2000 New York, New York

The New York Yankees make a bid to become baseball's first three-peat champions in 25 years, but they must first accept the spirited challenge from their crosstown rivals in the Big Apple's first exclusive World Series since the 1950s.

The Mets’ Mike Piazza is knocked out by a Roger Clemens fastball during a July interleague matchup with the Yankees; when the two teams reconvened for the World Series three months later, Clemens would hardly be in an apologetic mood.

There was a time when the Subway Series seemed more rule than exception, when baseball’s Fall Classic would be determined solely within New York City’s borders. Thirteen such series would take place between 1921-57, from the time Babe Ruth first donned Yankee pinstripes to the moment the Giants and Dodgers turned their backs on the Big Apple and headed west.

Over the next 40 years, the Yankees and those new kids on the block, the Mets, would experience undulating periods of success, but they never caught one another at the top of the curve in an effort to revive the Subway Series.

That was, until 2000.

For much of the 1990s, the Yankees had re-established a virtual dominance over baseball, winning three of the last four World Series to close out the century. Meanwhile, the Mets were showing signs of catching up after sleepwalking through much of the decade.

The Mets’ parabolic upswing of recent years was anything but a smooth ride—especially for manager Bobby Valentine, whose playing career had long ago been cut short when he ran hard into an outfield wall; his managerial tenure at New York appeared to be headed for a similar fate after a 27-28 start in 1999. It was at that moment that the Mets’ management, in an almost Sicilian-style gesture, fired three of Valentine’s coaches. The message was as unmistakable as a dead fish delivered to Valentine’s desk: Start winning, or you’re next. An upbeat Valentine told everyone to judge him on the next 55 games, not the first 55.

Valentine’s dare was met: The Mets won 40 of those next 55, nearly overtook the powerhouse Atlanta Braves in the National League East, qualified as a postseason wild card and got one more shot at the Braves in the NLCS—where they lost with their honor highly intact in an exhaustive six-game series.

For 2000, the Mets were salivating to continue their upward spiral as the burden of controversy shifted over to the Braves, thanks to a good ol’ Southern boy who closed out games for Atlanta with a wicked fastball—and opened his mouth with an equally wicked tongue.

John Rocker had already incurred the wrath of New Yorkers at the 1999 NLCS with a fiery brand of on-field antics and frequent verbal exchanges with Mets fans. Rather than respond with a good-natured slam of the Mets’ faithful, the boisterous, 25-year-old Rocker went after New York’s cultural diversity in a Sports Illustrated article that put baseball front-and-center in the dead of winter in a way it didn’t want.

Flame-throwing Atlanta closer John Rocker became one against the world (his own teammates often included) for his on- and off-the-field antics—including his notorious, offensive diatribe against New Yorkers in a Sports Illustrated article.

Rocker ruminated the thought of playing in New York by describing riding to work in a subway train sitting next to “some kid with purple hair next to some queer with AIDS right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids.” He didn’t stop there, blasting all types of New York “foreigners,” Asian drivers, and even his own teammates—labeling first baseman Randall Simon, an African-American, as a “fat monkey.” Among these written words were perhaps the most startling of them all: “I’m not a racist or prejudiced person, but certain people bother me.”

Rocker’s rant certainly bothered a lot of people, including commissioner Bud Selig—who wanted Rocker to see a psychiatrist before handing down a suspension that would cost the Atlanta closer the first monthRocker’s suspension was reduced to two weeks by an independent arbitrator, at the urging of the players’ union. of the 2000 season. Whatever advice or sensitivity training Rocker would get over the next six months didn’t seem to rub off on him. His apologies seemed forced, abrupt and insincere; he threatened Jeff Pearlman, who wrote the infamous Sports Illustrated article, when they bumped into one another at midseason; and Atlanta players tiring of Rocker began to publicly criticize him—an eye-opener, given the players’ usually tight-lipped solidarity for one another towards the press in regards to internal matters.

If the Rocker sideshow affected the Braves to start 2000, it never showed; the team finished April with a 15-game winning streak, the NL’s longest since 1951, to tear out in front of the Mets. When Rocker and the Braves visited Shea Stadium for the first time in late June under the watchful eyes of 50,000 angry fans and over 500 security officers, they split a four-game seriesRocker pitched one inning in the series, retiring the side. and maintained their hold of first place.

Fortunately for Rocker, Roger Clemens would take over as public enemy number one among Mets fans a few weeks later.

Clemens’ second year with the Yankees had thus far been a frustrating experience in which injury and ineffectiveness had shared his headlines. Worse, he was getting the starting nod for the second game of a July 8 day-night doubleheaderThe unique doubleheader featured the first game at Shea Stadium, the second at Yankee Stadium—the first twinbill split among different ballparks since 1903. against the Mets and the explosive Mike Piazza—who not only owned Clemens (three homers among seven hits in just 12 lifetime at-bats), but also owned the whole NL to date with a .348 batting average, 24 homers and 72 runs batted in. Before the game, Clemens reportedly bragged to teammates that he would send Piazza a message by knocking him down.

And when Piazza first came to the plate, that’s exactly what Clemens did. In the head.

Flattened, Piazza had to be helped off the field with a concussion; when his senses returned the next day, he refused to take a call of apology from Clemens, who claimed the knockdown was an accident. Others within the Mets' organizationIn the Clemens-Piazza aftermath, Mets general manager Steve Phillips kicked Yankee players out of the Shea Stadium weight room and kept his players from sharing a chartered ride with Yankee All-Star Game participants. surely thought otherwise, and their subtle vows of revenge, if anything else, certainly proved that interleague play had finally transcended its early days of cordial novelty.

A year after struggling with a career-worst 4.60 ERA, Roger Clemens didn’t look any sharper to start 2000—until he nailed Mike Piazza in the head. Like a macabre wake-up call, the beaning seemed to fire up Clemens, who got his game back on track for the rest of the season (playoffs included).

Prior to the Piazza knockdown, the Yankees had been something of a first-half enigma, beaten up by injury and cursed by sub-standard play. Wandering with a record barely above .500 on the Fourth of July, the Yankees initiated a rash of midseason trading activityThe Yankees even had the luxury of picking up Jose Canseco from Tampa—not with the intent to play him everyday, but to keep him from being signed by a contending rival. which was furious even by owner George Steinbrenner’s standards; the moves netted seven new players and helped right the Yankee ship back to high water, winning 44 of their its 66 games. Two of the pick-ups proved crucial. David Justice came from Cleveland and, in roughly half a season’s work, hit .305 with 20 homers and 60 RBIs; and when talks to grab Sammy Sosa broke down, the Yankees settled for another Chicago outfielder in Glenallen Hill—who played like Sosa in New York, crushing 16 homers with 29 RBIs while batting .333 in just 40 games.

The mid-year roster makeover helped New York win the AL East, but it couldn’t prevent the Yankees from falling down hard to end the regular season. If ever a team backed into the postseason, it was the 2000 Yankees. They lost 16 of their last 19 games—including their last seven by a combined score of 68-15. Even the lowly Tampa Bay Devil Rays knocked New York silly, outscoring the Yankees 24-5 in a three-game sweep. The two-time defending world champions pratfalled into the playoffs with the worst record among all eight postseason participants.

Along with the Mets—returning to the playoffs as a wild card after once again falling short of Atlanta in the NL East—the two New York nines began their journey towards a possible Subway Series by first eliminating a possible Bay Bridge Series in the postseason’s first round. The Yankees re-awoke and relied on their veteran presence and tremendous postseason sage to outlast in the maximum five games the AL West-winning Oakland A’s, a hot young ballclub that was talented but badly inexperienced. Meanwhile, the Mets succeeded in their uphill NLDS challenge of unseating, in four games, the San Francisco Giants—owners of the majors’ best record at 97-65, and all but invincible at their gorgeous new waterfront digs, Pac Bell Park.

Fully anticipating a NLCS rematch with current NL East rival Atlanta, the Mets were instead stunned to see past NL East nemesis and current NL Central champ St. Louis, who gave the Braves yet another premature exit from the postseason with a three-game NLDS sweep.

Even without the injured Mark McGwire, St. Louis wielded enough firepower with first-year Cardinals Jim Edmonds (.295 average, 42 home runs, 108 RBIs) and Will ClarkDespite his impressive performance at St. Louis, the 36-year-old Clark retired at the end of the year., who filled in for McGwire by hitting .345 with 12 homers late in the year. But Cardinal pitching faltered against the Mets, while New York starter Mike Hampton threw 16 scoreless innings in winning the first and last games to give the Mets an unexpectedly easy, four-games-to-one triumph and their first NL flag since the franchise’s raucous 1986 campaign.

The Mets waited and hoped that they would get their long-awaited rebuttal at Roger Clemens. Roger Clemens would help take care of that.

The Yankees had found another formidable foe from the West for the ALCS in the Seattle Mariners; the AL wild card winner had just bumped off the league’s number one seed in the debilitated Chicago White SoxThe White Sox’ three main starters—James Baldwin, Jim Parque and Mike Sirotka—all fell to major arm and shoulder injuries; Sirotka would never pitch again.. With Randy Johnson and Ken Griffey Jr. long gone, the Mariners’ star of the moment was 25-year-old shortstop phenom Alex Rodriguez (.316 average, 41 home runs, 132 RBIs)—who himself was expected to jump ship at season’s end for the ultra-riches of free agency.

Down two games to one, the Mariners hoped to even the Yankees up in Game Four at Seattle—against Clemens. But the Rocket’s game, both in terms of performance and intimidation, was on fire. Rodriguez found this out, up close and personal—twice thrown at near the head in his first at-bat. It was vintage Clemens; he let the league’s best hitter know who was in charge, all while firing a one-hit shutout, pushing the Yankees to within a game of an AL title they would ultimately take in six games.

RodriguezThe usually congenial Rodriguez admitted, after the game, that he was a “little pissed off” about Clemens’ dustings., like most other Mariners, was 0-for-3 against Clemens. For the rest of the ALCS, he was 9-for-19 with a pair of homers.

Roger Clemens claimed to believe that the jagged end of Mike Piazza’s bat was a foul ball he was lobbing back towards the on-deck circle. His intense wind-up and fiery expression clearly suggests otherwise.

The Yankees and Mets readied for the first Subway Series since 1956, but provincial bragging rights took a back seat to the bigger buzz: Roger Clemens vs. Mike Piazza, Round 2. What was going to happen? Would anything happen?

Though Clemens was rested and ready to pitch the opener, Yankee skipper Joe Torre knew the politics of vengeance all too well. He gave Clemens the starting assignments for Games Two and Six for one simple reason: They would both be played at Yankee Stadium. Starting him in Games One and Five meant he would have to pitch the latter at Shea Stadium, where Clemens couldn’t hide behind the designated hitter. He’d have to hit and perhaps learn—in front of 50,000 very hostile fans that John Rocker could tell you about—how Mike Piazza felt when he was on his back, dazed and confused.

After the Yankees won Game One, 4-3, in a come-from-behind, 12-inning affair, Clemens took the mound for Game Two—and wasted no time getting into Piazza’s head without firing a fastball near it. On the fourth pitch of his first at-bat, Piazza hit a broken-bat dribbler up the first base line; instinctively, he ran towards first base before the ball went foul, while half of the bat headed toward Clemens. Jumping off the mound, Clemens picked up the remnant, jagged end and all, and fired it at Piazza’s feet. Calm but obviously perturbed, Piazza approached Clemens with his hands outstretched while Clemens basically ignored him, asking the umpire for a new ball. Both benches emptied, but nothing or no one erupted.

Clemens’ latest bizarre bully tactic once more seemed to get the worst of the opposition. He pitched eight nearly flawless shutout innings, allowing only two hits while striking out nine. He left with a 6-0 lead—one the normally reliable Yankee bullpen nearly lost as they barely held off a furious ninth-inning Mets rally to survive, 6-5.

PiazzaThe usually congenial Piazza, on Clemens afterward: “He had no response. He didn’t say anything. It was bizarre.”, like most other Mets, went 0-for-3 against Clemens. For the rest of the World Series, he was 6-for-19 with a pair of homers.

Never one to give credible interpretations of events, Clemens said afterward that he initially mistook Piazza’s severed bat for the ball, and then tried to lob it towards the on-deck circle—though the hostile nature of Clemens’ “lob” right towards Piazza brought that theory into question. The commissioner’s office certainly didn’t buy it and fined Clemens $50,000. Clemens otherwise shut his mouth, knowing the Mets might seek revenge if he had to return and start Game Six.

By winning the first two games of the 2000 Fall Classic, the Yankees set a record with 14 consecutive World Series victories—topping the 12 run off by the back-to-back-to-back sweeps of the 1927, 1928 and 1932 Yankees. As one might guess, it took a total team effort to go 14-0.

The Mets couldn’t take it that far.

In Game Three, the Mets finally secured a 4-2 victory—snapping the Yankees’ 14-game World Series win streak in the process—but it was a solitary moment of success in a series otherwise dictated—but not dominated—by the Yankees. Derek Jeter homered off Mets starter Bobby Jones on the first pitch of Game Four, and the Yankees held off another Met rally to win, 3-2; in Game Five, the Yankees wrapped it up when they rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth off the Mets’ Al LeiterThe Game Five loss gave Leiter a career 0-3 record in 11 postseason starts through 2000.—who labored through 140 pitches trying to keep the series alive—to take a 4-2 lead that Mariano Rivera closed out in the ninth.

Being the first team since the 1972-74 Oakland A’s to perform a World Series three-peat was all the more sweet for the Yankees, given the relatively lackluster regular season it had survived. The ticker-tape parade through Manhattan would once again belong to the Yankees, reveling in a proud city’s celebration of a dream year.

One year later, the Yankees would be called upon to help pull New York City out of a horrifying nightmare.


2001 baseball historyForward to 2001: Raising Arizona The fourth-year Arizona Diamondbacks' expensive fast track to the World Series reaches a successful conclusion.


1999 baseball historyBack to 1999: The Umpires Strike Out Major league umpires implode with a foolhardy strategy following a series of run-ins with players and executives.


2000 baseball historyThe 2000s Page: Driven Deep to Disgrace The new century gives Major League Baseball a decidedly more international flavor with a healthy rise in foreign-born talent—but a disturbing pall is cast over the sport as one megastar after another is exposed for using steroids.


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They Were There: Jim Parque
Jim ParquePart of a surprisingly good (but ultimately fragile) White Sox rotation in 2000, Jim Parque looks back on his baseball upbringing, his contribution to a particularly nasty brawl and his appearnce in the Mitchell Report.


2000 Standings

National League East
Atlanta Braves
95
67
.586
---
New York Mets (w)
94
68
.580
1
Florida Marlins
79
82
.491
15.5
Montreal Expos
67
95
.414
28
Philadelphia Phillies
65
97
.401
30
National League Central
St. Louis Cardinals
95
67
.586
---
Cincinnati Reds
85
77
.525
10
Milwaukee Brewers
73
89
.451
22
Houston Astros
72
90
.444
23
Pittsburgh Pirates
69
93
.426
26
Chicago Cubs
65
97
.401
30
National League West
San Francisco Giants
97
65
.599
---
Los Angeles Dodgers
86
76
.531
11
Arizona Diamondbacks
85
77
.525
12
Colorado Rockies
82
80
.506
15
San Diego Padres
76
86
.469
21
American League East
New York Yankees
87
74
.540
---
Boston Red Sox
85
77
.525
2.5
Toronto Blue Jays
83
79
.512
4.5
Baltimore Orioles
74
88
.457
13.5
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
69
92
.429
18
American League Central
Chicago White Sox
95
67
.586
---
Cleveland Indians
90
72
.556
5
Detroit Tigers
79
83
.488
16
Kansas City Royals
77
85
.475
18
Minnesota Twins
69
93
.426
26
American League West
Oakland A's
91
70
.565
---
Seattle Mariners (w)
91
71
.562
0.5
Anaheim Angels
82
80
.506
9.5
Texas Rangers
71
91
.438
20.5

2000 Postseason Results
NLDS New York defeated San Francisco, 3-1.
NLDS St. Louis defeated Atlanta, 3-0.
ALDS New York defeated Oakland, 3-2.
ALDS Seattle defeated Chicago, 3-0.
NLCS New York defeated St. Louis, 4-1.
ALCS New York defeated Seattle, 4-2.
World Series New York (AL) defeated New York (NL), 4-1.


It Happened in 2000

Son of Coors Field?
The Houston Astros begin play at Enron Field and discover it’s a radical change from the Astrodome in terms of atmospherics as well as aesthetics; the tight ballpark helps the Astros belt a National League-record 249 home runs for the year. But it goes both ways. Jose Lima, who in 1999 won 21 games in the deadened, air-conditioned environment of the Astrodome, is shelled for a NL-record 48 home runs—on his way to an awful 7-16 record and 6.68 earned run average. The Astros will rearrange the home run boundaries after 2000 to make it more difficult to maintain the homer madness.

Opening Day Orient-ation
For the first time in history, the major league season begins completely outside of North America. The New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs assemble in Japan and split a pair of games on March 29-30 before sellout crowds of 55,000 at the Tokyo Dome. The two teams will get three days off before their first games stateside to recover from long flights and jet lag.

Game of the Year
On August 22, the Colorado Rockies manage to outlast the Atlanta Braves in a 12-inning, 7-6 win at Denver before they run out of pitchers. Actually, the Rockies do run out; they resort to using catcher Brent Mayne as their NL-record tenth pitcher of the game. Mayne allows a hit, a walk and throws a wild pitch, but gives up no runs—and becomes the first position player to earn a victory since Rocky Colavito in 1968 when the Rockies notch a run off the Braves’ John Rocker in the bottom of the inning.

The Final Stop of The Mike Morgan Road Tour
Mike Morgan signs on with the Arizona Diamondbacks—and thus sets a record by playing for his 12th major league team. Phoenix will be the last stop for the 40-year-old veteran pitcher, retiring with the D-Backs in 2002. Morgan still has nothing on Bobo Newsom, who from 1929-53 changed uniforms 16 times (though often to a place he’d been before) throughout his big league career. Octavio Dotel will surpass Morgan by playing for his 13th team in 2012.

Joltin’ Joe (and Catfish) Has Left and Gone Away
Two greats of New York Yankee past, Joe DiMaggio and Catfish Hunter, both pass away. DiMaggio succumbs to a long and highly publicized illness in Florida on March 8, at the age of 84. The 53-year-old Hunter had been stricken with ALS—also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, named after another former Yankee legend—and dies on September 9.

Men of All Positions
Utility bench players Scott Sheldon of the Texas Rangers and Shane Halter of the Detroit Tigers become the third and fourth players in major league history to play all nine field positions in one game. Sheldon doesn’t even enter his record-tying game on September 6 until the fourth inning, with the Rangers already losing to the Chicago White Sox, 10-1. Halter’s all-inclusive work, on October 1, pays off more; he collects four hits and scores the winning run in a 12-11 win over the Minnesota Twins.

This Time, It Counts
During spring training in 1995, Randy Velarde turned an unassisted triple play for the New York Yankees. On May 29, he does it again in a regular season game—this time against the Yankees in the uniform of the Oakland A’s. Velarde accomplishes the solo triple play the way it usually happens, with a hit-and-run that backfires—a line drive by Shane Spencer caught by Velarde, who steps on second to double up one runner (Tino Martinez) and tagging out the runner (Jorge Posada) coming from first. It’s only the tenth unassisted triple play in regular season annals, but it doesn’t help the A’s, who lose at New York, 4-1.

Break it Up!
Hall of Famer Frank Robinson is assigned by commissioner Bud Selig to become baseball’s Vice President of On-Field Operations. That’s his official title; unofficially, he’s the game’s disciplinarian. And Robinson attempts to prove it early in the season with two especially nasty events that erupt on the field—and in the stands. On April 22, he fines and/or suspends 16 players and coaches for a record 82 games after a huge brawl between the Tigers and White Sox in Chicago.

But Robinson is forced to top that less than a month later over at Wrigley Field, when Los Angeles Dodger players and coaches storm the stands behind the bullpen after a fan hits at and steals the cap of Dodger catcher Chad Kreuter. Robinson suspends 19 Dodger players and coaches for a total of 84 games. Police take care of the fans, arresting three.

A Cup of Coffee With a Lot of Jolt
St. Louis rookie catcher Keith McDonald becomes the second player in history to homer in his first two major league at-bats. He hits a solo, pinch-hit home run on July 4 against Cincinnati, then connects again in his first at-bat of his next appearance, two days later against the Reds. McDonald’s spectacular entrance is all too fleeting; he’ll bat just seven times in 2000 (hitting three homers), twice in 2001, and will otherwise spend his baseball career in the minors.

Orel’s History
Once-and-current Dodger pitcher Orel Hershiser ties an all-time record by hitting four batters in a game—all within one-third of an inning’s work, April 19 against the Astros at Los Angeles. The Astros’ Richard Hildago is hit three times—twice by Hershiser, once by reliever Matt Herges—to tie another record. At age 40, Hershiser is taking the Willie Mays route to retirement—playing well past the point in which he should have stepped down. He’ll be released in late June after winning just one of six decisions while posting a grisly 13.14 ERA.

Talk About Being All Over the Plate
New York Yankee switch-hitters Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada each hit home runs from both sides of the plate on April 23 at Toronto, the first time it’s been done by two players from the same team in the same game. The Yankees win, 10-7.

Alex in Wonderland
Alex Rodriguez, the most sought-after baseball player on the free agent market after the 2000 season, receives the richest salary package in all of pro sports when the Texas Rangers sign the 25-year-old shortstop to a ten-year, $252 million deal. Rodriguez spurns offers from, among others, the incumbent Seattle Mariners, saying he wants to play for a winner. But his enormous salary will handcuff the Rangers into spending less on other players—and are thus saddled at the bottom of the AL West through Rodriguez’s three years at Texas, while Seattle wins a record-tying 116 games in 2001. Rodriguez’s annual salary of $25,200,000 is roughly equivalent to the entire major league payroll for 1975, the year before free agency was instituted.

New Ballparks

Enron Field, Houston Its working title was The Ballpark at Union Station, named for the fabulous railroad depot that once existed on its land, and for which it pays architectural homage; it opened as Enron Field, inaugurated with Enron CEO Kenneth Lay throwing out the first ball; and hastily was renamed a few more times after Enron notoriously became synonymous with bankruptcy and corporate scandal. Some just gave up trying to ID the Astros’ new venue and simply called it “That New Houston Ballpark” until it became Minute Maid Park for the long haul.

The facility is coated in a curious mix of turquoise, vanilla, tan and brick red, and its retractable roof is molded by arcs and slopes that come off as an architect’s first take using French curves. Among its in-game nuances are the Crawford Boxes, left-field bleachers a mere 315 feet from home plate that has become a source of irritation for pitchers (see “Son of Coors Field?” above); center fielders are no less thrilled trying to negotiate deep flies with a grassy knoll and flag pole, all in play some 436 feet from home. Overall, the fully loaded ballpark has elated Houstonians happy to escape the archaic Astrodome—and relieved not to be swatting away at the city’s famously huge mosquitoes.

Comerica Park, Detroit The Detroit Tigers brought not only themselves but much of their heritage to brand new Comerica Park. The new facility is peppered here, there and everywhere with various visual reminders of the Tigers’ historic past played out over the past century at their former home, Tiger Stadium. Built as part of a downtown renewal heavy on sports and casinos, Comerica Park is far less enclosed than Tiger Stadium with its laid-back seating arrangement. On the field, the power alleys initially ran counter to the growing movement of smaller field dimensions at other new ballparks. Such expansive territory left slugger Juan Gonzalez, the Tigers’ major free agent pick-up for 2000, publicly grumbling; it would be his only year in Detroit. (Complaints from others eventually led the Tigers to move the fences in.)

Away from the action, there’s a virtual amusement park behind the stands for those not amused by the Tigers’ early performances at the ballpark. Designed by Kansas City’s HOK Sport, architects of the other two new ballparks for 2000.

Pacific Bell Park, San Francisco In one movement, the San Francisco Giants evacuated one of baseball’s most-reviled facilities (Candlestick Park) to perhaps the most-widely praised in Pac Bell Park—a beauty of a ballpark rightly called “The Best Address in Baseball” by Roger Angell. What gives the venue an even more feel-good aura is that Giant owner Peter Magowan got it built without public funds. (Still, in getting voter approval to give Pac Bell Park the green light, one-third of San Francisco’s fabled anti-anythings said no.)

Look at left field and the ballpark seems normal enough; but starting in right-center, the fun begins. A tall brick wall shears away at the field and cuts all but straight to the right field foul pole, a short 309 feet away from home. Behind it lies McCovey Cove, where left-handed sluggers, usually in the name of Barry Bonds, have landed the ballpark’s signature “splash hits.” In between the water and the field are a series of open arches, a gracious invitation for those strolling by on the outside port walk to check out the games for free. The Giants opened Pac Bell Park by losing their first six games, but they eventually figured out its quirks—and won 55 of their remaining 75 home games to take the NL West in 2000. Currently named AT&T Park.


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