12/22/13 - posted by Paul Judge

Our son Sam just returned from a studying abroad in Australia and vagabonding a bit in New Zealand. He's home for Christmas gatherings w/ family and friends and catchin' up on home cooking and all things Bay Area sports related. The last likely game at the 'Stick Monday night and the Forty Niners move to Santa Clara has come up in discussion. He found and shared the following video
Niner's One Last Time...

I highly doubt that I'll ever attend a game down the Peninsula at the new place. Haven't been to a Niner game in at least 12 years. The last one was to allow a young Sam to experience it.

I have no pangs of love for Candlestick. Just love for and memories of the remarkable players and the teams who played there. As a kid I liked it better back when it was first built and open in Left Field. I liked to watch the bay and the naval ships at Hunters Point. And Del Courtney's band played live in the bleachers b'tween innings. Like the foibles of many old memories, the grass seemed greener then too. The 'Stick at least had seats, I'm still pickin' splinter out of my butt from the benches at Kezar.

I shared those thoughts with WNP member John Freeman and he wrote:
"Agree. I go back to the Kezar days, when we walked from the inner-Richmond, hung around and got extra tickets or had Christopher Milk passes, then climbed the chain-link fence into the better seats. I saw both football and baseball games at The Stick, but it was all about the play on the field, not the stadium that attracted me. AT&T is a stadium of merit, worth visiting no matter who plays. I've gone to Prep Championship games, and MLB games there. The best seats are up high on the 3rd base side, so you do see the bay shipping traffic. The neighborhood is lively and the transportation by bus is easy.

Today the price of tickets and the distance to travel to Santa Clara are out of my league. If I was comped a ticket, I'd go, but only to experience the stadium. With the way media covers games today, staying at home with a large-screen TV might allow you more viewing of the action than sitting in the stands.

The City was never in the running to replace Candlestick in the same location. Santa Clara has the money, big-buck fan-base and better weather (although for football, it hardly matters in the Fall and Winter like baseball in the Spring & Summer). I hate to see the Niner's leave San Francisco, but they are still "our" team, and will be a first-class stadium right next to their facilities. The 49ers haven't been a "local" team since YA Tittle played quarterback. Their headquarters have been in Santa Clara all these years, and the only thing about them being "San Francisco" was that they played in a crappy stadium in the roughest part of town, just inside the city & county line.

The NFL is very big business now and it's all about TV commercials, not butts in the seats. We'll watch'em if they play in Sitka or Capetown, but don't need to sit in the stands anymore to get a great experience." --John Freeman

In our household both Christy and Sam are drawn to reading sports writing and coverage far more often than myself. On a number of occasions they've gleaned and suggested great articles either in the Chronicle's Sporting Green and from the website 'Grantland' to read.

With regards to the demise of 'The Stick' this is one of 'em.

An oral history of the 1989 World Series, which was dominated by the Oakland A's and devastated by the Loma Prieta earthquake
By Bryan Curtis and Patricia Lee on October 23, 2013

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