Monday, April 6, 2015

Lon Simmons RIP and Opening Day at Candlestick 1960

Lon Simmons was an icon of Bay Area Sports. His voice has been missed since he retired in 2002 ... now HE will be missed. RIP
Legendary broadcaster for the San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics and San Francisco 49ers
A close friend of ours, Shirlie Montgomery, who passed away in November 2012, was a huge Giants fan. She had numerous Giants mementos, bobble heads and stuff. She adored Barry Bonds! She had met little Barry when he was just a child, so she felt a connection to him. She attended Giants games from their very start in San Francisco when they played at Seals Stadium. She had met Simmons at some point and often commented about what a gentleman he was ... but she never forgave him for jumping over to announce the A's games ... obviously she was a Giants fan all the way.

The ever persistent photographer, Shirlie filmed this silent footage on the Giants' opening day at Candlestick Park, April 12, 1960, when the Giants beat the Cardinals 3-1. (I had planned on posting this on this year's opening day, Apr 13th, but the death of Simmons called for it.) Lon Simmons called that game ... I sure wish we had his voice over as part of this video. The film features footage of Shirlie and her friends arriving at the park, baseball fans all about, the opening ceremony, some of the 9th inning play and then fans exiting to the parking lot. Interesting that both Richard Nixon and San Francisco Mayor George Christopher are shown in this film, with Nixon signing autographs.

Hope you enjoy the video ... and Go Giants! ... ditto A's!

We donated the 8mm film to History San Jose, who had it converted to a digital video. The video and title card are from the Bob and Susan Bortfeld, Shirlie Montgomery Collection at History San Jose. Used with permission.

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