Thurm: End of an era at Candlestick Park

From SABR member Wendy Thurm at Sports on Earth on July 10, 2014:

On a cold, foggy night on Aug. 29, 1966, The Beatles played their last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Eleven songs, lasting a bit more than an hour, and then, the end. The end of the concert and the end of The Beatles. This August, Paul McCartney will perform at Candlestick. It will likely be a cold, foggy night because that’s what happens in August in San Francisco. When McCartney is finished, it will be the end of the concert and the end of Candlestick.

The stadium is being torn down, having outlived its usefulness as a multi-sport complex that was home to the San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49ers for years. Demolition will begin sometime this fall. With any sense of history, the demolition crew will schedule some earth-shattering jack-hammering for Oct. 17, just past 5 p.m. That would mark 25 years to the day after the Lomo Prieta earthquake violently shook the San Francisco Bay Area as the Giants and their cross-bay rivals, the Oakland Athletics, were preparing to start Game 3 of the 1989 World Series.

Candlestick vibrated and rattled and shook and swayed. There was chaos and confusion as 50,000 fans, players, coaches and broadcasters made their way out of the stadium. Then came news that a section of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge had collapsed, and the stunning realization that the World Series had likely saved hundreds if not thousands of lives, because fans were watching the game, and not on the bridge at what typically would have been rush hour.

The game was postponed, of course, and the Series didn’t resume until 10 days later. The delay made no difference to the A’s. Oakland had taken the first two games at home and blew out the Giants in Game 3 by the score of 13-7. The next day, the A’s finished off San Francisco with a 9-6 victory, for their fourth World Series championship since moving to Oakland from Kansas City in 1968.

The earth shook, but Oakland’s baseball supremacy in the Bay Area remained rock solid.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: July 11, 2014. Last Updated: July 11, 2014.