Dec 18, 2013, 4:25 PM PDT
It has been called Candlestick Park, 3Com Park, Monster Park, and San Francisco Stadium at Candlestick Point, but soon it will be called rubble, scrap metal, and a demolition site.
Many have made countless trips there to see the 49ers or Giants, and created a lifetime of sports memories in the stands, but you can’t possibly see Candlestick Park the same way as the people that have spent their lives maintaining it. Until now.
On Tuesday, the two men that have logged more hours than anyone else at the ‘Stick, peeled back the curtain and revealed some of the aging park’s hidden relics.
San Francisco Regional Park stadium chief Michael Gay has spent 35 years making sure everything runs smoothly at Candlestick Park. When asked if the stadium had any hidden gems, he had to stop and think for a moment before referencing the buzzer that is secretly located in the luxury suit that used to be the Giants’ dugout.
The button that operates the buzzer has been covered by a thick layer of gray paint, but if you push the metal button, it still makes an extremely loud and obnoxious sound. The device was put there to signal the end of batting practice during baseball games.
That’s not the only Giants-related item that nobody bothered to remove. A massive out of town scoreboard is still buried under what used to be movable bleachers. The electric scoreboard still features an old Giants logo and a Jelly Belly advertisement. Unlike the buzzer, it no longer functions. Once the extra seats were put in, they couldn’t get a crane in there to remove it if they wanted to.
Gay led a tour around the soon-to-be defunct stadium, but it became a fascinating trip down memory lane. He pointed out the light fixtures at the stadium, which are the tallest in North America, he stopped the tour in the north end zone where “The Catch” took place, and he went to his office and showed off a chunk of concrete that came loose during the ’89 earthquake.
He has witnessed almost every historical moment at Candlestick Park, but has yet to see the construction site of Levi’s Stadium, the high-tech marvel that will soon end his working relationship with the 49ers.
Meanwhile, 49ers locker room manager Bob Mallamo has been with the team for 34 years. He will be migrating to Santa Clara with the 49ers. His eyes lit up when asked about Candlestick Park’s hidden relics.
The first thing that came to mind? A dirty hamper.
For as long as anyone can remember, this hamper has been in use. It was tucked away in a corner blocking the showers of the home locker room, but he gladly walked a group of people over to see it.
His other favorite item in the locker room was a taping table that has been in use as long as he’s been there. Just think of all the famous butts that have sat on that table. Willie Mays, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Steve Young — to name a few.
Speaking of legendary players that have suited up at Candlestick Park, Mallamo also revealed a very interesting factoid about the framed jerseys in the 49ers locker room. If the jersey has a gold frame, it means that player is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. If it has a red frame, it means that player’s number is retired.
Die-hard fans can tell you about the 49ers’ five championship seasons since first calling Candlestick Park home in 1971. They can tell you all about what happened when the Giants first took the field there in 1960. Even the most casual fan knows about the 1989 earthquake that interrupted the World Series between the Giants and the Oakland A’s.
Only a handful of people had seen the hidden relics of Candlestick Park. Now they will live on in our memories like the stadium itself. The 49ers will play what is likely their final home game in San Francisco on Monday.
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