Oracle Park

Colorado Rockies @ San Francisco Giants.

Massitio Baseball Project began with a pilgrimage to see all 30 Major League Baseball Parks. This visit marks a milestone in that adventure. Of course, the Texas Rangers are scheduled to open the new Globe Life Field so the mission continues. I’ve also made other discoveries along the way. What I was able to confirm is that a challenge is not as valuable as the road to get there. “The path is the goal,” said Mahatma Gandhi. I can also confirm that, of the 30 MLB parks, this one, along with PNC Park in Pittsburgh, are the most scenic places to play a baseball game.

Baseball history in the Bay Area is undeniable. Just across the way are the Oakland A’s and their long standing tradition. Baseball can be traced back to the 1860’s in San Francisco. Those teams were the building blocks for the San Francisco Seals. They became synonymous with baseball in San Francisco, one of six teams that helped pioneer the historic Pacific Coast League. The other five charter members were the Los Angeles Angels, the Oakland Oaks, the Portland Bears, the Sacramento Senators, and the Seattle Indians. Joe DiMaggio first played professionally with San Francisco Seals when his older brother on the team (Vince) put in a good word for Joe with the manager.

Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda, and Felipe Alou were among the players who were part of that historic move to the west coast. A misconception of Jackie Robinson’s career is his retirement. He was traded, unbeknownst to him, to the New York Giants at the end of the 1956 Season for pitcher Dick Littlefield which prompted Jackie to retire instead. As the season came to an end, San Francisco fans bid farewell to Manager Bruce Bochy who would retire at the end of the season. His departure is the end of an era. Between 2007 and 2019, Bruce Bochy managed SF Giants to 4 post season appearances and the World Championship in 2010, 2012, and 2014. These were the first three titles since the Giants moved from The Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan, New York to Seal Stadium in the Mission District of San Francisco in 1958. Candlestick park would not be ready until 1960.

Images were taken the day before the final home series with LA Dodgers. Those tickets were probably three times more expensive than this series with Colorado Rockies, just to give you an idea of how epic this SF Giants-LA Dodgers rivalry is. Mike Yastrzemski, the grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, was in the line up for the San Francisco Giants as a pinch hitter, playing Left Field and Right Field. He went 2 for 3 at the plate, hitting a home run and a double with 2 runs batted in and 2 runs scored. His arrival and Bruce Bochy’s departure is a testament of how timeless Baseball can be.

John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reported Oracle Park being boarded up on Tuesday (June 2, 2020) due to the recent protests of systemic racism. “Peaceful protests, riots, vandalism and looting in the Bay Area and the nation continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day,” wrote John Shea. Just last week, City of San Francisco cleared Oracle Park to open in June. As of now, MLB and MLBPA have not come to an agreement and the window to mobilize and re-open the season is closing, a difficult time in baseball and in the world we live in.

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