Today In Baseball:
The Oakland A’s are going to the playoffs!! Major congrats. For everyone who doesn’t know, in 1989, the A’s played the Giants in the World Series. Instead of Game 3, we had the Loma Prieta Earthquake. What fun. We also lost. Here’s hoping that we get a rematch in which no one dies!
At the time the earthquake hit, the announcing team for ABC Sports, Tim McCarver, Al Michaels, and Jim Palmer immediately grabbed what they perceived to be the armrests; it turned out that they grabbed each others’ thighs, leaving each of them with bruises; recounting this incident years later, Michaels would boldly admit his strong belief that had the earthquake lasted much longer than 15 seconds, he would have been killed. The ABC Sports team remained in their broadcast booth and appeared composed once a backup generator restored power. By contrast, the broadcasting team in the CBS Radio booth next door, consisting of Jack Buck, Johnny Bench, and John Rooney, ran out as soon as the earthquake started. Bench ran to a spot underneath a steel grate, to which Buck quipped, “If you would have moved that fast when you played, you wouldn’t have hit into so many double plays.”
The ESPN live coverage of the Series (ESPN and ABC at the time produced separate broadcasts) was interrupted during then-television analyst Joe Torre’s pre-game report on the field. Their equipment van was the only one with a generator, and they continued their live coverage with Chris Berman and Bob Ley. Separately from the broadcast,Peter Gammons and Oakland Athletics pitcher Bob Welch were walking by Marina Middle School in order to get a residency pass when they spotted a slightly unshaven man with a white wind-breaker waiting in line for his pass, who turned out to be Joe DiMaggio, who was concerned over the status of his sister, Louise. Gammons shared this story during a 1999SportsCenter Flashback special chronicling the 1989 World Series.
The lineup for the playoffs is now officially Yankees, Orioles, Tigers, Rangers, A’s; Nationals, Braves, Reds, Cardinals, Giants. Cards could still be knocked out by the Dodgers, though it would require us to lose to the Dodgers two days in a row and the Cards to lose to the Reds two days in a row.
The playoffs start this weekend—we will probably be playing the Reds. (Which, unlike the Braves and the fucking Indians, take their name from red stockings, not racism.) I’m going to Games 1 and 2. :) Hit me up if you’re going too!