Worst Venues: Candlestick Park

Dave Finocchio@@DaveFinocchioSenior Writer INovember 25, 2007

Icon Sports MediaThe City of San Francisco built Candlestick Park for fifteen million dollars in 1960.

In my book, fifteen million for 40 years of misery is a small price to pay. 

Growing up in the moderate climate of Northern California, most kids have it pretty easy. We don't shovel snow, our outdoor toys take years to rust, and we rarely complain the rare cloud from May through October.

What's the word I'm looking for...? Ah, yes—soft. We grow up spoiled and soft.

Except in one way: baseball games.

Before Pac Bell Park opened in 2000—young Giants' fans got their first take of Major League Baseball at Candlestick Park. Talk about a classic hazing experience.

"The Stick" was where warm summer nights come to die. 

There was nothing quite like spending a day in July running around in 80 degree plus weather—only to catch a 7:30 pm game at Candlestick Point.

Shorts needed not apply. Candlestick nights called for layers, a winter jacket and blankets. 

This concrete palace was God's gift to swirling, bone-chilling winds. The kind that swept right through the seems of a Goretex wind-breaker. It was just like a little piece of Antarctica in South San Francisco.  

Instead of watching a baseball game, your eyes inevitably focused on the tornadoes of plastic bags and wrappers that would whip there way around the stadium at all levels.

For Bay Area kids, a Giants game wasn't about putting your feet up—it was about enduring a character-building three hours of suffering—and then going home to tell everyone that you had a great time.

And sometimes you did. But no thanks to Candlestick Park in the summer—where Eskimos freeze and the ghost of Will Clark still rules with a squeaky-high voice and an iron-fist.