Giants fans not happy after team removes tiles dedicated to family members outside Oracle Park

For between $95 and $225, San Francisco Giants fans could purchase walkway tiles with a dedicated message across McCovey Cove in the early days of what is now known as Oracle Park.

Those tiles apparently had an expiration day.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle's John Shea, the Giants sent an email on Thursday to fans who purchased such tiles informing them China Basin Park will open next week with a new design around a statue of Willie McCovey, no longer featuring the tiles.

Instead, those fans' messages will be featured in... a digital kiosk. Which will be installed later. The tiles were apparently destroyed during construction of the new park.

As you might expect, this did not go over well with the fans, many of whom dedicated the tiles to beloved family members. The Chronicle includes reactions such as:

"It made me feel like they desecrated my mom’s and dad’s headstone on their grave. That’s family.”

“It hurts because that was one place to go to associate with my mom ... She loved the Giants. I bought the tile for her and surprised her before she passed. It was almost sacred. It had a special meaning. I bought it before my son was born, and it was a way he could associate with his grandmother."

"Every time we went to games, we sat by the tile and looked at it. Just memories. A way we remember our parents. It’s so sad.”

"I thought it would be there a lot longer than it was. This leaves a bad taste in my mouth, especially with some other things the Giants have been doing.”

Those fans can at least be consoled by Giants executive vice president Alfonso Felder telling the Chronicle there was a "desire" to change the design around that statue:

“With the new park, there was a desire to have a different design around the statue,” Felder said. “That’s why we’re moving with a digital display. It allows for the recognition of the original participants in the program to be recognized within the context of this new park.”

“I certainly appreciate people’s affinity for the original program, but the original program was part of a park that’s not there anymore,” Felder said. “We have a whole new park that has a different design.”

SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 08:  A statue honoring Hall-of-Famer Willie McCovey stands outside of McCovey Cove prior to the XM Satellite Radio All-Star Futures Game at AT&T Park on July 8, 2007 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
A group of Giants fans are rather angry with the team for its park design choices. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

The better explanation for the change is the new park is reportedly larger and built at a higher elevation, making preservation of the tiles all but impossible, though it's unclear why they couldn't have reproduced the tiles with the same messages.

The new China Basin Park will reportedly open April 5, the day of the Giants' home opener against the San Diego Padres.