The Examiner praised the design of the enormous advertisement as “Andy Warholesque,” and Coca-Cola assured fans that should a home run be scored, the cap would pop off and bubbles would float over the stadium (a bubble has yet to emerge from the structure). A 60-foot slide named The Guzzler would even run down the center of the bottle to the glee of kids (and drunk adults), Coca-Cola promised.
But not everyone was thrilled to see a giant installment blocking the bay’s blue waters. Most of the vocal pushback was that the addition would spread corporate influence over children as they slid through the bowels of the bottle, and secondly, that it would defile the waterfront. In protest, the head of the city’s art commission proposed instead a huge peace sign and sculpture of a foot. The idea was publicly rebuked.
After the Giants agreed to lower the height of the bottle so the Coca-Cola signage couldn’t be seen from outside the stadium, the commission gave the bottle the green light with a 5-2 vote. Around the bottle slide would sit a 34,000-square-foot children’s play area featuring miniature practice fields and a humongous old-timey baseball glove. Even Mayor Willie Brown was won over on the Coke bottle. “It’s a piece of art, outdoor sculpture. Outdoor art is important. I like it,” the mayor said.
Coke paid $20 million to the Giants to install their bottle, helping the franchise pay off the $306 million stadium.
Even before it was built, the Giants knew the bottle had nostalgic potential. "It's an entertainment venue that will lead to recollections 45 years from now for people and their grandchildren," Giants Vice President Larry Baer said at the time.
Baer seems to have been proven right. Even as the park changed names not once but three times over its short history, the bottle and glove have stood proud during the Giants’ World Series wins in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
Monoliths of corporate America plus the passage of time does often equal nostalgia, particularly when it comes to Coca-Cola. Last year, the neon Coke sign over Bryant Street was taken down amid a wave of fuzzy memories and fondness.aside">
When MLB paused for a week after 9/11, the Coca-Cola structure was somewhat oddly used by Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler to describe the mood at what was then-Pac Bell Park. “Things are different at the yard these days. The giant Coke bottle in left field is no longer half full, but half empty,” he wrote on Sep. 20, 2001.
It’s hard to say whether the 130,000-pound ad has negatively influenced children, but it’s definitely injured some. During its first 10 years, the Giants admitted that 55 people were hurt inside The Guzzler, and the franchise faced at least four lawsuits, including a $6 million claim in 2010. An attorney representing a claimant at the time told the Examiner that the injuries largely came from a person’s shoe getting caught on the tube and their leg twisting behind them. One woman broke her leg in two places in 2001, and in 2003 a woman named Lisa Munson Cooter shattered her knee in the slide and was paid $1 million after successfully suing the team.
Less hazardous is the giant glove, officially named The 1927 Old-Time Four-Fingered Baseball Glove, that stands next to the bottle. The glove sits 501 feet from home plate, and no player has yet hit a home run into the mitt. (The longest home run ever hit in the stadium was 499 feet, by Barry Bonds.)
One other oddity in the stadium that greeted fans on the opening day on March 31, 2000, didn’t stand the test of time. Now long resigned to ballpark history, Rusty the Mechanical Man was a curious corporate creation sponsored by Old Navy. The 14-foot-tall, 11,000-pound robotic player was programmed to appear in right field at what is now Levi’s Landing after major plays. He was capable of various moves to impress the fans, including head-first dives and a jaunty tip of his hat. His eyebrows even moved independently of his body to the joy/terror of children. Rusty was launched at “Old Navy Splash Landing” alongside the water cannons that shot two gallons of water 100 feet into the air in the event of a home run.
While the cannons are still going strong, technical issues meant Rusty’s days were numbered from the start, and the robot was decommissioned after barely one season. Regardless of where you stand on the Coca-Cola structure at this point, there is no denying it’s less of a nightmare than Rusty the Mechanical Man.
Source : https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/coca-cola-bottle-history-sf-giants-oracle-park-16530816.php1500