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1989 Earthquake World Series

“I’ll tell ya what, we’re having an earth…”

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - Those were Al Michael‘s frantic words over the ABC television network as the signal from Candlestick Park was lost just before game 3 of the World Series. Rain, sometimes snow, has been known to interrupt post-season play. This time the San Francisco earthquake of 1989 brought all activity other than self-preservation to a screeching halt including the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s.

Millions watching the broadcast saw highlights of the previous game being described by announcer Tim McCarver when all of the sudden the picture sizzled and the broadcast signal was lost.

Candlestick Park, with 62,000 people inside, bent – fans felt the stands move and the light standards sway several feet – but did not break.

There was catastrophic damage in other parts of the Bay Area; a section of the double deck Nimitz Freeway collapsed, as did part of the Bay Bridge. There were multiple explosions and fires in the Mission District of San Francisco. Sixty-three deaths and almost 4,000injuries were reportedly caused by the earthquake.

The World Series, coincidentally involving the two Bay Area teams, was postponed for ten days. The A’s eventually swept the Giants in four games.