Game three of the 1989 World Series occurred on October 17th. The Oakland A’s had won the two previous outings but the Say-Hey-Kids of the City knew better than to count themselves out. Then it happened. At 5:04 p.m. Candlestick shook under the wagging finger of a 6.9 jolt. And it was all caught on live T.V., a first. Al Michaels cut in on Tim McCarver’s highlights to say, “You know what, we’re having an earth…” and the feed went dead.
There was a loud rumble as the bleachers in right field swayed, fans dashing toward the exits during those frantic fifteen seconds. A worker on a light tower could be seen holding on, his body slapping in the wind like a rag doll. One fan yelled, “Yeah, rock the Bay!” and a rally cry was born. Players milled around the infield with their young ones hiked upon their shoulders. Twenty minutes passed and everyone knew that the game was in jeopardy. (more…)
The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake occurred in northern California on October 17th at 5:04 p.m. At the time my wife and I were living part-time on a boat in the Marina District of San Francisco. Huge support poles for the docks and ships’ masts began to crisscross each other. A lady screamed from Marina Blvd. Cars crashed. Honks blared. Propane tanks exploded. Flames shot up. I left a blank T.V. & the World Series behind and went to the parking lot where everyone gathered around a pickup and its radio. Broadcasters sent out alarms, stating that the downtown was buried under eight feet of glass, that the Bay Bridge was down, that the Nimitz Freeway had collapsed.
The overhead wires stopped putting out electricity. The wife disembarked from her commuter bus just outside the Stockton Tunnel in Chinatown and began her three-mile trek to the boat. Wide-eyed pedestrians scurried around, traffic jammed up at intersections, signals on the blink, glass everywhere. She passed through Ghirardelli Square and Fort Mason until she came to Great Meadow Park and scanned the devastation of the Marina District for the first time. (more…)