Remembering the ‘89 Quake

The Chronicle’s Henry Schulman was in the press box before Game 3. As with all good accounts of such things, Schulman captures the tragic, the comic and the simply insane:

Like the fans, many of us assumed power would be restored and the game would be played. Then came word from transistor radios (remember those?) that “the Bay Bridge had collapsed” and “the entire city was on fire,” exaggerations both, but enough for us to realize we needed to go to the field to cover not a baseball game, but a stadium evacuation . . . In another scene hard to forget, Giants manager Roger Craig quickly got into his pickup truck in full uniform, wanting to beat the crowd to the freeway, and rode off. We always assumed the Humm Baby came to work on a horse.

The Chronicle is running a number of these actually. I always find personal rememberances like these to be far more enlightening than top-down news reports.

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Comments

  1. Fish said...

    One thing I’ve lobbied Posnanski on (to no avail) would be to use his blog to release the stories he wrote before the games ended a different way.

    How cool would that be for all the scribes with blogs…

  2. Rob Moore said...

    I was less than 10 miles from the epicenter when that quake hit…  I also had no immediate idea how major it was.  I was midway between San Jose and Santa Cruz on Hwy 17 (I think), in a car with no radio.  Took me hours to get home.

  3. john said...

    I love that the seminal moment in the press box involved someone shouting “Don’t Panic!”

    Nick “Ford Prefect” Peters comes through in the clutch.

    I just hope they remembered their towels.

  4. cris said...

    talk about a crazy week. one second i was in my parents bedroom ready to watch my green and gold continue to destroy the giants and next thing i knew, i was on the floor with my father dragging me out of the house and throwing me down the back stairs to the back yard. after that, it was nights of no lights, sleeping in your clothes just in case you had to run for it again and listening to the radio for updates and all the emergency responders racing here and their in firetrucks, police cars and helicopters. scary, scary stuff.

  5. Mode: Theif and Lair said...

    @Rob Moore.. Howdy neighbor.

    I live about 3 miles from the epicenter now, but at the time I was living in a suburb of San Jose.

    I rememeber riding out the quake while watching the world shake out my back door.

    Afterwards, we were angry that the power went out and that we were going to miss the game.

    It’s funny (not haha), as in the story above, when a quake hits you usually wait it out then go about your business.  That time it was a bit different.

  6. michael standish said...

    You may be spoiled, or maybe it’s just that people get better personal remembrances as long as they’re not in Boston, but I always thought that the top-down news reports in “Thelma and Louise” kind of set the standard.

    Also, you might think I’m making light of tragic natural disasters like earthquakes, but Cris’s

    “…my father dragging me out of the house and throwing me down the back stairs to the back yard. after that, it was nights of no lights, sleeping in your clothes just in case you had to run for it again and listening to the radio for updates…” ain’t that different from having Don Buddin as your home team shortstop.

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