1960: Candlestick Park Opens

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The opening of a new baseball stadium became big news in San Francisco on April 12, 1960.  Candlestick Park, built as the permanent home of the former New York Giants baseball team, made its debut.

The Giants moved to San Francisco two years earlier, bringing with them 14 league championships and 5 World Series titles. Any hopes of the team returning to the Polo Grounds ended when the facility heralded as the first modern baseball stadium opened its gates, two years before Dodger Stadium welcomed the relocated Bums from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.

The original Candlestick Park lacked tall outfield grandstands, meaning baseball fans could enjoy a view of San Francisco Bay. It also meant windy weather often led to a difficult game day experience for the players.  Ten years passed before the stadium was completely enclosed to welcome the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers.  But the swirling winds still played havoc with stick-and-ball sports throughout the stadium’s major league tenure.

Candlestick Park is noted as the first baseball stadium built with reinforced concrete.  That decision proved its worth in 1989, when fans arrived for the third game of that year’s World Series.  The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake struck San Francisco minutes before the first pitch.  No one was injured at Candlestick Park, and the stadium suffered minor damage.  It went on to host the rescheduled Game 3 ten days later.

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