Sunday, December 22, 2013

Goodbye, CandleStick Park

I only ever got to go to one 49er game (the only NFL game I've really ever been to, actually) and it was a preseason game against Seattle in '96 I think it was. Naturally,  the Niners won that game.
( side story: I gotten trouble after I got home from the game because I lied and told my mom that The bus I was taking home didn't show up till later, however we stayed and were on "the point after" post game show on KTVU. Since we are in the front and my mom watch the game she saw me on TV and caught me. Grounded for two weeks for lying.)

But for me, memories of BEING at candlestick ( or 3com or whatever they changed it too then changed it back to...) will ALWAYS be about San Francisco Giants baseball. 

I can remember, Clearly, in 1990 when my cousin Michael took me to my first game at The Stick. I was in the fourth grade and won some award that got me free Giants tickets. The game was in either April or May and I think my dad was supposed to take me but unfortunately he passed away in March of that year. My cousin took me and it's a day and game I've never forgotten. The San Francisco Giants lost the San Diego Padres with Kevin Mitchell popped up in the 9th. 
A few years later it was me who is the older cousin taking my cousin Chris to his first baseball game. 
It was during one of those games with Chris that I got my first and thus far only ball caught during batting practice. The ball ricocheted off one of the bleachers at candlestick and though he was caught on the bottom of a dog pile of people trying to get that ball... it rolled right over to me. I quickly tossed my hat over it and it was mine . ALL MINE. I have it to this day.
I Remember one Sunday in 1997 when my mom just randomly said "hey, do you want to go to a giants game this afternoon?" Naturally the answer was yes. I also Remember from that same game, her buying me a Giants shirt  that, I think, celebrated 40 years the team were in San Francisco..  I wore that shirt for so long, for years after, until it practically had holes in it and then I used it as a pajama shirt. 
Games with friends. Games ( both Giants and Niners) on TV. Wishing I was there in 1989 to see the the Battle Of The Bay World Series and then immediately not wishing I was there when the earthquake hit. 
Will Clark. Kevin Mitchell. Robby Thompson. Dave Dravecky. Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. Steve Young. When neon Deion played for both the Giants and the Niners. Matt Williams .Barry Bonds. and being frustrated as hell when Rod Beck would blow a save. 
You know,  I might not have not realized it till just now but candlestick does represent a little bit of my childhood and several great memories that flood my mind at the mere mention of its name. 

I'm sure you, reading this right now, might feel the same way too.