Saturday, February 16, 2008

Turn Out The Lights, The Party's Over

1985 was the worst season in Giants franchise history. Attendance had declined to near nothing and owner Bob Lurie, who was frustrated at the failure of the city of San Francisco to either build him a new ballpark or renovate the 'Stick, declared that Candlestick Park was not fit for baseball and that the Giants would not play there in 1986. Whether this meant an attempt to play at the Oakland Coliseum or to move the team to another city, nobody knew. What it did mean was that the last game that year would be the last game at Candlestick ever.

Kevin , Louie and I were at that last game. The Giants lost their 100th game of the year that day, and I bought the last hot dog ever sold (read the story here) just after the game. We decided that we would stay as long as we could; until we were kicked out of the stadium. People left, and the security did their sweep of the stands, just ahead of the cleaning crew. They started in left field and swept around the staduim toward right. We were told to leave, so we went down to the right field corner to buy some more time. We were told to leave again. So we headed up to the upper deck. Since attendance was so small that year the centerfield stands were essentially blocked off. But a gate held loosely with a chain and lock had a bit too much slack on the chain. So we slipped through and made our way to the upper deck in centerfield and hid in a tunnel. This particular tunnel had a crawlspace access in it, so when the security crew looked down the tunnel, he couldn't see us.

We watched the cleanup and the grounds crew water the field, then leave. We were the only ones left. We made it down to the field, ran around the bases and went into the dugout. We each used the toilet in the dugout. After our fun, we decided to leave. But we encountered a problem. All the exits were closed and locked. Oh, no. So we started trying to open doors to ticket windows and equipment rooms. We found one door unlocked. It was to a small empty room. This room had a light bulb in the ceiling with a chain. It was on. There was a rear door that led out of the park. We sang, "Turn out the lights, the party's over" as we exited. Yes, we locked the door behind us and turned out the light. Of course the Giants played at Candlestick in 1986.

1 comment:

  1. Steve, I like your stories of adventure. What a die hard Giants fan. I dare you, no double dare you to thaw out that old hot dog and eat it. You could share it with your boys.