Photo credit: foundsf.org
By Amaury Pi-González
It has been 30 years later after that unforgettable October 17, 1989, Loma Prieta earthquake that stopped the Oakland A’s vs. San Francisco Giants World Series. Then-MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent decided on the classic postpone for 11 days. The A’s won two games prior to the earthquake and two more after in sweeping the Giants to win their fourth World Series in Oakland and ninth in total since they started playing in Philadelphia over 100 years ago.
That day was an unforgettable day as Evelio Areas Mendoza and yours truly were ending our pregame show on radio, when just minutes past 5 p.m., the earth shook Candlestick Park. Many people at the press box ran to the elevators, and many were trapped there because all electricity was lost. I remember fist images that I was able to see was that of KPIX CH 5 then-anchor Ana Chávez and the shot of the Bay Bridge, where cans fell into the bay. At that time, the whole world stopped, and we realized that when “mother nature” speaks, the World Series seems insignificant.
We became news reporters and witnesses. Manolo Alvarez, who was covering the game for WQBA AM in Miami came over and asked me how many more earthquakes were coming next. He is from Miami, where they are famous for hurricanes and not earthquakes, and had no idea. I explained to him that usually the after shocks are lesser in intensity. It was a 6.0, a very strong quake and we were lucky in the Bay Area as casualties were not as high as anticipated minutes after it happened.
It was a night to remember for all of us at that game were all of a sudden witnesses and interviewed. I remembered the experience for a few outlets in Mexico and Latin America. For me, that was one of the most hectic moments in my life and the most powerful earthquake I have ever felt to date.
Just a few days ago, we felt another shaker — this one, 5.4, almost 30 years to that October 30, 1989 shaker.
Amaury Pi-González is the pioneer in establishing Spanish baseball play by play in the Bay Area. With 40 years experience in radio and television in the Bay Area with the A’s, Giants, Warriors games as well as in Los Angeles with the Angels and Clippers for Fox TV play by play. Inducted into three Hall of Fame, BARHOF (Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame), The Cuban Sports Hall of Fame(Miami), and The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum and Hall of Fame.