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Seals Stadium

When the New York Giants headed west for the 1958 season, they took up temporary residence in San Francisco's Seals Stadium. Built in 1931, the park was home to both the San Francisco Seals and San Francisco Missions of the Pacific Coast League. It was one of the most famous minor league stadiums and minor league home to Joe DiMaggio. "The Queen in Concrete", as it was known, was located in downtown San Francisco near the Hamms Brewery.

 

Seals Stadium had a single deck built of steel and concrete with no roof which curved most of the way down the foul lines and 15 rows of bleachers stretching from the rightfield foul lines to the centerfield scoreboard. The outfield had no warning track, and there was originally a 20 foot high fence running from the leftfield foul pole to the centerfield scoreboard. Despite large outfield dimensions, Seals Stadium was considered a hitters' park because winds of 15 to 20 miles per hour often carried to left field. The stadium, which had two home teams from 1931 to 1937, had three clubhouses, which in 1945, Seals' owner Paul Fagan equipped with draft beer, a soda fountain, a barber, and a shoeshine stand. For several years, the park also featured the first glass backstop in baseball.

 

With the arrival of the Giants in 1958, 5,000 bleacher seats were added in left field. The next season, a 31 foot high scoreboard was installed in center field, a 15 foot high screen in left, and a 16 foot high screen in right. The Giants drew near capacity crowds at nearly every game here, and despite the park's relatively small size, the team attracted over two and a half million fans in the two seasons that they called Seals Stadium home.

Seals Stadium was torn down in late 1959, after the season. The park's seats and light towers were moved to Tacoma's new Cheney Stadium for the 1960 season. Today, the San Francisco Autocenter and a supermarket stand on the site where Seals Stadium once stood.

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Tagged:
Ball Parks of Yesterday, Minor League Parks, San Francisco Giants, San Francisco Sea Lions, Seals Stadium

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