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Very Important Theatre XLVIII: This 1985 report on the state of Candlestick Park

It would appear that in the history of Major League Baseball, having a sarcastic sense of humor about your flaws is a precursor to gut-wrenching decision-making.

General view of Candlestick Park Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Back before a Game of the Week broadcast on NBC in 1985, the pre-show did a report on the Candlestick Park and how the Giants were in the process of finding an alternative to the embarrassing facility.

The video below has everything you want: a Croix de Candlestick commercial, a reminder that the Giants tried to play more day games and used to dress up their stadium workers in Hawaiian shirts to stop fans from thinking about the bitter winds so they would buy a ticket and come out to the game, and a meta-humor commercial where the Giants turn the idea of placing a dome over Candlestick Park (a serious idea that was out there in the zeitgeist) into a long punchline.

This is the quirky, scrappy stuff you do when you’re hustling to overcome some clear obstacles. Baseball teams are supposed to print money for their owners, but the Giants’ stadium issue was a constant kick in crotch to their general ledgers. This was before huge TV contracts, broad revenue sharing, and the world-changing MLB Advanced Media platform — MLB owners were more or less on their own. The only weapon they had at their disposal was putting a metaphorical gun against the head of the municipality to get taxpayers to fund a new stadium.

That last tactic still works a lot of the time, but in the cases where they don’t, you can see how teams try to win over the public with a good sense of humor about their circumstances and a large dose of tongue-in-cheekiness. Of course, history tells us that Giants ownership opted to sell the team for a move to Tampa Bay when they didn’t get the deal they wanted, which suggests that the A’s with all their “savvy” media marketing might be getting close to a nuclear option of their own to move the team out of the bay area, despite what Rob Manfred and the A’s ownership say.

We don’t know the future, but we have this video, which means we have a link to the past that reveals not much has changed except for the fact that commercials look a lot better shot on film than as they do now, on high definition video.