By Tim Marsh, Lakes High Class of 1966
Some things you never forget.
It was 1959, I was 11 years old. Well, no, it was 1961 and I was 13.
Dad, Mom and I drove from our home on Bridgeport Way in the family 1955 red and white Dynamic 88 Oldsmobile (black sidewall tires) and visited Aunt Eleanor and Uncle Ed. We stayed with them in their San Francisco apartment.
While there, Dad and I attended a San Francisco Giants game in the new Candlestick Park. We were Giants fans because as a family (the three of us and my sister) we attended the minor league Tacoma Giants’ home games in Cheney Stadium.
(Candlestick and Cheney opened in 1960. On April 12, SF beat St. Louis Cardinal, 3-1. On April 16, Tacoma played a doubleheader vs. the Portland Beavers, losing the opener 7-2 and winning the nightcap 11-0.)
From our general admission seats at Candlestick, Dad and I saw San Francisco play St. Louis led by star player Stan Musial. Well, no, we attended game 59. (See ticket stub.) Research shows it was Saturday afternoon, June 17, 1961. Opponent was the Chicago Cubs led by the incomparable Ernie Banks. Giants won, 9-3.
We were among 27,241 fans watching. It took two hours and 25 minutes to complete the game. Juan Marichal was the winning pitcher. Among other Giants we saw play were Willie Mays and Willie McCovey.
What I really remember is that Dad and I drove to iconic San Francisco “eatery” Tommy’s Joynt on Van Ness at Geary. We each had a hot pastrami sandwich as our pregame lunch. It was my first pastrami ever. Delicious!
From Tommy’s we rode a packed bus to the ballpark and later back from it.
I’ll never forget Dad and I attending the game and Tommy’s pastrami sandwich, even if I don’t remember everything accurately.
- One of my Mom’s Little Church on the Prairie fellow choir members was Blanche Perry, wife of professional baseball pitcher Gaylord Perry, then playing for the Tacoma Giants and later for the Giants of San Francisco.
- Our Bridgeport Way neighbor was manager (assistant manager?) of Albertson’s grocery store at Lakewood Square, corner of Bridgeport Way and Mount Tacoma Drive. (Where Goodwill is located. Where Clover Park Community College, Pierce College predecessor, got its start.) He’d played in the Cleveland Browns professional baseball organization. (Don’t confuse with football team of same name.) This may explain why Albertson’s had Tacoma Giants players in the store for shoppers to visit and sign autographs.