Below are the reader-submitted memories of Candlestick Park.
We went every year to the Candlestick, but what we enjoyed the most was taking our families tailgating, and making it a tradition to take our kids to Family Niner FanFest!
Rosio Valenzuela, Turlock
Losing Candlestick will be the end of an era, the loss of a little black and orange piece of my heart. I'll never hear "take me out to the ball game" without my mind going straight back to that beautiful, bone chillingly cold park I grew up in.
Kelli Hall, Turlock
As a kid, we had a family friend who was a scout for the Cincinnati Reds, and later the Pittsburgh Pirates (Hal Smith). When his team would come to town, he would leave tickets for us at will call. This was in the mid 60s, when the Giants had Willie Mays, McCovey, Davenport, Marichal, Jim Ray Hart, etc. There was one peanut vendor that we enjoyed, who was at least 95 years old (well that's what we thought at the time). We would follow him around, which wasn't hard because he would move so slow, but he was just adorable.
Also, I was at the NFC Championship Game in January 1990, the 49ers against the Rams. I remember the play, where my eyes were on Ronnie Lott from the snap of the ball, and as the play unfolded, it was a long deep pass down the right sidelines to an open receiver. But as I was watching Lott, who was closer to the left sidelines, suddenly sprint to the receiver and defend the pass at the last second. Just a great play. The Niners ended up winning 30-3. By the way, the Niners went to New Orleans and beat the Broncos in the Super Bowl.
I will miss the Stick but I am sure Levi Field will give us many more moments we will cherish.
Mark Manchester, Ripon
I attended every Opening Day of the Giants when they moved to Candlestick. I lived in Redwood City and sat in the right field bleachers each Opening Day hoping to get a Willie McCovey home run never happened. I got to sit inside one game when I was given seats by Ed Vargo, who was an umpire and was a patient of mine. I recently purchased two seats that will be removed from Candlestick after the last game.
Don Brock, Oakdale
I was born and raised in San Francisco and I was not quite 11 when the Giants opened up their 1958 season at Seals Stadium. My father took me to a few games and I was hooked on the Giants and always a 49er fan.
The Stick opened in 1960 and seeing a Giants game, at first, was horrible because there was no fence in right field to stop the cold wind coming in from the Bay. I remember one game, it was a cold night and my wife and myself decided to go to a game. When we got to the box office, it was closed but a guard saw us running and let us in for free. We had seat cushions, blankets and my wife wanted some hot chocolate.
On my way to get them I heard the crowd yelling really loud and I realized I had missed something. I missed Willie Mays hitting a grand slam, talk about disappointment. I had the opportunity to meet Willie when I was in the Marine Corps stationed at 100 Harrison St. He used to come to Headquarters to pick my Colonel and they would play golf together and of course I would drive them.
Roland Sarchett, Modesto
1962 Game 2 World Series as a young 12-year-old taken to game with dad and brother. The old Candlestick with Cardiac Hill walking in, as well as an open right field to the parking lot with views of the bay. Mays, McCovey, Mantle, Maris, Berra all played. The Giants had a one-run lead. In the 7th, McCovey hit a towering home run over the right field fence. Giants won 2-0. An indelible moment for two boys and their dad
Living in Oakdale I first became a fan of Colin Kaepernick following his high school accomplishments through the Modesto Bee.
In 2007 while being employed by Stanford Hospital, I took a job as the SF 49ers X-ray tech covering all home games at the Stick. From the sideline I have obtained many great Candlestick memories over the last 7 years. These include the night the lights went out against Pitsburgh to a couple of runs through the NFL Playoffs.
My favorite is being on the sideline during Kaepernicks first start while he beat the Chicago Bears on MNF. Included is a picture my wife took off the TV broadcast of myself and Colin after finishing off a play on a very important game to start his career. Thanks for the memories.
Jeff Hanrahan, Oakdale
Early 1960s, I went to a Giants night game against the Dodgers with best friends. We were about 12 years old. It later was known as the foggiest game in history. We were on the third baseline about a dozen rows from the top.
Willie McCovey was at bat. The fog had moved in just minutes before. Willie hit a pop up that nobody could see. It ended up right behind third base in shallow left field. Duke Snider and Wally Moon were standing maybe 10 feet apart when the ball dropped between them. We didn't see the ball until it landed. When the ball was picked up, Willie was sliding into third. It was a long slide and I believe he had to get up to finish his slide. He was safe, the game was delayed for about 15 minutes, until visibility was better. I think the Giants won. It was a highlight I'll never forget.
One of my memories from Candlestick Park is being 12-years-old and yelling Hey, Fay, MAKE THEM STAY!!, when the San Francisco Giants were going to move to Florida. I remember my whole section yelling it throughout the game!!! I'm so glad they stayed in San Francisco where they belong!!!
Valerie L Marble, Modesto
The date was July 2, 1963. I was living in the Bay Area going to school. My cousin from Texas was visiting, so my brother and I decided to take him to a Giants game. The Giants were playing the Milwaukee Braves, and the starting pitchers were Juan Marichal for the Giants and Warren Spahn for the Braves. I believe both pitchers were in their early 40s. This game, a night game, lasted four hours plus and went 16 innings. Marichal and Spahn pitched the entire game. Willie Mays hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 16th inning to win it. In this age of coddled arms and pitch counts we will never see this again. The game has been hailed as the greatest pitching duel ever, and it was great fun to see it in person.
Suzanne & David Cooper
Here are my favorite memories/moments at Candlestick.
When I was growing up in the 80s and 90s, my family went to several Giants games a year at Candlestick. Night games were always definitely bitterly cold but were exciting. Surviving them in one piece was akin to enduring a difficult wilderness experience.
My favorite memories of Candlestick include Will Clark. It was always amazing to watch him play for the Giants. He earned his The Natural nickname both at first base and at bat. It was easy to see why his graceful swing was compared to Ted Williams', and he was a true team player. Also very memorable was Dave Dravecky's comeback after battling cancer in his pitching arm.
At one game when I was little, I ate a Big Stuf Oreo too quickly and vomited in the Lower Box seats. I felt horrible for the people in front of us and remember the experience well because I have vomited only a few times in my life.
Alison Cruz, Turlock
Living in Mountain View, in December 1972, my wife was ready to deliver our first child. I had season tickets to the 49ers along with several friends. We headed to the hospital hoping delivery would be swift, but by morning, it was not looking good. Deciding to break my wife's water to speed things along, they told us it could be quite awhile anyway. I called out to the doctor (tongue in cheek) that I had a ticket to the 49er game and needed things to move along quickly. Well, my son arrived at 12:32 p.m. and after spending a little time with him, watching him get weighed, measured, tested, prodded and poked, my wife felt like getting some sleep and sent me on my way. I arrived at the park at half time unable to find an open gate. Finally, someone appeared and told me to leave because they were sold out. I just told him I had a ticket, I needed an open gate. He said he could handle it and came down and let me in. My friends already knew that we had had the baby only because I was late for the game.
Ron Hess, Modesto
Oct 11, 1981: 49ers vs. Cowboys and the official start of the Bill Walsh Era. Little did we know, but this was the start of their first Super Bowl season. My then girlfriend's family (all Dallas fans) bought tickets and offered to take me to this game on my birthday. What a present the 49ers gave me! A section full of Cowboy fans in absolute shock as Joe, Dwight, Fred, and Ronnie dominated America's Team in Doomsday fashion, 45-14.
I was sitting in the upper deck of the end zone when rookie Ronnie Lott returned an interception for a touchdown with his arms wide open to the crowd. It was a frenzy at the Stick and 49er fans were united everywhere, high-fiving, hugging, cheering and yelling. That victory gave them a 4-2 record and they would go on to win the NFC Championship three months later in a more famous game against the Cowboys and Super Bowl XVI two weeks later. What a season it would be and this particular game does not get much publicity but it certainly was a quite a memory for this 19 year old.
B. Allen, Denair
The 9ers were down something like 18 points with six minutes left and I was ready to go home. In a season that no one expected them to do much, getting a beatdown by the powerful Giants in the first round was no shame. So I started gathering up our blankets and cups until my wife slapped them out of my hands and snarled We are not going anywhere. They are going to come back.
This was 2002 and we were newlyweds, so I indulged her and saved up for these Gold section seats, right on the 50. The guy next to me saw everything and in an attempt to end the awkward moment whispered, Thats Y.A. Tittle and pretended to wipe his chin with a finger pointed down our row.
That afternoon I ended up hugging and dancing with that nosy neighbor, the erstwhile Y.A. Tittle and everyone else within reach as we were witnesses to one of the greatest comebacks in NFL playoff history. A dozen memories like that made the thought of a new stadium repulsive.
Then I paid $30 to park on a lower lot at the 2011 NFC Divisional round against the Saints and had to use the bathroom between some trailers parked there. Im ready for Levi.
Steve Taylor, Oakdale
I was 9 years old when my uncle Gilbert took me to Candlestick Park for the last game of the 1962 baseball season. It was against the Houston Colt 45s and the Giants were one game behind the LA Dodgers.
We sat in the upper box seats somewhere between home plate and first base. During the game my uncle struck up a conversation with a man and wife sitting next to him. I remember them being Willie McCoveys parents. My story and Im sticking to it.
Best part is that the Giants won the game 2-1 on a late Willie Mays home run. It was awesome. I remember we were celebrating the win for just a short time when the scoreboard flashed the Dodgers lost. Not totally sure if seat cushions were an every game thing or what in those days but when the crowd saw the Dodger score, the sky filled with flying cushions. It would have been great to have the technology we have today for cellphone pics or video of that happening.
The Giants tied for the National League pennant and went on to beat the Dodgers in a three-game playoff. Bad thing is we lost to those Damn Yankees in the World Series.
The year was (I think) 1997 and the crowd was in a frenzy watching Barry Bonds dancing on top or the dugout after Rod Beck, ball in hand and arm swinging back and forth struck out the last batter and the Giants won the NL West.
At the age of 7, in the Summer of 1971, I went to my first San Francisco Giants game at Candlestick Park with my Dad, uncles and cousins. I remember going across the San Mateo Bridge and watching the seagulls floating near the car flapping their wings but thinking they were actually flying backwards!
I remember climbing the stairs up and inside the 'stick and having those big corridor doors opened into a beautifully colored green grass, reddish brown dirt and a sea of orange surrounding the whole field.
The only part of the game I remember, besides eating a hot dog and getting a felt pennant flag, was my Dad excitedly telling me Willie Mays was coming to bat. He was pinch-hitting in this game. Everybody was standing in the stadium. I think I was standing on my chair. I remember seeing Willie strike out and the crowd seemed disappointed, but then they cheered for him. I never forgot that. My Dad explained that Willie Mays was a very special player. Ever since that day, I have been an avid fan, even attending a freezing night game with my own children in right field.
Bill Eitelgeorge, Riverbank
My most memorable Candlestick Park highlight is without a doubt the Dave Dravecky comeback from cancer surgery on his shoulder Aug. 10, 1989.
It was a day game against the Reds. A crowd of 34,810 stood and roared as he emerged from the clubhouse to warm up, again as he took the mound to begin the game, yet again as he came up to bat and finally as he left the game in the 8th inning after giving up three runs on four hits.
There was not a dry eye in the house. It was simply the most emotional moment I have ever witnessed in sports.
Mark de la Motte, Turlock
Candlestick was where we used to watch the Giants! The feel of it there was so much spirit for the team. Everyone was family when we were there. My favorite memory was I got to be at the last Giants game ever played there with my dad. People cried it was so emotional. Even though we were getting a beautiful better new field something about Candlestick felt like home.
Leslie Morrison, Modesto
The Dallas Cowboys frustrated the SF 49ers in the playoffs until "THE CATCH" by Dwight Clark in critical January 1982 playoff game.
My brother and I were in the north end zone where Clark made the famous catch. When Joe Montana threw the ball under heavy defensive pressure, It appeared the ball would sail out of the end zone. Clark looked like he was shot out of a cannon, leaping to make the incredible catch!
The 49er fans where euphoric after that play. The fans were yelling in the stands, hugging each other, high-fiving and it continued nonstop while leaving Candlestick Park stadium walking through the parking lot with horns honking!
My brother and I had season tickets for 20 consecutive years and "THE CATCH" was our greatest lifelong memory at the Stick.
We will be at Candlestick Park for the final game this Monday.
Doug Lemcke, Modesto
Many memories of Candlestick: The return of Willie McCovey and the outpouring of love from the fans. The brawl between the Cubs and Giants and Jim Barr not being tossed from the game. Bill Madlock saluting the crowd with a one-finger salute when he was tossed. However, the most enternaining was on May 4, 1975. Baseball was tracking who scored MLB's 1 millionth run. Bob Watson scored the 1 millionth run from second base on a Milt May home run. I have never seen a player run so fast on a home run.
My former in-laws had season tickets to 49er games. During the 70s and 80s I attended virtually all their games. I was there when Dwight Clark made his famous catch. Our seats where way up high close and to the press box around the 30-yard line. It was the greatest sports thrill of my life. The stadium shook more than in 89.
I was also at the stick in April of 1960, I was 13 at the time. Me and my friends snuck into the bleachers, which only had a chain link fence at the time. We stayed after the game to get autographs, and I got Mays, Cepeda, McCovey and Marichal. I also got two others, one was Governor Brown (the dad) and the other was VP Richard Nixon.
Another thrill was 1962 when a brawl broke out between Mays and Cepeda against Elion Chacon and Roger Craig, who was pitching for the Mets at the time. I saw Robin Roberts throw a one hitter against the giants, the closest I ever came to seeing a no-hitter.
I will miss the Stick!!!!
I think that over the years I saw at least 100 events at Candlestick Park. I was there for the Greatest Baseball Game Ever Pitched, when Juan Marichal and Warren Spahn went 16 scoreless innings with the Giants winning 1-0 on a Willie Mays home run.
But, my most memorable event was not a game. It was a motor race. August 1965 the San Francisco region of the Sports Car Club of America invited some of the top drivers in the country to compete in a two-day event staged in the Candlestick parking lot. About 17,000 of us showed up on a warm sunny afternoon to watch big time racing in a very strange (and terribly unsafe) venue. World Champion Phil Hill was there, as was Jack Brabham, and a host of the biggest names of the era.
The big attraction was the exotic high-winged Chevy Chaparells driven by designer Jim
Hall and by Hap Sharp. The most exciting race of the day was a Formula race won by Pattersons Al Buster Brizard.
Sadly, in the middle of the feature race, local driver Bart Martin was killed in a horrendous and fiery crash and racing never returned to Candlestick.
Dick Hagerty, Oakdale
In 1991, I took my 5-year old son, and his Grandpa to Candlestick. Prior to the game, I told them to go down to the railing during batting practice while I get some hot dogs. I joked that the players would toss him a ball because he was a cute kid, that they don't toss balls to ugly kids. When I got back they were already in their seats. I asked what happened. My son said, "Dad you were right, they tossed me a ball!" I asked to see it. He said, "I lost it. It hit the top of my glove, fell to the ground AND AN UGLY KID GOT IT." On Opening Day, 2012, the baseball gods sent a foul ball my son's way. He gave it to a cute kid. They're all cute, he said.
For me, great memories of "The Stick" go back to 1966. Dad took my brothers and I to sit in the $1 bleacher seats and watch Mays, McCovey and Marichal play! As I got older, and had my own family, we all learned to love the Giants, "strongly dislike" Dodger blue" and enjoy time at the Stick.
Most summers we organized groups and took 50 to 75 folks to games. For 36 years though, the best times were going with my family. My wife and all three kids loved the Giants and great times at Candlestick.
The '87 playoffs against St. Louis stand out to me as a favorite memory. My son Aaron, age 9, got down on the playing field, behind the batting cage. He soon was chatting with manager Roger Craig, players Robby Thompson and Jose Uribe and former player great Johnny Bench. My dad got kicked off the field. Never accused of being shy, dad walked around the entire stadium showing his "beat St. Louis" sign to the crowd.
Later, in 1989, I had most of my family at the game waiting for Game 3 of the Bay Bridge World Series to start when tons of concrete started rippling overhead. What a relief to get back safely to Modesto and hold our daughters again.
So long Candlestick and Go Giants!
Well, being a season ticket-holder for 30 years, I have a huge amount of memories at the "stick". But the most memorable one at shines is the game that second-stringer Steve Young started for a injured Joe Montana back on Oct. 30, 1988. The 49ers were hosting the Vikings. The play that turned the game, less than 2 minutes remaining in the game, was the famous Steve Young 49-yard run zig-zagging across the turf, breaking off tackles coming right at me in my end zone, stumbling across the goal line for a touchdown. WOW! It still gives me goose bumps 49ERS win 24-21 victory!!! 49ers won XXIII that year with a healed Joe Montana back as quarterback.
Jim Artrip, Denair
My personal favorite memories of Candlestick Park include:
My mom and I were in the upper deck of the end zone when Dwight Clark made "The Catch." After the game we joined those who swarmed the field to dig up a patch of turf.
Amy Lee Erwin and I were in our upper box seats when the earthquake hit in 1989. We had taken BART and Muni to the Stick so had no way to get home until we found a friend and caught a ride in his hatchback across the San Mateo Bridge just before it closed.
My first Giant/Dodger game in the 1960s. My sisters and I wore dresses, nylons, and gloves.
One twinight Giants double-header stands out because it was so warm my future husband and brother-in-law went shirtless!
The 49ers comeback win against the New York Giants in the playoffs caused laryngitis for both my husband, Lou, and me.
Candlestick was not always fan friendly but new friends were made including Don, the beer man, who would leave a case of beer under our seats and allowed us to drink as many as we could for free before he returned. Sherman, the Burns Security guard, became a good friend when he worked the bleachers for night games. He would invite us to join him for a post-game drink from the stash he confiscated.
The absolutely best sports memory in my life took place at Candlestick Park on September 24, 1995. I was there to see a Giants vs. Rockies game with my husband, my 12-year-old son and my son's best friend. A co-worker had given me four free tickets to the game.
As we were walking to our seats, I realized we had box seats and not just any box seats, but right smack dab on the field. No one was in front of us, except the pitcher and catcher who were warming up for the Rockies. Did you know you can hear the ball sizzle as it flies by? I mean, really hear it move, not just the pop of the glove when the ball hits, but the ball itself? It was simply breathtaking to behold.
Barry Bonds hit a home run in his first at bat of the game. The boys both caught foul balls. Dusty Baker signed my husband's baseball cap and I waved to Barry and he nodded back. It was a great day even though the Giants lost 3-1.
Janet Cataline (huge Giants' fan), Modesto
Candlestick Park was a destination from Los Angeles to San Francisco for my three older sisters and me to see the Dodgers playing the Giants in the 1960s. We wore grey skirts and blue tops to signify that we were supporting the Dodgers. My father didnt come with us since he had taught us baseball.
It was 1967 and I was newly engaged to be married. My fiance planned a date to the Giants/Cubs game at Candlestick. I was not a baseball fan, but pretended to be excited about the day. The hot dogs (with Gulden's mustard), peanuts and drinks helped to make the time spent in the stands go by and, of course, I acted interested, as my husband-to-be explained every play. Eventually, the game was over and as I stood up ready to leave, I was excitedly informed that it was a "doubleheader." Oh, no!!!
On Sunday, January 25th, 2003 I experienced my greatest Candlestick Park memory. I was watching my first playoff game with a friend. The San Francisco 49ers were hosting the New York Giants.
The early part of the contest was a back and forth battle, but during the middle of the second quarter, our hopes began to fade as New York took control of the ballgame.
During the third quarter, the 49ers continued being out-played. Except for the cheering of a few Giants fans, the crowd was quiet. When the score was 38 to 10, I felt depressed. I told myself, if the 49ers don't score on their next drive, I am leaving the stadium. Terrell Owens scored his second touchdown of the game. We cheered. The Niner defense came to life and stopped New York. The noise grew as each possession the Niners continued scoring, and the Giants were stopped. Before the Giants knew it, they were losing 38 to 39. On the Giant's last possession, they tried a field goal in which a bad snap forced them to attempt a pass downfield. The pass fell incomplete. The 49ers were victorious.
I saw a 49er hold on that play. The next day the NFL admitted making a mistake. I am convinced the loud Candlestick crowd caused the official's error.
That day the 49ers taught me something, never give up on your team.
Eric Halfman Modesto
In May of 1978, I took my 3-year-old son (Josh) to the 'Stick to watch a double-header between the Giants and the Cards. In those days you could bring your own drinks (non-alcoholic) and food. So, here I am carrying a cooler with food, an old Igloo beverage cooler with iced tea, jackets, and my son. He was brave and walked to the seats for me. I always liked to get there early to watch batting practice. It was a nice, sunny day. As it turned out, I was in for the longest day of my life. Both games went into extra innings (12 the first, 10 the second) and the Giants won both. By the time I got going back to my car my son and I were sun-burned and tired. I had to carry him and all of the other stuff I had brought along. A long day, but one I will never forget.
Ron Brace, Hughson
My first cousin is Jeff Moorad and he was Will Clarks agent. Game 5 of the 1989 NLCS on Monday, Oct. 9, and I had met Wills kid brother, Scott, at Jeffs house in San Francisco on that Saturday. After the famous Clark hit and win, we went down on the field to file out to a postgame party.
Scott Clark, 12, got separated from his family. I grabbed him and assured him hes fine. As we exited I soon realized every security officer in the park knew him and doors just started opening after all he was Will the Thrills brother! Before I knew it, I was inside the Giants locker room amidst the players, coaches, national press and, of course, the champagne celebration!! Will had just come from the press room, grabbed his brother, and I was on my own.
Having no business whatsoever being there I totally seized the opportunity to take in the incredible surreal experience of being inside a major-league clubhouse after the home team Giants just won the pennant! Unreal and a memory of a lifetime.
Tom Solomon, Modesto
The perception to Bay Area outsiders is that the 'Stick fan-base mostly eats brie and sips Pinot, but if you've ever spent any time in the bleachers, you know it's all about the insults and suds. Case in point in the early 90's when Reds reliever Rob Dibble was warming up in the bullpen. As he was getting verbally pounded, he stopped, looked directly at our section and shook his head in disgust. The cascading boos clearly got to him because a minute later, Dibble flashed us half the peace sign!
I also vividly remember fans in the bleachers during Game 4 of the 1989 World Series serenading the Chemical Brothers, er Bash Brothers with chants of "STER-OIDS!" We were a rowdy bunch fiercely protecting our turf on Jamestown Avenue. Gonna miss that big 'ole monolithic lug.
Will Selva, La Crescenta