RN and SF Mayor George Christopher

Vice President Nixon and Mayor of San Francisco, George Christopher, observe construction of Candlestick Park on June 12 of 1959.

Candlestick Park, the workhorse stadium that housed both the San Francisco 49ers and Giants, will host its final event tonight–in grand fashion, no less. Paul McCartney will grace the stadium’s final moments, performing in front of a sellout crowd of 49,000.

As we bid our final farewell to Candlestick, nixonfoundation.org takes a look back on a special moment in the stadium’s history: opening day, April 12, 1960.

On February 3, 1960, the Mayor of San Francisco, George Christopher, personally invited the Vice President to attend the dedication of his city’s new ball park. See Mayor Christopher’s letter to RN below:


As seen by his personal annotation, RN did not hesitate to accept.


Before the game, the Vice President was joined by Governor of California Pat Brown, Mayor Christopher, and Major League Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick in giving opening remarks at the dedication ceremony. While in the stands, RN even had a chance to chat with Hall of Famer Ty Cobb:

Candlestick016 After the game, in which the Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals by a score of 3-1, RN visited the home team’s locker room, where he would talk baseball to future Hall of Famers Orlando Cepeda and Willie Mays.

RN and Giants Players

RN shakes hands with Orlando Cepeda.

RN and Willie Mays

RN shares a laugh with Willie Mays.

candlestick 1960

An aerial view of Candlestick Park on April 1, 1960.