AT&T Park in San Francisco is Beautiful at Night
Posted on April 27, 2010
General exterior view of the San Francisco Giants home stadium AT&T Park during the game between the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on April 24, 2010 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)
I have always loved ballparks. Ever since I was a kid I really did think that a ballpark, or stadium back then, was truly a special place. A cathedral if you will. It was the place where they played the great game of baseball. Of course, my favorite ballpark was about as far away from being a true “ballpark” as you could find on the planet Earth: Candlestick Park! I loved Candlestick because that is where my San Francisco Giants played ball. This was the 1970′s and The Stick was covered in the hardest lime-green AstroTurf in the Major Leagues. It was ugly, cold and windy, but I loved it! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that my favorite team would eventually figure out how to build their own ballpark, and make it the best in all the land. Those of us lucky enough to call the Bay Area home are truly blessed to be able to attend ballgames at AT&T Park.
It is hard to believe that Pacific Bell Park opened up 10 years ago in 2000. After changing it’s name to SBC Park a few years later it finally settled on the name AT&T Park in 2006. Over the years I have enjoyed photographing this cool ballpark ever since they broke ground on December 11, 1997. I later shot pictures of the ballpark when they had the first batting practice in early 2000 and a few weeks later when put down the first sod as grass started to grow for the first time in the new ballpark.
Once the park opened on April 11, 2000 it was apparent that our new ballpark was very photogenic. In the first few weeks of the season I photographed the park from many different angles, both inside and out. I quickly realized that my favorite images of the park were taken from the outside at dusk. In 2000 I was shooting on color slide film and really liked what I saw when I got the chrome back from the lab. Pacific Bell Park looked great at night, and I needed to make sure I continually documented it’s beauty over the years as the name and it’s surroundings changed.
Fast forward to this past weekend and I decided that now was the time to shoot some updated pictures of the old yard (this time with my Canon Mark IV- no more slide film!). I went to the park on Saturday night to shoot the first few innings of the 6:05 start against the Cardinals to photograph the pitchers and a few other things. My goal was to leave the game early and shoot some pretty exteriors of the front of the park showing off the palm trees that are surrounded by new orange lights this season. I had to wait about 45 minutes for the sky to get the perfect shade of dark blue, but with the moon shining bright down on the park the conditions were perfect for a few pictures before the sky went black.
I went back to the park last night for the 7:15 first pitch between the Phillies and Giants to shoot Phillies ace Roy Halladay. My plan was to shoot him for the first two innings and then leave the park in time to head over to the McCovey Cove side of the ballpark beyond the right field fence to shoot a few more pretty pictures of the park before the sky went too dark. I had a ball shooting from the Lefty O’Doul Bridge as the lights from the park made some nice reflections in the water. I then headed over to the Willie McCovey statue to shoot a few more frames with the statue in the foreground and the park and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in the background. I was really happy with the results and was even happier being able to listen to a Giants victory on the radio as I drove home.
Next I need to shoot some new pictures from inside the park at dusk. I am in no rush to do that right now. I want to enjoy watching a few of these night games on television from the comfort of my living room.