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Saying goodbye to Candlestick Park

One of baseball's historic facilities is closing its doors for good this winter.

Ezra Shaw

We don't usually discuss the NFL around here, but on Monday a pretty historic event occurred: The San Francisco 49ers beat the Falcons 34-24 in the final regular season game (and quite possibly the final sporting event ever) at Candlestick Park.

The Brewers didn't have a lot of history at The 'Stick: They played just nine games in San Francisco between the team's move to the National League in 1998 and the Giants' move to AT&T Park in 2000. Jeromy Burnitz had a two-homer game there in 1999, for what that's worth.

The Milwaukee Braves, however, will see a little more of their history fade away. The Giants moved to San Francisco in 1958 and Candlestick Park in 1960 (they played two years at Seals Stadium), meaning they hosted the Milwaukee Braves during their last six seasons in Milwaukee. Consider for a moment this list of National League parks from 1965, the Braves' final year before their move to Atlanta:

Team Stadium Active?
Dodgers Dodger Stadium Active
Giants Candlestick Park Defunct
Pirates Forbes Field Defunct
Reds Crosley Field Defunct
Braves Milwaukee County Stadium Defunct
Phillies Connie Mack Stadium Defunct
Cardinals Busch Stadium I Defunct
Cubs Wrigley Field Active
Astros Astrodome Defunct
Mets Shea Stadium Defunct

Warren Spahn pitched in 16 different ballparks during his 21 MLB regular seasons (plus eight more World Series appearances at two defunct ballparks). Just the two above remain active, less than 50 years following his retirement.

I'm not sure anyone will miss Candlestick Park, which had a reputation for being a cold, windy facility in the best of conditions. It's hard not to get nostalgic every time one of these old parks goes away, though, because a piece of living history goes with it.