The SF Giants are back in the World Series. Although the team has migrated north from Candlestick to Pac Bell Park I still remember the day the ground shook.
My wife and I were in Candlestick for Game 3 of the 1989 World Series between the Oakland A’s and the Giants. We were settling into our seats when at 5:04pm the ground shook. I remember looking up at the swaying light standards and don’t remember feeling any distinct motion under foot.
I turned around to look at my wife and she was gone. Although only 21 years ago nobody had cell phones back then. What we did have was a 10-month old son who was with a baby sitter some 40 miles south in San Jose, closer to the epicenter. My wife had bolted for the payphone to call the sitter. She couldn’t get through.
As we made our way out of the park people moved steadily with no panic although reports of the Marina on fire and the Bay Bridge collapse began to spread. We made our way over to 280 south and headed home. Everybody was driving 85+mph and as the sun set it became clear that most of the South Bay was blacked out – no lights at all.
Traffic became a nightmare as we hit Cupertino and it was pitch black. We worked the back roads all the way home to Willow Glen through the darkness. As we approached home I noticed all the chimneys of the homes on north/south roads were toppled. We happened to live on an east/west street and escaped damage.
The door was wide open, the sky was black, cupboards were open and no sign of our babysitter or son. After about dying on the spot they both emerged from the next door neighbor’s house.
Ten days later we went back up to Candlestick for Game 3.