San Francisco Municipal Railway (1984-current)
Built 1887 by Mahoney Bros.
No. 44 was built as an open “breezer” car, like this one, and later rebuilt with an enclosed section.
This cable car bears one of the most famous numbers in San Francisco history — but not one ever seen on the Powell Street cable lines. This cable car was one of the originals built for the Sacramento-Clay line, moving over to the Powell lines following the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.
It was originally built as an open-sided “breezer,” identical to the one in the photo, where people could ride on running boards that ran the whole length of the car. It was enclosed to look like the other Powell cable cars in 1915, renumbered No. 504. It became No. 4 in the renumbering of the 1970s and retired from service in the early 1990s, replaced by a new No. 4.
Jamison Wieser photo.
When the Giants’ new ballpark opened at China Basin in 2000, it was soon graced with that great symbol of San Francisco, carrying the numbers of two other great sporting symbols. The old car No. 4 had been cosmetically restored and customized for its new venue, right down to Muni decals reading “Fare $2 - No Dodger Fans” and different numbers on each end: 24 (for Willie Mays’ jersey number) and 44 (for Willie McCovey’s). Later in the decade, the dump-on-the-Dodgers decals somehow disappeared, and the car was numbered 44 throughout, honoring the Giants’ Hall of Fame first baseman.