Great spot for a ball park… Not!
APRIL 12, 1960 – The first major league baseball game played in
San Francisco did not portend well for
Park, the Giants new home. There was a protest in the 3rd inning – from the umpires. They discovered the foul poles were not on the foul line. They were inside fair territory. The game was played nonetheless and the Giants beat the
St. Louis Cardinals 3 – 1. Sam Jones pitched a 3-hitter for the Giants. The umpires did not protest.
The out of place foul poles were just two of many problems to occur at “The Stick,” most of which were due to natural phenomena. It was simply not a suitable place to build a ballpark. Unfortunately New York Giants owner Horace Stoneham didn’t know that when he toured the site on a beautiful day in 1957. San Francisco Mayor George Christopher promised that the city would build a ballpark at Candlestick Point if
Stoneham would make his New York Giants the first tenants.
Stoneham didn’t know, and presumably Mayor Christopher didn’t volunteer, was that the sun isn’t the only thing that goes down at sunset. The temperature plummets too, and the fog rolls in.
This made for some interesting events at Candlestick. For example, during the 1961 All Star game, Giants pitcher Stu Miller was blown off the mound. In 1963, New York Mets Manager Casey Stengel took his squad out for batting practice, only to watch a gust of wind pick up the entire batting cage and drop it on the pitcher’s mound, 60 feet away.
The most memorable phenomena was an earthquake during the 1989 World Series, but the stadium actually weathered that event quite well.