228: Candlestick Park - With Steven Travers


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Described as a "festive prison yard" by famed New Yorker baseball essayist Roger Angell during the 1962 World Series, San Francisco's famed Candlestick Park was equally loved and hated by sports teams and fans alike during its 43-year-long run as the dual home of baseball's Giants and the NFL's 49ers.   ​Curiously (and perhaps illegally) built on a landfill ​atop​ a garbage dump ​at the edge of San Francisco Bay, the "'Stick"​ was notorious for ​its​ tornadic winds​, ​ominous fogs​​ ​and uncomfortably chilly temperatures - especially in its first decade as an open-facing, largely baseball-only park.   ​Though fully enclosed in 1971 to accommodate the arrival of the football 49ers (replacing the stadium's grass surface with the more-dual-purpose Astroturf to boot), the aesthetics changed little - made worse by the elimination of the park's previously lovely view of San Francisco's downtown.   B​ut there were sports to ​be had.  While the Giants only won two NL pennants during their time at Candlestick (despite some huge talent and multiple future Hall of Famers), the 49ers brought perennial playoff-caliber football to the venue - including five NFL titles and a record 36 appearances on ABC's "Monday Night Football" - before leaving for Santa Clara in 2014.   Sportswriter Steven Travers ("Remembering the Stick: Candlestick Par​k: ​1960–2013​")​ takes us back in time to recount the good, bad and downright bizarre of one of the Bay Area's most unique sports venues.