New and Venerable Institutions: SBC/Pac Bell Park

Chic Duty at ATT/SBC/Pac Bell Park, Third and King Sts.
The drive to have a downtown ball park in the City has a long history. Proposition P in the late 1980s and Proposition W before that were two of the more recent failed initiatives to create an alternative to Candlestick Park. It was said that the coldest winter ever spent was a Giants home game. Yet opposition to the plans were fierce. Even veteran supervisor, the late Jack Morrison, who lobbied aggressively to build freeways in the City in the '60s said, "Plain horse sense tells you not to build a stadium four miles from Candlestick. The weather is the same!" However, Pac Bell Park was politically inevitable and the bayside stadium became the Giants home in 2000. Mister SF, a hold out in the ball park debate into the 1990s, has attended and admits the place is simply smashing, from the statue of Willie Mays that greets visitors at the gate to its brick-and-mortar facades. With its smart design there are no bad seats. (Well, maybe just one.) Good luck getting tickets and bring a sweater. The weather is the same.

In 2001, Pac Bell Park marked two milestones. On April 17, Barry Bonds made Major League history when he hit his 500th career home run here. The first concert was held at Pac Bell Park on May 18 when The Dave Matthews Band appeared with opening act Macy Gray. 

In August of 2002, Bonds joined Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Bonds' godfather Willie Mays in baseball's exclusive "600 Club." Bonds hit his 600th homer in the sixth inning of a game the Giants would lose to Pittsburgh, 4-3.

June 23, 2003: Another first for Bonds and Pac Bell Park. The slugger racks up his 500th stolen base in the 11th inning against the Dodgers. Bonds would also score the winning run. 

January 6, 2004: Renaming of the park begins. Say hello to SBC Park.

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