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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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The day the Series stopped

This week in 1989 a massive earthquake hit the Bay Area just before the start of game 3 of the World Series, which in an enormous coincidence was between the two local teams, the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s.

I was in my first job interview at that very moment, for a position on my college newspaper1. When I came out of the interview room, I mentioned to someone I was going to rush back to my dorm room to watch the game. They informed me it had been cancelled due to an earthquake.

Over at Fox Sports, my pal Erik Malinowski has a great profile of Fay Vincent, who was the (unlikely?) commissioner of baseball during the quake.

“I was proud of what happened,” Vincent tells me, “partly because I wasn’t sure whether I was making a good set of decisions. You never know.” In the days following the World Series, he was able to better absorb some of the reality that he had just led baseball through an all-timer of a catastrophe. The odds that a major earthquake would strike during a World Series that involved both Bay Area teams? There’s no plan for that. Everything had to be done on the fly, left only to instinct and the counsel of those he trusted.

Related: ESPN’s documentary series “30 for 30” premieres a film about the earthquake tonight, “The Day the Series Stopped.”

Also related: This week there are three postseason baseball games in San Francisco. But, one would hope, no earthquakes.


  1. Yeah, I got the job. Unfortunately, the Giants were swept by the A’s and wouldn’t win a World Series for another 21 years.