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1959 Giants Opening Day In Color

March 12, 2010

Giants opening day, 1959, first regular season game in SF.

You can’t see it, but judging from the position of the batter and the pitcher the ball must be between the mound and the plate.

Man, do I want to drink a beer in the sun right now.

Well worth clicking on the image to see the whole thing, a wonderful view of SOMA / South of the Slot and the Bay Bridge.

More baseball posts for the record:

Via Google via Life via mightyflynn via The Tens via troymcluresf (and yes, the thought of a “Burrito Justice History of San Francisco” hardcover edition is intriguing.  Any publishers reading?)

(Apologizes to Edward Gibbon.)

p.s. I’m not a auto guy, but is that yellow car at the intersection a Volvo P1800?

Even if not, I do love this ad:

UPDATE: astute reader (and La Lengua resident) aiden notes that our yellow car is most likely a 1955 Ford Thunderbird:

This makes sense since the prototypes for the P1800 didn’t come out until 1959/1960 and I really doubt one would have been cruising around the Mission as a sales campaign, entertaining as the thought is.

On the topic of yellow cars, the front of the Thunderbird reminded me a little of the front of an El Camino. So much so that I proceeded down this particular path of image hackery, the El Camino Corto!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Taco Truth permalink
    March 12, 2010 10:47 am

    What a great picture! As for the Volvo, a funny story (or a great story, anyway): My dearest friend owned one of those, in mint condition. She wanted me to buy it but I was afraid — I needed a highway car, and while it roared around with its big six, and a throaty lurching enthusiasm, I could just imagine it also wanting to take unexpected naps on the 101 at rush hour. So I passed.

    What happened next was nothing short of amazing. Her dad (Robert Frowick) was the special ambassador to the former soviet republics that all got into that nasty Bosnian war in the 90’s. He was basically the one (not the grandstanding Richard Holbrooke) who forced peace and reconciliation, oversaw free elections, etc.

    And in his retirement, in his 70’s, offered to sell the Volvo for his daughter.

    It turns out they are a hot and rare item back in Europe, and there is money to be made shipping them back there for sale. And such an outfit offered to buy the car, and Frowick had to deliver it, to a dock in Oakland, where it would be put in a container. All of this in the dead of night, which made him a little nervous.

    Like something out of a film noir (or an episode of 24), he arrived in the Volvo, and nervously approached the dark figures lurking at the dock. He was wondering if they were Russian mob, and if he would end up in the container, too.

    Instead, when his face comes into the light, these big guys, all Bosnian immigrants it turned out, immediately recognized him, started weeping and hugging him, went and fetched a bottle of Vodka, toasted him, wept some more, loaded up the Volvo, paid for it and that was that.

    All in Oakland, in the dead of night. I still wish I had bought that Volvo. It was blue-gray with a black interior. Sigh.

  2. aidan permalink
    March 12, 2010 11:53 am

    Amazing photo. Unfortunately, the car is not a Volvo P1800 (which are weird and awesome cars). It looks like it’s a 1955 ford thunderbird:

    A old friend of mine used to race his P1800. He said they were slow as shit stock, but that you could fairly easily drop in a porsche engine. speed AND style.

  3. Giants Die Hard permalink
    March 12, 2010 11:55 am

    Awesome photo. Thanks for sharing. I do think that the car looks more like a T-Bird, maybe a ’55.

  4. Giants Die Hard permalink
    March 12, 2010 11:56 am

    Wow. In the time that I saw this, looked at a couple sites to make sure that I was right, and type it. Someone else thought of and typed up the same thing.


  5. Taco Truth permalink
    March 12, 2010 11:58 am

    Well I don’t have any Thunderbird stories. I’m sure everyone is relieved. ;-)

  6. March 12, 2010 12:49 pm

    I’d have to agree with all the other posters, the thick pillared roofline and the stubby fins say 1955-56 Thunderbird to me, lack of a continental kit says 1955 Thunderbird surely

  7. will permalink
    March 12, 2010 1:17 pm

    awesome find. i’ve loved the seals stadium chronicles here. however, i would say that the ball is in the pitcher’s hand, and he is leaning over, staring down the batter, and/or getting signals from the catcher. Because: he’s still on the top of the mound; his body is fairly compact (probably more stretched out right after the pitch), and the infielders are not ostensibly crouching in anticipation of the ball getting hit in less than a second.

  8. March 12, 2010 6:17 pm

    What struck me? The Mission-style parking!! Check out the 5 cars plus 1 motorcyle with a side car parked right smack dab on the sidewalk. Love it!


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