On April 29, 2000 — exactly 20 years ago — the San Francisco Giants won their first game in their beautiful new ballpark.
I had forgotten that it took them so long to actually win a game at
Pacific Bell SBC AT&T Oracle Park, and then I saw a tweet from Grant Brisbee, who founded this website sometime between that first win and today.
20 years ago: The Giants won the first home game in the new ballpark. I watched from a luxury box through a Toyota dealership I worked at. I started dating my then-girlfriend, and we’re still married.— Grant Brisbee (@GrantBrisbee) April 29, 2020
The lights on the Goodyear Blimp read “Still a dork, but have a day, my dude” pic.twitter.com/TVVj0HXYKp
Well, damn. There’s some wholesomeness for you to start your Wednesday with.
The Giants opened their gorgeous new park, one of the finest baseball has ever seen, on April 11, 2000. The Los Angeles Dodgers beat them 6-5, en route to a three-game sweep. In came the Arizona Diamondbacks, who swept a two-game series.
San Francisco then embarked on a three-city road trip, before returning to their new home on April 28, only to lose 9-3 to the Montreal Expos.
Finally, on a Saturday day game on April 29, they won a game, beating the Expos 2-1.
It was a fitting way to christen the park, as the win embodied that era of Giants baseball. Barry Bonds broke a 1-1 tie with a solo home run in the eighth inning. Kirk Rueter pulled out his best stuff: 7 innings, 3 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 1 earned run. Robb Nen earned the save.
It all made you smile. It certainly made 10-year old me smile.
They’ve now won 903 regular season games there. They’ve won 24 postseason games there. They’ve won 9 World Series games there. They’ve thrown 3 no-hitters and 1 perfect game there. Barry Bonds hit 160 home runs there. They’ve changed the name 3 times. They’ve thrown a parade down the street 3 times.
And it’s still one of the prettiest ballparks in the world.