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TBT: The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake

Oct 17, 2013, 2:48 PM PDT


Twenty four years ago today, the Bay Area shook violently for 15 seconds as the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants were about to play Game 3 of the World Series. It was a moment that will forever be imprinted into the memories of everybody that experienced it.

The 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck at 5:04 p.m. and turned the lives of the people in the region upside down. As the San Andreas fault slipped and shook, time slowed to a crawl, a section of the Bay Bridge caved in, and the Cypress Structure collapsed leaving people trapped and dead.

[Photo Gallery: Oct. 17, 1989: The earth shakes and the Bay Area mourns]

The earthquake claimed 63 lives and caused an estimated $7 billion in damage. It happened with the nation watching on live television.

The hype and excitement of the World Series immediately became an afterthought as people did all they could to check in with their loved ones. Fortunately, thousands of people were already inside Candlestick Park and many more went home early to watch the game. In the days that followed, people picked up the pieces and mourned.

The World Series resumed 10 days later. The decision to continue the series was met with mixed emotions, but it ended up helping the Bay Area heal and turn the page. There was an on-field ceremony before the delayed game to honor some of the first responders. The A’s ended up winning the final two games of the series to sweep the Giants. The A’s never held a victory parade.

Other notable Bay Area sports moments on this week in history:

— Oct. 14, 1973: Willie Mays recorded his final career hit. He was a member of the Mets playing against the A’s in the World Series.

Oct. 14, 1990: 49ers quarterback Joe Montana threw six touchdowns against the Falcons.  Jerry Rice caught five of them.

Oct. 15, 1957: The Giants trade their Minneapolis franchise to the Red Sox for San Francisco Seals.

— Oct. 15, 1988: Kirk Gibson hit his famous World Series home run against A’s closer Dennis Eckersley.

— Oct. 17, 1974: The Oakland Athletics beat the Los Angeles Dodgers to win their third consecutive World Series Title.

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