Double Play bar fire destroys San Francisco sports history

A storied piece of San Francisco history burned over the weekend. The city lost a piece of its history, as well as baseball history. San Francisco fire crews worked Saturday to save what they could of the Double Play Bar and Grill.

A pile of debris out front is what remains of the more than 100-year-old sports bar. 

"Oh my God, I grew up here 60 years," said Debbie Santiago. "Double Play was always good when you had the games at Seal Stadium. People would come there, have their lunch, have their drinks and there used to be an outside area where they used to see right into the ballpark."

The Double Play's history is inextricably tied to San Francisco Seals Stadium that once stood catty-corner. The bar opened its doors in 1909, the ballpark would come along in 1931. The Seals and San Francisco Giants both counted the stadium as home at one time or another. The Giants left in 1958 for Candlestick, and the ballpark at 16th and Bryant was torn down just a year later.

Customers say the inside of Double Play was filled with mementos of the past. "You'd see all the baseball, you know, all the old school mitts, all that, all that lost," said Paul Quate. "Lost, burnt nostalgia and you know I'm just really sad to see it go."

The comments extend online, with customers posting on Double Play's Facebook page. A Gofundme has been set up to raise money to reopen Double Play.

But, customers say with so much history lost it will be difficult to restore Double Play to what it once was. "It was the son and the dad, they just worked really hard just to keep it going," said Quate. "You know, they battled through COVID and now we have a loss here like this."

The fire department on scene Monday as well as the building's owner.

The cause of that fire is still under investigation.