Candlestick Park is highly regarded as one of the most iconic stadiums in the history of US baseball, and rightfully so. Not only was this venue home to some truly iconic games, but it was also located in the city of San Francisco, California. This was one of the very first places in the west coast of the United State to truly develop a baseball culture, especially because of the San Francisco Giants, which relocated to the city from the east coast in 1960.
The stadium is named after Candlestick Point, the place where it was constructed. The area was essentially the furthermost point on the western shore of the bay, and it seemed like a perfect place where to develop a baseball park. However, those who built the stadium did not consider the fact that being close to the water and not having proper shields, the facility was often exposed to really strong winds. The weather is generally great in California, but it tended to be quite windy due to the position of Candlestick Point. This actually created some unusual and challenging playing conditions, since the winds would often swirl into the stadium and even make it difficult for players to focus in extreme cases. Nonetheless, the stadium was built on one of the very few available patches of lands in the city by the time of its construction in the 50s. Initially, the stadium was covered in natural grass for its playing surface. However, it was later updated to artificial turf, which was easier to manage and did not require extensive maintenance when compared to regular grass, which needed to be tended to constantly and might have struggled with the climate.
The park’s history is deeply tied to the New York Giants, who moved to San Francisco from the East Coast in the year 1958. The Giants had a long rivalry with the Yankees, and after some decades of disputes, the team was moved to the West Coast, as the city of San Francisco was looking to attract an MLB team. The promise of a new stadium, built specifically for the Giants, was one of the things that truly sealed the deal for the formerly NY-based team. As mentioned earlier, the stadium did not have the best reputation in the league, especially due to the fact that it had strong wind affecting playing conditions. It was often foggy due to dew and dampness in the air, and the temperature was unusually chilly, due to the close proximity with the water. It was not nice for players to run around in cold, often wet shoes due to the excessive unique! The architect who built the park, John Bolles, actually anticipated the wind issue and tried to come up with a fix by building the stadium with its distinctive boomerang-shaped baffle. However, the design didn’t really work well, as the wind mostly blew from other directions, rendering the baffles pretty much useless. Later on in the 70s, they even tried to fully enclose the park with more wind baffles, but this may have even worsened the situation, since the baffles created some funneling effects that caused the wind to swirl in all directions even more so than before!
Eventually, Candlestick Park was demolished in 2015, paving way to a new facility. Among other major events, Candlestick Park hosted many memorable concerts, including The Beatles, who performed there in 1966, in what is thought to be the first “stadium tour” of a rock or pop group. There is a bootleg featuring 11 songs circulating, and it’s still possible to find it online.