As a baseball field, Candlestick Park…..the home of MLB’s San Francisco Giants….was infamous for the windy conditions, damp air and dew from fog, and chilly temperatures….as the wind often made it difficult for outfielders trying to catch fly balls….as well as for fans….while the damp grass further complicated play for outfielders who had to play in cold, wet shoes. Architect John Bolles designed the park with a boomerang-shaped concrete baffle in the upper tier in order to protect the park from wind….however and unfortunately, it never worked properly. For Candlestick’s first 10 seasons, the wind blew in from left-center and out toward right-center….then when the park was expanded to accommodate the NFL San Francisco 49ers team in 1971….for it was thought that fully enclosing the park would cut down on the wind significantly….but instead, the wind swirled from all directions….and was as strong and cold as before.
Giants Hall of Fame center fielder Willie Mays claimed the wind cost him over 100 home runs….as it may be noted that in the 12 years he played at Candlestick Park….from 1960 through 1971…..Mays hit 396 home runs….with 203 at The Stick and 193 on the road.
During the first MLB All Star Game of 1961 at The Stick….Giants pitcher Stu Miller was blown off balance by a gust of wind and was charged with a balk…..then two years later, wind picked up the entire batting cage and dropped it 60 feet (18 m) away on the pitcher’s mound while the New York Mets were taking batting practice.
The stadium also had the reputation as the coldest park in Major League Baseball…..with winds blowing directly off the Pacific Ocean….as the Giants eventually played on the reputation to bolster fan support with humorous promotions such as awarding the ‘Croix de Candlestick’ pin to fans who stayed for the duration of extra-inning night games….as the pins featured the Giants’ “SF” monogram capped with snow….along with the Latin slogan “Veni, vidi, vixi” (“I came, I saw, I survived”). Among many less-than-flattering fan nicknames for the park were “North Pole”, “Cave of the Winds”, “Windlestick”, “The Quagmire” and “The Ashtray By The Bay”…..while older fans just called it “The Dump” in honor of the former use of the land….and ironically, the Giants played their last game at Candlestick under blue skies with no fog and a game time temperature of 82°…..which wasn’t the norm for September games by a long shot.
We at ImaSportsphile are “tickled pink” to have this 35 second music video titled “I Love The Weather At The Stick”…..which provides all the evidence a baseball fan needs of what it was like to play baseball at “The Stick”…..in our vintage video library….for it is truly a rare “nugget of gold” in our treasure chest of vintage memories.