75 Greatest Baseball Moments in Candlestick Park History

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A year ago I put together this look at the 72 greatest football moments in Candlestick Park history. My eye was on saving 3 for the final season rounding it out at 75.

It wasn't just football they played at the Stick; its been 14 years, but there used to be a baseball park there too. Here are the 75 greatest baseball moments at Candlestick.  At least one for each year of its existence.  In chronological order.  I may combine the baseball and football lists and rank them qualitatively when the season nears an end, probably shaving down to 100.

1.       4-12-60 Giants v. Cards
-First game at Candlestick, Sam Jones throws 3 hitter. 

2. 7-11-61 All Star Game
-NL gets two in the tenth to win, Stu Miller cements Stick national reputation by getting blown off the mound. Mays doubled in the tying run in the tenth and then scored the winning run.

3.       4-16-62 d. Dodgers
Scored 19 against LA.  Billy O’Dell threw a complete game despite giving up 19 baserunners. Mays hit his 4th of the first six games of season.

4.       5-27-62 Swept a doubleheader against the Mets, got into a brawl

5.       8-12-62 Best Giants team ever down 5.5 to LA when Dodgers came in for 3, this finished off a sweep to get us to 2.5. Marichal threw a 4 hitter and struck out 8.  That’s the Giants are watering the basepaths to slow down Wills game.

6.       9-30-62 Even with 101 wins we went into the last day of the season down 1, but LA lost and we beat Houston 2-1 to force a playoff, Mays homered in the 8th to break the tie.

7.       10-1-62 Beat Koufax 8-0 0 Mays hit two homers, Billy Pierce threw a three hitter, the Giants take the first game of the 3 game playoff.

8.       10-5-62 Game 2 of the Series, Jack Sanford throws a three hitter, Willie McCovey homers, we even up the WS with a 2-0 win over NYY

9.       10-15-62 down 3-2 SFG stays alive in Game 6, Piece throws the ever popular 3 hitter, Cepeda gets 3 hits by himself.  We force game 7

10.   6-15-63 Marichal no-hits Houston, first franchise no hitter since Hubbell. 

11.   7-2-63 Marichal beats Spahn, 1-0 in 16, both pitchers going the distance.  Marcihal struck out 10, Mays walk off HR in the 16th.  Magic.

12.   8-27-63 Mays’s 400th HR  We beat Cards 7-2.

13.   4-14-64 Mays hit two opening day homers off Spahn, we win 8-4

14.   8-22-65 The Marichal/Roseboro game. We beat Koufax, Mays hit a three run HR.

15.   9-8-65 Fewer than 9,000 paid to see us take first place for the first time all season, in the middle of a 14 game winning streak, beating Houston 12-3. Mays homered twice. 

16.   5-4-66 Mays hit his 500th on the road in ’65, but this was his 512th, breaking Mel Ott’s NL record, and it was against the Dodgers in a 6-1 win.

17.   5-26-66 Marichal nearly repeated that Spahn duel, he went 14, shutting out Phillies, striking out 10. A Davenport triple/Barton sac fly got us the walk off 1-0 win.

18.   7-22-66 The most strikeouts by a SFG pitcher in one game?  15 – Gaylord Perry, here, against the Phillies. We won 4-1. 

19.   9-27-67 In front of less than 4,000 paid, McCovey hit his second grand slam in four days, we beat the Mets 7-2 and were 2 out with 5 left. 

20.   9-17-68 Gaylord no-hit the Cards, 1-0, striking out 9.  They no-hit us the next day. 

21.   9-16-69 Marichal threw his second shutout in 4 days, against the Braves 2-0, and we went into first place with 2 ½ weeks left. 

22.   9-21-69, 41,000 paid, our biggest crowd in 2 ½ years, and we beat LA 4-3 in 10 to keep a half game lead with a week and a half left.  LA intentionally walked McCovey with nobody on and 2 out in the 10th – then gave up back to back unintentional walks and lost the game on an error.

23.   7-18-70, Mays’s 600th HR, like his 500th, was on the road the previous year – but his 3,000th hit came in a home win 10-1, against the Expos.   

24.   8-28-70 Marichal’s 200th win, one of only 4 pitchers since 1920 to win 200 before losing 100.  Only 6000 paid to see him beat Pirates 5-1.

25.   9-27-70 Russ Hodges’s last home game as the SFG announcer.  We beat Padres 3-2

26.   5-31-71 The high point of the division winning season; Mays hit his 11th HR and scored winning run in the 11th, we beat Mets 2-1 to go 23 over .500 with a 10.5 game lead. 

27.   10-2-71 Our first postseason game since the ’62 WS; we win Game 1 of the NLCS, 5-4 over the Pirates. Mccovey and Fuentes both homered in the 5th

28.   7-21-72 The first sub .500 SFG team, Mays hit his 650th HR against us and the Mets beat us.  His last Stick HR.

29.   4-12-73 McCovey hit two homers in the same inning, we beat Houston 9-3 to go 6-1 on the season. 

30.   5-1-73 The high water mark of ’73, we went to 19-6 with a 4 game lead when, down 7-1 to the Pirates with 2 outs in the 9th we scored 7 runs and won 8-7.  We had a -0 Win Probability.  But Chris Arnold hit a grand slam, his only HR of the year – and Bobby Bonds finished with a 3 run triple.

31.   7-15-73 McCovey hit 2, including his 400th, in a 12-0 win over Bucs.

32.   9-16-74 we were only 5 back when fewer than a thousand paid to see us beat the Braves in a 98 minute game.

33.   8-24-75, Candlestick’s third no-hitter, Ed Halicki walking two in beating the Mets 6-0 in the back half of a doubleheader. 

34.   6-23-76 Darrell Evans Candlestick debut as a Giant, a HR/Triple in the first game, a grand slam in the second game – Giants sweep doubleheader against Padres.

35.   4-15-77 Mays and Marichal didn’t come back – but McCovey did, this is his return to Candlestick as Giants first baseman.  He walked twice, but we lost to Dodgers.

36.   5-14-78 How about a double header sweep of the Cards, both games going extra innings, that put us in first place?  Game 1 was 5-4, Terry Whitfield hit a walk off homer in the 12th.  Game 2 was 4-3, Whitfield doubling and scoring winning run in the 10th.

37.   5-28-78 56,000 paid to watch the Giants go up 1.5, we beat LA 6-5 on a Mike Ivie grand slam.

38.   9-3-78 a doubleheader sweep of the Phillies put us 23 over .500 and a game out of first, as close as we had been so late in the season in years.  Bob Knepper had a complete game in Game One, Hector Cruz had a two out, two run single in the bottom of the 8th to give us a come from behind win in game two.

39.   4-10-79 all downhill after the home opener, Vida Blue beat Gaylord Perry in a complete game, John Tamargo hit a walkoff homer off another former Giant, John D’Acquisto, and we beat Roger Craig’s Padres 4-2.

40.   4-17-80 another season where the home opener is the highpoint, another complete game for Vida to beat the Padres. McCovey had three hits.

41.   10-4-81 we hovered around .500 all season, the very last day that’s where we stood, a win would knock us over – we scored 3 in the 8th to beat the Padres 4-3.

42.   8-6-82 On July 30, the Giants were 13.5 out.  We went on for the best run of Giants baseball in a decade with a ten game winning streak to get us to 4 back.  The Giants were down here 6-0 to Nolan Ryan in the 6th, giving the Astros a 98% win expectancy.  Chili Davis and Jack Clark homered to get us to 604, and still down 2 in the bottom of the 9th, Clark and Reggie Smith homered and three singles later we won 7-6

43.   8-8-82, two days later we swept a doubleheader from the Astros.  We scored 2 in the bottom of the 9th to win game 1 3-2, that got us over .500 for the first time all season. 

44.   9-30-82, we went into the last 3 days of the season 1 game out after scoring 2 in the bottom of the night to beat Houston 7-6. Ron Pruitt had two hits as a Giant, one of them was a 2 out, 2 run, 9th inning single to put us right in the middle of the pennant race.

45.   10-3-82, the Dodgers knocked us out with wins in the first two games of the last series of the season, but we knocked them out with a  3 run Joe Morgan homer in the 7th

46.   6-15-83 Darrell Evans hit 3 homers against Houston

47.   7-10-84 The last All Star Game at the Stick, the NL won, Dwight Gooden became the youngest player, 19, in ASG history, striking out three in two innings.

48.   4-9-85 the everpopular opening day as the best moment of the season, Vida got the win in relief, Chris Brown broke a 3-3 tie against, who else, the Padres with a walk off single. 

49.   6-22-86 47,000 to see the Giants sweep a doubleheader over Houston to go up 1.5 in the West. Mike Krukow struck out 7 in a complete game one and Robby Thompson scored the winning run in game two as the Giants won a game in which Mike Scott, in his career year, was the opposing pitcher.

50.   10-10-87 Game 4 of the NLCS, down 2 games to 1. In the playoffs for the first time in 16 years.  We’d lost the night before, needing to win to even the series. Krukow threw a complete game; Jeffrey Leonard grabbed the sports headlines with his one flap down home run trot and we tied the series.

51.   10-11-87 Game 5 of the NLCS, Joe Price threw 5 innings of one hit ball in relief of Rick Reuschel and we moved one game away from our first World Series since 1962.  We didn’t score another run.

52.   7-9-88 Not exactly revenge, we scored 21 against the Cards.  Chris Speier hit for the cycle.

53.   8-10-89 On a Thursday afternoon, Dave Dravecky came back after months of cancer treatments to go 8, beat the Reds 4-3 and put us up 3. 

54.   10-7-89 Game 3 of the NLCS, with the series tied, we were down 4-3 in the 7th inning, Robby Thompson hit a two run HR that held up.

55.   10-8-89 Game 4 of the NLCS, Greg Maddux is one of the great pitchers who ever lived, but we blitzed him in this series. He didn’t get out of the 4th here; Matt Williams broke a 4-4 tie with a two run homer in the 5th for the final score. 

56.   10-9-89 Game 5 of the NLCS, our first pennant since ’62. Will Clark hit a two run single to break a 1-1 tie in the 8th and Steve Bedrosian held on in the 9th.  The Giants win the pennant.

57.   10-17-89 The Earthquake

58.   9-18-90 Out of it from the beginning of the season, this was the culmination of a 9 game winning streak that got us to 5 over .500.  Kevin Mitchell homered off Ed Whitson and we beat the Padres.

59.   7-29-90 8 2/3 no hit innings by Scott Garrelts in front of 55,000 fans beat the Reds and got us to 5.5 back.

60.   8-9-91 Another lost season, beat the Dodgers 1-0 in 13 on a Mitchell HBP.

61.   5-21-92, John Burkett/Michael Jackson combined to give up 2 hits and no walks, we beat the Pirates 1-0 to take our biggest lead of the entire season, 2 games.

62.   4-12-93 Barry Bonds homered in his first Candlestick at bat, Giants beat the Marlins on an 11th inning Darren Lewis single.

63.   5-2-93 Bonds homered and hit a game winning 11th inning single as the Giants took over first place against the Expos.

64.   6-24-93, Bonds homered, Clark homered, Thompson hit 2, the Giants beat the Rockies 17-2 to go up 9 games in the west and 25 over .500. 

65.   9-24-93 Clark homered in the 10th to beat the Padres; after losing our lead we moved back to 1.5 out with 9 left.
66.   9-28-93, we won our 7th straight, our 100th game and caught the Braves, 6-4 over the Rockies – another homer for Clark.

67.   7-26-94 Twenty days before we were 8.5 back, after beating LA 12-5 we had shaved 7 games off the lead. Matt Williams hit his 38th homer in 101 games and Barry Bonds stole his 300th career base.

68.   5-2-95 Scoreless through 14 innings, LA scored 3 in the top of the 15 and we came back with 4, 3 on a Robby Thompson homer, in the bottom to get them.

69.   4-27-96, Bonds became the 4th member of the 300/300 club, taking John Burkett deep in a Giants win over the Marlins.

70.   9-18-97 We were up 6 in July but down 2 to LA when the Dodgers came in, we won the night before and then caught LA here; Bonds homered and tripled, Rod Beck got out of a bases loaded, no out spot in the tenth, and Brian Johnson walked them off with a 12th inning homer.

71.   9-27-97 We clinched the west by beating the Padres; Wilson Alvarez struck out seven.

72.   9-22-98 Down 5 in the Wild Card with ten left we went  on a run to force a one game playoff; in that run came this 14-2 win over the Pirates where Bonds was a double short of a cycle.

73.   9-11-99 A 3-2 win over the Braves included Bonds’s 2000th hit

74.   9-29-99 last win at the Stick, Livan Hernandez got it, the unlikely Bronswell Patrick got his only MLB save.  Bonds and Kent both homered and we won 5-1.

75.   9-30-99 Why were we on the road to end the season?  We lost the last game at the Stick, to the Dodgers, 9-4. Shawn Estes was the last ever losing pitcher; Julian Tavarez the last ever Giants pitcher.  Last Giants out, Marvin Benard.  Last Giants hit, a single by Ramon Martinez. They scored the last run and hit the last homer.  Jay Canizaro scored our last run.  Benard hit our last homer.

Ranked: Every US Big Brother Winner (1-20)

This is a qualitative ranking, not based on entertainment value. Any ranking like this largely reflects the edit received by the player, as even a longtime After Dark/Live Feed watcher can't catalog reality game play as can he a baseball game (I do watch live feeds; it's not that I unknow what I know, it's that there can be a tendency of feed watchers to give outsized importance to a conversation they happened to catch).  Nonetheless, here's the ranking of every US Big Brother winner (show proper, not OTT or Celebrity, although I did watch those as well) updated through conclusion of BB20.

1. Will (2)
2. Dan (10)
3. Derrick (16)
4. Mike Boogie (7)
5. Maggie (6)
6. Andy (15)
7. Evel Dick (8)
8. Jun (4)
9. Hayden (12)
10. Drew (5)

11. Nicole (18)
12. Ian (14)
13. Rachel (13)
14. Kaycee (20)
15. Steve (17)
16. Jordan (11)
17. Adam (9)
18. Lisa (3)
19. Josh (19)
20. Eddie (1)

Will and Dan, in some order, have long been 1-2 in every serious list.  Both were front men in an alliance, both had multiple decks stacked against them in making improbable runs in their return seasons.  Dan's second appearance is arguably the best performance of any non-winner; Will's first place is a tough perch to leave, as its largely based on creating the BB gameplay template - minimizing the importance of competitions and creating a narrative that production is incentivized to follow.  BB isn't rigged, but it's a tv show, and giving it a story to tell is part of advancing through the game.  Derrick played the best ever single game and by an amount so wide that were you to rank him first overall, even without benefit of the strong return game, that would not be unreasonable.  My view of Derrick takes a little bit of a hit upon benefit of seeing the advantage that Battle of the Block gives to a large alliance in a second season.  Had Vanessa won her season or Paul won his second season, they'd join this top tier.

It gets harder after that.  Mike won what was maybe the most competitive season; Dick controlled the house through previously unseen force. Maggie's not viewed as a particularly engaging player, but she marshaled a successful alliance essentially throughout the entire game.  Jun actively chose a midgame alliance with maybe the only player less popular in the house than she was, aiding her at the final vote.  Ian, like, for example, Hayden or Adam was a subordinate figure in a large alliance, but won a very competitive season and got the vote over an all time great reality competitor. Bumping Ian back makes sense given that, like the case of winners during seasons dominated by Vanessa or Danielle Reyes, he was not in control of a game that was in the control of a superior player. Andy was both unable to be universally liked across the house and to constantly lie his way to position himself with the majority. His game wasn't particularly entertaining and it wasn't an especially competitive season, keeping his ceiling at 5. Nicole was a middling player in her first season and a half, but (sort of like Jun) was probably the best player in her house in the closing weeks of the game.

Rachel was a subordinate member of a large alliance in her season, less strategically successful than was Ian; personal likability really drove the win for Jordan (Jordan's success the second time bumps her above Drew; Rachel having beaten Jordan puts her first in this subgroup).  Drew, Adam, Hayden were essentially numbers wins - they were in groups that had house control and won as the more likable of the options at the end. Kaycee is a little bit south of Hayden; the Brigade is the best comp for Level 6, but Hayden didn't have a Tyler leading the way strategically for him. Adam's season suffered from not particularly competitive gameplay. Lisa gets a Danielle Reyes penalty, jury nullification gives her a not entirely on the up and up win. That penalty is multiplied by the one given to Josh; his beating Paul is the worst decision by a BB jury ever (possible exception of the OTT jury, which was the public, who awarded the lesser Willett sister over Jason Roy. Paul dominated the game like no one but Derrick, he should have gotten every vote against every opponent.)/ Steve also stands in the shadow of a significantly better player who completely dominated the game; Vanessa losing the toss up final HOH to finish third (she and Danielle, and now Paul, far and away, are the best players never to win; Vanessa played a game insufficiently appreciated by an audience not as smart as she is). Eddie is listed just for completion, but BB1 was a different game.

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