(Redirected from SBC Park)
(previously known as Pacific Bell Park, 2000 to 2003; SBC Park, 2004 to 2005; and AT&T Park, 2006 to 2018)
- Kirk Rueter (L) v. Chan Ho Park (W), Jeff Shaw (Sv); HR: Kevin Elster 3, Barry Bonds, Doug Mirabelli, J.T. Snow
Park Firsts (all April 11, 2000):
- First Hit Devon White
- First Double Bonds
- First Triple Mirabelli
- First Home Run Kevin Elster off Rueter
- First Run Bill Mueller
- First RBI Bonds
HIGH SEASON ATTENDANCE: 3,387,303 (2011)
LOW SEASON ATTENDANCE: 2,862,110 (2009)
LONGEST HOME RUN: 499 ft. to center by Barry Bonds
Oracle Park is the home of the San Francisco Giants, located in the harbor-front section of downtown San Francisco, CA. The ballpark is built on the edge of an inlet in San Francisco Bay that was renamed McCovey Cove when the ballpark opened in 2000 in honor of Hall of Fame slugger Willie McCovey. The right field fence is built on the edge of the water, and home runs hit over the bleachers in right field are "splashdown homers", falling into the water. Fans often congregate on the creek in small boats at game time in the hope of catching one of these homers. When the ballpark first opened, the Giants had a team of Portuguese water dogs, known as BARK (Baseball's Aquatic Retrieval Korps) trained to retrieve balls that fell into the water. The balls were then auctioned off and profits generated used to benefit animal shelters. The project, which received a lot of media coverage, ended after a couple of seasons.
The ballpark was originally called Pac Bell Park, then in 2004 changed its name to SBC Park and in 2006 to AT&T Park, reflecting changes in corporate sponsors. Following the 2018 season, a new corporate sponsor was sought and the name became Oracle Park starting in 2019.
Oracle Park replaced the reviled Candlestick Park which for years had kept attendance down by being beaten by strong cold winds even in the middle of summer, making attendance at ball games a distinctly unpleasant experience. In contrast, Oracle Park is universally praised for its classic architecture, cozy dimensions and great views of the playing field, and fabulous location in the heart of one the United States' most beautiful cities.
In the first game played at the then Pac Bell Park on April 11, 2000, SS Kevin Elster hit three home runs for the Los Angeles Dodgers, including the first one ever hit in the ballpark off Kirk Rueter in a 6-5 Dodgers win. No other hitter would have a three-homer game here until October 24, 2012, when Pablo Sandoval did it in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series. This is in spite of the fact that Barry Bonds set a number of home run records while playing in the park, including the single-season record of 73 in 2001, and the career record of 762 (although he did have two other home parks in his career, Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium and Candlestick Park). Bonds' exploits obscured the fact that AT&T Park is in fact not hitter-friendly at all, and not particularly conducive to hitting long balls.
From 2010 to July 17, 2017, the Giants sold out 530 consecutive home dates at AT&T Park, a National League record. The streak coincided with the greatest run of success for the team in San Francisco, during which they won three World Series Championships in five years starting with the 2010 World Series.
- Matt Monagan: "The dogs that retrieved balls from McCovey Cove: They were known as BARK (Baseball's Aquatic Retrieval Korps)", mlb.com, June 28, 2022.