In just his third major-league season, the California native ventured with the rest of the Giants from New York to San Francisco in 1958. Still a backup infielder, he played in 66 games that inaugural season on the West Coast. Bressoud also coached baseball at De Anza Community College in Cupertino for 24 seasons and has been enjoying retirement for 17 years. He will be one of the several original San Francisco Giants honored before today’s 1:35 p.m. home opener at AT&T Park as part of the 50th anniversary celebration.
What are your best memories of Seals Stadium? Obviously the first ballgame when we beat the Dodgers 8-0. We played some ballgames in 1959 with the Milwaukee ballclub with [Lew] Burdette and [Warren] Spahn pitching against us. It was a very, very tough series and I think we won two out of three at that point. The ballpark was so different, though. It was a small, intimate park that was great to play in. It was wonderful to play in.
Do you think that intimacy is lost at ballparks these days? Absolutely. ... At the same time, you see the new ballpark here with the fans closer and I think that’s great. And I played in Boston for four years and I could catch a popup down the third-base line and I would be from you to me [a foot or two] from the fans. That was great.
What made Seals Stadium great? The fans were right there next to you and I think that’s important. Anytime you can have that kind of a mutual feeling between the fan and the player and the fan feels like he’s part of the game. It’s like when I played for the New York Mets. My wife said she felt like she was a participant in the game, not a spectator, and I think that’s the kind of feeling you’d like to have, that’s the way you build loyalty and a fan base.
What do you think of AT&T Park? Unbelievable. I went over to the office and I said I’d like to go to the ballpark when no one is there, when the ballclub was out of town. I did. I went through the clubhouse, the clubhouse is unbelievable. There are safes in everyone’s locker. We used to have $10 in our pocket, not enough for anyone to steal.