AT&T Park (Oracle Park)
AT&T Park is the home of the San Francisco Giants baseball organization, of Major League Baseball. The Park is the first privately financed ballpark in Major League Baseball since 1962 and was named the 2008 Sports Facility of the Year by Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily. AT&T Park is well known for its breathtaking views and classic design, and when opened was raved as one of the best designs in the United States in 2000. Its design is a classic urban ballpark with an old-time feel, yet all the amenities of modern ballparks. AT&T Park was inspired by Wrigley Field and Fenway Park and modeled after Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Jacobs Field and Coors Field. AT&T Park was the place that the Giants moved to in 1999 Season. Bonds broke many records here. He broke the single-season home run record in the 2001 season. He also broke the all-time career home run record on August 7th, 2007. On August 7 at 8:51 PM PDT, at Oracle Park (then known as AT&T Park) in San Francisco, Bonds hit a 435 foot (133 m) home run, his 756th, off a pitch from Mike Bacsik of the Washington Nationals, breaking the all-time career home run record, formerly held by Hank Aaron. Coincidentally, Bacsik's father had faced Aaron (as a pitcher for the Texas Rangers) after Aaron had hit his 755th home run. On August 23, 1976, Michael J. Bacsik held Aaron to a single and a fly out to right field. The younger Bacsik commented later, "If my dad had been gracious enough to let Hank Aaron hit a home run, we both would have given up 756." After hitting the home run, Bonds gave Bacsik an autographed bat.
Backstory and Context
The stadium was originally designed to seat 42,000 however there were slight modifications before the final design was complete. When the ballpark was brought to the ballot box in the fall of 1996 for voter approval, the stadium was 15° clockwise from its current position. Also the center-field scoreboard was atop the right-field wall and the Giants Pavilion Building were two separate buildings.
Work began on the ballpark on December 11, 1997, in the industrial waterfront area of San Francisco known as China Basin in the neighborhoods of South Beach and Mission Bay. The stadium cost almost $360 million to build and superseded the Giant's former home at Candlestick Park.
The park opened on March 31, 2000, and was the first Major League ballpark to be built without the use of public funds since the Dodger Stadium in 1962. That being said, the Giants did receive a $10 million tax break from the city, and a further $80 million for upgrading the surrounding infrastructure. The Giants have a 66-year lease on the stadium and pay $1.2 million annually to the San Francisco Port Commission.
On August 2, 2007 Barry Bonds hit the 756th home run of his career at AT&T Park. This number surpassed Hank Aaron for first place in career home runs. On that day Bonds was 43 years and 14 days old. The opposing pitcher was Mike Bacsik of the Washington Nationals, the score was tied at 4-4, and Bonds faced a full batting count before breaking the milestone record.
Bonds would do most of his damage at AT&T Park. He set the single-season record for homeruns which is 73 in 2001. This record still stands to this day. He also broke Hank Aarons career total home-run record on August 7th, 2007 when he hit his 756th home-run of his career. Bonds signed with the Giants in 1993 and spent his final 15 Major League seasons in a San Francisco uniform, compiling a .312 batting average with 381 doubles, 41 triples, 586 home runs and 1,440 RBI in 1,976 games. He can be found throughout the SF-era record books, ranking in the top 10 for batting average (first), games (third), at-bats (third - 6,263), runs (first 1,555), hits (third 1,951), doubles (first), triples (fourth), home runs (first), RBI (first), stolen bases (first 263) and walks (first 1,947). Bonds won seven NL MVP awards, eight Gold Glove awards and received 14 All-Star selections during his storied 22-year Major League career with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1986-92) and San Francisco Giants (1993- 2007). He was a two-time winner of the National League batting title and the lone member of baseball's 500 homer-500 steal club holds Major League Baseball's all-time records for home runs (762) and walks (2,558). Bonds' impressive resume also includes baseball's single-season records for home runs (73 in 2001), walks (232 in 2004), intentional walks (120 in 2004), on-base percentage (.609 in 2004) and slugging percentage (.863 in 2001). Bonds had his number retired by the Giants on August 18th by the Giants in 2018. Bonds has three years remaining on the hall of fame ballot.
AT&T Park History. Accessed April 01, 2017. http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/sf/ballpark/information/index.jsp?content=history.
73 Single Season Home Runs by Barry Bonds, Baseball Almanac. Accessed November 20th 2019. https://www.baseball-almanac.com/feats/feats0.shtml.
Lojic, Kenny. Barr-ometer, MLB.com. Accessed November 20th 2019. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/mlb_bonds_hr_info.jsp.
MLB Writers. Bonds Giants Career, Giants. Accessed November 24th 2019. https://www.mlb.com/giants/team/front-office/barry-bonds.