Remembering ’89 earthquake

In 1989 the Bay Area shook and the biggest event in sports was put on hold as the World Series was caught in the middle of the shaking ground in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park.

The World Series would be halted and not resume again for ten days.

The stadium full of 62,000 plus people shook to the point where Oakland Athletics Catcher Carney Lansford said that while he was sitting on the bench he was rising and then dipping back down above and below Pitcher Todd Burns who was sitting next to him.

There are stories from nearly every player and broadcaster that were at Candlestick that day, and even more stories from those in attendance including a stage crewmember that was climbing up the massive light poles when the earthquake struck.  He hung on for dear life as the poles swayed back and forth above the stadium.

Everyone remembers the earthquake as it relates to the game because of the fact that the two teams playing were both from the Bay Area, but what should really be remembered is all of the causalities of the earthquake.

While the earthquake will always be remembered for the effect it had on San Francisco it had a wide reach, as the epicenter of the damage was actually south in Santa Cruz County. In all of the affected areas there were a total of 63 deaths and 3,757 injuries and caused over $7 billion in damages. Those people and those damages should be what we remember 25 years later, especially considering it took all 25 of those years to finally finish earthquake proofing the Bay Bridge.

We need to remember all those who passed, and those who lost loved ones like we do other great tragedies such as hurricane Katrina.

We need to remember that the World Series was just a back-story to a great natural disaster, and not the other way around.

It is great that it was the first, and could be the only time, that the two teams in the Bay Area met in the World Series.  It is great that the Oakland Athletics were able to win their only World Series with the core players that they put together.  It is great that the spotlight shined on Bay Area sports and Bay Area sports alone. It is all great for the Bay Area, but forgetting the tragedies that were caused by the earthquake and only remembering the sporting event is not great, and it needs to change.