It's possible that you're reading this as someone who has never seen a Giants game anywhere but AT&T Park. I know there are teenagers reading. And it scares me because teenagers are horrible things. There will be kids in college this year who, even if they went to Candlestick as toddlers, are too young to remember the place. Baseball in San Francisco has always been paradise for these people.
Which makes this feature-length article from the New York Times that much more fascinating. There's an old State sketch called "People Really Live This Way", and it pops in my head when I read things like this.
ROGER CRAIG emerged from the tunnel connecting the locker room and the dugout. He was wearing a heavy San Francisco Giants windbreaker that concealed his uniform shirt, a synthetic warm-up, a cotton sweatshirt and a T-shirt. As he watched batting practice under a gray, misty sky, his right hand gripped a paper cup filled with coffee, steam escaping as if from a smokestack.
It's not the descriptions of Candlestick you should be especially concerned with. This picture gives you the right idea. Rather, the whole tone of the article, which is "You're never going to believe this, but the Giants are relevant again." They were the Royals, but with a depressing stadium. They were hopeless, and the article wanted you to gawk at the adorable hope blossom.
'In effect, Proposition W asks, 'Do you want to keep the Giants?' '' Lurie said. ''We will not sign a new lease at Candlestick. I know we had a record attendance, but I'm disappointed.
Lurie's ownership group made $97 million on the Giants between 1976 and 1992, so it's not exactly appropriate to make fun of his business acumen. But, brother, did he miss out on how much San Francisco could fall in love with baseball if they had the right park at the right time.
Read the article if you're up for some Kevin Mitchell quotes. Read it if you want to marvel at the calm statesmanship of Roger Craig. But, for me, the best part about reading it was how the Giants' franchise was described. Even if you'll never lose your right to complain when Michael Morse drops a fly ball or 30, don't forget just how miserable things used to be, and how surprised everyone was when those things stopped being miserable.
Also, I want to get help from Rick Reuschel on just one crossword puzzle. That's a childhood dream I never realized I had.