Happy Anniversary: Barry Bonds in SF, several other ballpark debuts
April 12 has been a big day for debuts -- mostly involving ballparks -- in MLB history.
As some Eye on Baseball readers may have noticed, I'm a big fan of baseball history. I love arguments about the best season or best player or best in an era, etc. I also enjoy looking back through the baseball databases and checking out "on this date in baseball history" type things.
And in looking at April 12, there are a lot of pretty cool debuts -- mostly involving ballparks. So let's check them out.
April 12, 1909: Philadelphia's Shibe Park opens with an A's victory. The A's would play there from 1909-1954 while the Phillies would call it home from 1938-1970. We've covered the historic yard that would eventually be called Connie Mack Stadium before.
April 12, 1955: The A's play their first game in Kansas City. Their home was Municipal Stadium and they would last just 14 seasons there before heading out West to Oakland.
April 12, 1960: San Francisco's Candlestick Park opens with the Giants beating the Cardinals 3-1. Vice President Richard Nixon threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
April 12, 1965: The Astros' first regular-season game in the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Astrodome, was played. It was the first domed stadium in sports, thus, this was the first indoor regular-season game in any major professional sport. Also of note: The groundbreaking for the historic venue was done with guns. Seriously.
April 12, 1966: Hello Atlanta! For the first time in MLB history, a franchise plays a home game in Atlanta, as the Braves -- recently moved in from Milwaukee -- hosted the Pirates. Their home at the time was Atlanta Stadium (soon to be renamed Fulton County Stadium), which was replaced by Turner Field in 1997.
April 12, 1993: Recently-signed out of free agency, reigning MVP Barry Bonds makes his debut in Candlestick Park. And he made it a memorable one:
Coincidentally, Bonds also passed Harmon Killebrew (2002) and tied Willie Mays (2004) in career home runs on April 12.
April 12, 2004: Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park opens, putting Veterans Stadium in the rearview.
April 12, 2010: Minnesota's Target Field opens, as the Twins say goodbye to the Metrodome forever.