dump” in honor of the previous use of the land before the stadium was built.
“Best and Worst Memories at Candlestick”
3 minutes of sadness is followed by 8 minutes of greatness in this video about the 49ers history at Candlestick Park.