Candlestick Park had the last laugh.
After 40 years of tormenting players and fans with swirling winds, frigid temperatures and blankets of fog, the 'Stick closed its baseball career Thursday as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 9-4 on a balmy, sunny day.
"If we had this kind of weather here all the time, a lot more fans would have shown up," Willie Mays said. "It was very cold here, very foggy. There's nothing special about it, but we have some good memories here."
The game was attended by 61,389, the largest regular-season crowd in Candlestick history. It brought the park's total attendance in four decades to 54,031,242. The Giants went 1,775-1,398 at Candlestick.
The temperature was 82 degrees and there was a 5 mph breeze when Juan Marichal threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game. The sky was cloudless when Mays tossed out the ballpark's final pitch after the game.
"That was unusual to come to Candlestick Park and not see the wind blowing in every direction," said Marichal, a native of the Dominican Republic. "It was a warm day. It felt like we were in the Dominican."
The Giants move to $319 million Pacific Bell Park in downtown San Francisco next season, leaving Candlestick which opened on April 12, 1960, in ceremonies led by Ty Cobb and Vice President Richard Nixon to the NFL's 49ers.
Fifty-nine former Giants players and managers, including Hall of Famers Mays, Marichal, Willie McCovey and Orlando Cepeda, attended.
"It was great to be out here today, seeing all those players who gave me sleepless nights," said Tommy Lasorda, who managed the Dodgers for 20 years and now is a team vice president. "I love this place, but the new park is going to be great."
The Dodgers scored two in the second on an RBI single by Eric Young and a run-scoring double by Grudzielanek. They added three in the fourth on Grudzielanek's RBI single and run-scoring walks by Mondesi and Devon White. Mondesi hit his 33rd homer in the sixth. Adrian Beltre added an RBI single in the eighth.
Jeff Williams (2-0) allowed four runs in five innings in his third major league start. Shawn Estes (11-11) was the loser, giving up five runs on eight hits and six walks in 3 2-3 innings.
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