Sunday, October 18, 2009

20 years ago? Really?

As I got ready to watch the Yankees and the Angels begin their playoff game at 5:00 pm last night, I suddenly realized the significance of the timing.  On this same date, at the same time, but 20 years ago today, I was sitting down to watch Game 3 of the World Series from my home in Oakland.  The San Francisco Giants were playing the Oakland A's in the first Bay Bridge Series.  I had gone to the first two games at the Oakland Coliseum, which the A's had won, but had gotten home early to watch Game 3 on tv from Candlestick Park.

It was 5:04 pm, just before game time, when the earthquake struck.  It measured 7.1 on the Richter scale, and it had a devastating effect on the Bay area.  Roads were destroyed, the Bay Bridge was seriously damaged, the Marina district in San Francisco caught fire, and more than 60 people were killed.  That evening, from my home in the Oakland foothills, I could see the helicopters hovering over the bridge and the fires in S.F.

Here is the NBC news report on the events of that day:

With such destruction, it hardly seemed to matter that the World Series was postponed.  When it started up again 10 days later, I was so shaken by the events of the past week or so that I left town, and didn't even watch on tv as the A's swept the last 2 games from the Giants.

The new Bay Bridge is still under construction, not even scheduled to open until 2013.

Wow.  20 years.

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