Friday, June 20, 2008

The City That Knew How

Robert O'Brien of the San Francisco Chronicle recounts an article -- first published in 1948 -- by an old-timer remembering the San Francisco baseball fields which preceded Seals Stadium (which preceded Candlestick, which preceded AT&T, but you knew that, right?). And of course, the "70s" and "80s" refer to the 19th century:

Recreation Park closed down, Hanley said, "and for one or two seasons in the late '70s or early '80s, the teams played across the bay in Alameda, opposite the Terrace Baths. Then they came back to the city to Central Park, which was on the southeast corner of Market and Eighth streets. It was a good park but had a poor right field; the heavy hitters were all the time batting the ball over the fence and into Eighth Street."

The players of the late '80s usually wound up at a saloon at Ellis and Steiner streets on Saturday nights, either to drink to their afternoon victory or to drown their chagrin over a defeat. Hanley's paper route took him past this tavern. "Many a Saturday night," he recalled, "I used to see Mike Finn, one of the managers, collar his players at the bar and take them home to sober up so they could play their Sunday game."
Baseball hasn't changed much. If you replace "Mike Finn" with "Ron Washington" and "his players" with "Sidney Ponson" you wouldn't know the difference.


Jason said...


Kritical Man said...

Indeed. SF hasn't changed much either! We love our baseball and our booze out here. We're well-read too, according to
this study
Someone needs to update this though. Maybe I'll get to work on that. I think I'll have a beer first....

Anonymous said...


There are still good bars near 8th and Market...