21 years ago today, an earthquake stopped the World Series

It was on this very date, back in 1989, when something unexpected postponed Game 3 of The World Series between the Oakland As and the San Francisco Giants, just 31 minutes before it was to begin. In fact, ABC was already on the air at Candlestick Park when it occurred. I just happened to be watching ABC’s coverage live on CFCF-12 (CTV Montreal) and the video below pretty much says it all. It’s interesting to watch not only for historical reasons but also to poke fun of the cheesiness and excessive hype of sports coverage back in the 80s. And is it just me or is sportscaster Al Michaels’ reaction and chuckling, immediately following the interruption, somewhat inappropriate in retrospect?

“Folks, that’s greatest opening in the history of television, bar none,” Michaels says.

Was the earthquake somehow paid for by Major League Baseball?

By the way, the series did resume 10 days later and the As swept the Giants… Not that that’s really important.



Filed under media, TV

3 responses to “21 years ago today, an earthquake stopped the World Series

  1. Funny, Bill Simmons did a great podcast on 8/30 with Al Michaels recalling the earthquake and the game.


  2. Pingback: 2010 in review | Brave New TV

  3. Jayne - Slow Fat Triathlete

    I don’t think that was inappropriate. Earthquakes are pretty common in California, as we know, and Michaels, who went to school in LA and was later a Giants broadcaster, would have been accustomed to them. They almost never cause major damage or any loss of life in CA, and Michaels could not have known at the time that this was one of the biggest quakes ever to hit SF or that tens of people were killed by it. Joking to dissipate tension is a normal human reaction, that’s all.

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