Here’s a picture of a Thomas Bros. map showing the location of the Cypress Viaduct, a few miles north of the Coliseum on the Nimitz Freeway, the 880, as it turns north to the approach to the Bay Bridge:
Here’s a picture of a Thomas Bros. map showing the location of the Cypress Viaduct, a few miles north of the Coliseum on the Nimitz Freeway, the 880, as it turns north to the approach to the Bay Bridge:
To commemorate the day of the Loma Prieta earthquake, or really the morning of, here’s the story (and picture below) by Marc Sandalow that appeared on the S.F. Chronicle’s front page on Oct. 17, ’89:
Candlestick Park will host its first World Series game in 27 years tonight as the San Francisco Giants try to reverse the one-sided Battle of the Bay.
Trailing the Oakland A’s two games to none in the best-of-seven series, the Giants and their fans tried to put the best face on their prospects. But in Oakland, they were already planning a victory parade.
“The mood has really chilled,” said David Yachimowicz, who stood on Geary Street across from Union Square, selling Giants T-shirts. Sales were abysmal.
“It was supposed to be a battle of the Bay, not a steamroller by the A’s,” he said.
The A’s are just two victories away from winning their first World Series crown since 1974. The Giants have not won a World Series during their first 21 seasons in San Francisco, and they must win four of the next five games to triumph this year.
In the East Bay, the mood was one of quiet confidence. In San Francisco, long faces revealed a begrudging acceptance that this year’s baseball bragging rights may belong to Oakland.
“The A’s are playing just as great as everyone expected,” said Mac Dunn, a Giants fan from Sebastopol. “I don’t want to be negative, but the Giants are in their late season slump. A lot of us were expecting it even earlier.”
Tonight’s contest begins at 5:35, and temperatures are expected to fall into the upper 50s. To the disappointment of some Giants fans, who had hoped a traditional Candlestick fog would dampen the A’s bats, weather forecasts call for clear skies with 10- to 20-mile-per-hour winds from the west.
Giants manager Roger Craig said yesterday that he will make some lineup changes for tonight’s game. He will play Ken Oberkfell at third base and move Matt Williams to shortstop in place of Jose Uribe and will play Pat Sheridan in right field in place of Candy Maldonado.
“THE WEST COAST WINS’
Regardless of the outcome on the field, some San Franciscans let it be known that they consider it a major accomplishment even to be hosting baseball’s Fall Classic.
“The West Coast wins again, and the East Coast loses,” said a smiling Nick Spina, a contractor putting the final touches on a new downtown store. “If the Giants lose, they lose, but we’ve got the World Series.”
The last time the Giants hosted a World Series was in 1962, when Willie Mays played center field and BART was just a concept. The Giants lost that series to the New York Yankees in seven games.
Last night, a gala party sponsored by the Giants filled the grand ballroom at the St. Francis Hotel, with an invitation list including Commissioner of Baseball Fay Vincent and the owners of all 26 Major League teams. Giants first baseman Will Clark and Williams attended a party in their honor, given by their agents, at a South of Market club.
For the record, yesterday was a travel day, and hundreds of representatives from Major League Baseball and the media staying in Oakland packed their bags and drove across the Bay Bridge, checking into San Francisco hotels.
Some Giants fans found reason for hope in the change of ballparks. They said the familiar fans, contours and winds of the park will provide their team with the winning margin.
Others said National League rules, which will be enforced in Candlestick, will favor the Giants. The National League requires the pitcher to bat, while the American League allows a team to designate another player to hit for the pitcher.
“Now the A’s will have to play real baseball,” said Keith Angerman, a civil engineer from Marin and an avid Giants fan. “No more sissy rules.”
In Oakland, cautious fans began preparing for a celebration. If Oakland continues its domination, the A’s could be World Series champions as soon as tomorrow.
Plans were already being made for a victory parade – much like the one that was scrapped last year after the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the A’s – and a fireworks celebration.
Civic boosters announced that a parade will be held on the first business day after the conclusion of the series, if the A’s win. The parade would proceed six blocks down Broadway, from 20th Street to 14th Street, and end up at City Hall, where the team would be honored by city leaders.
“We’re not banking on it – we’re just planning for it,” said an extremely guarded Tim Gallen of the Celebrate Oakland committee. “We’re cautiously optimistic, but after last year, no one is going to break the spell, man. We’re still superstitious and hoping.”
Even if most Oakland fans seemed sure that the series will soon be over and the A’s quest for a world championship will be fulfilled, in the sober sunshine of the city’s financial district, there was little in the way of rubbing it in.
“No one forgot what it felt like last year,” said Cassie Arnold, a third-generation Oakland resident. “We know what it’s like to get killed, so I’m sympathetic.”
For those who are not among the 62,000 fans with tickets to this week’s games at Candlestick, a big-screen television will broadcast the games at Oakland’s Jack London Waterfront.
The picturesque scene may not be comfortable for Giants fans, however. Of the 39 teams who have trailed 2-0 in the World Series, only 10 have come back to win.
“We’re down, our backs are against the wall,” Giants manager Craig conceded after the latest loss Sunday night.
“This thing could turn around at home. This game can humble you in a minute. You win a couple games and you’re riding high. I’m not saying Oakland is like this, but all of a sudden, it can turn around.”
(The game was scheduled for 5:35, with Bob Welch and Don Robinson pitching, and KSFO, KNBR, KCBS, KNTA, and KLOK all carrying the game on radio.)
In Cleveland, Rickey gets four steals after reaching on walks: two in the
sixth and two in the seventh. Both times he scores on sac flies by Canseco.
I realize it’s easy to go on and on about Henderson’s ability to create runs by himself, but still, four steals within two innings does make an
impression. The A’s beat Cleveland 8-6. Here’s the relevant lines from the
Oakland’s largest run production since September 5 owed a lot to Rickey
Henderson and Tony Phillips. For the fifth time this year and 40th overall
in his ongoing big-league record, Henderson led off a game with a home run.
He also stole four bases. The first kicked off a five-run sixth inning. The
second, in the seventh inning, provided what seemed a superfluous run. The
A’s would eventually be grateful for it.
“Every time you see what he does, it’s amazing,” said La Russa. “There is
nobody like that in the game today.”
Phillips pushed a 4-3 A’s lead to 7-3 with a bases-loaded triple that
climaxed the sixth. He hit a 3-2 fastball from ex-A’s farmhand Jeff Kaiser
into the right-field corner. Phillips is having quite a September, hitting
.447 in 16 games.
Dave Henderson has begun calling innings like the seventh, when the other Henderson walked, stole second, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly,
“a Rickey rally.” By whatever name, it came in handy.
An error by shortstop Mike Gallego opened things up for a three-run
Cleveland rally in the bottom of the seventh, and the Indians pulled within
8-6. That inning ended rather dramatically, as Matt Young came in to retire
Pete O’Brien with runners on first and second. Gene Nelson pitched a perfect
eighth and Eckersley did the same in the ninth.
“I wanted to get back out there before we left town,” said Eckersley, who blew a save here Monday night. “I didn’t want that to linger.”
At the end of the ’89 season David Bush, an S.F. Chronicle writer, wrote up a summary of Mark McGwire’s season. What’s at least somewhat interesting about this story, aside from the picture of one slice of McGwire’s ballplaying days, is how it reflects the current attitude toward sabermetrics-type analysis by McGwire, La Russa, and the Chronicle. Some excerpts:
Mark McGwire finished the year with some very noteworthy statistics. The numbers certainly attract attention, especially all those little numbers to the right of the decimal point.
Among the American League leaders in home runs and RBIs, McGwire spent most of the season apologizing for a batting average that was snoozing in the .220s in September before finishing at .231.
“This is the most difficult year I’ve ever had,” said the 26-year-old slugger. Most players would give a lot to have a year as difficult as McGwire’s. In his third full season he hit more than 30 homers for the third time, he drove in more than 90 runs for the third time and he played in his third All-Star Game.
“Everybody is looking at my batting average, and saying I had a bad year,” said McGwire. “I’m sure I’ve gotten some heat. There is no question that my home runs and RBIs don’t belong with my batting average. But that should tell people that the hits I get are doing something.”
“My stroke has been pretty much the same all year,” he said. “That isn’t the problem. I have just been pulling my head off the ball. When I stay down, I’m all right, but I haven’t been able to do that consistently.”
“If you look at his season overall you would have to say it’s good,” said manager Tony La Russa. “His No. 1 offensive responsibility is to produce runs, and when you get over 30 in homers and in the 90s in RBIs, you are doing that. But he prides himself on being a total hitter, so he’s not satisfied.”
At season’s beginning, McGwire seemed primed for a blockbuster year. He hit .360 with eight homers and 23 RBIs in spring training, and kept it up when the regular season began.
He went 8-for-22 with three homers and eight RBIs in the first six games. This was made even more impressive by the fact that Jose Canseco was out of the lineup with his broken wrist, putting even more burden on McGwire.
“That was probably the hottest I have ever been in my life,” said McGwire. “I was on everything.”
Then, in Anaheim, he felt a twinge in his back and had to leave the game. He went on the disabled list for two weeks with an injured disk.
“When I came back I had a few good games, but all of a sudden I was trying to find something and it just wasn’t there,” said McGwire. That began the battle that he still is fighting.
A declining batting average is usually a symptom of impatience. But if McGwire has changed as a hitter this year, he has become more particular about the pitches he attacks.
“I think I have learned to be more patient in certain situations,” said McGwire. “I don’t chase as many bad balls, and my walks are up. If they are going to walk me, I’ll let them.”
McGwire walked 76 times in 155 games last year. This year he has 83 in 143, which is the reason his on-base percentage is .340. That’s nice, but no substitute for bigger digits in the batting average.
“It would be interesting to see what my season would have been if I hadn’t been on the disabled list for those 15 days,” he said. “But you can’t live on “what ifs.’ If I average 30 homers and 90 RBIs a year for the rest of my career, that’s pretty good. I’d take that.”
As the ’89 playoffs were about to begin, the folks at Electronic Arts (aka EA Sports) were asked by the San Francisco Chronicle to put together a simulation of a Bay Bridge World Series, or at least its first game, by inputting the A’s and Giants season stats into the “Earl Weaver on Baseball” video game. It was a little sign of the growth of the video game and fantasy realm for the sports fans over the next two decades. So, here’s what the Chronicle’s Glenn Dickey said. It’s absolute trivia, sure, but also shows how sports and technology were combining in the Bay Area:
Happy Keller, who wears a Giants cap and sweatshirt to work, was selected to manage the Giants team. Rich Hilleman managed the A’s. Both approached their jobs with enthusiasm and aggressiveness, possibly calling for even more pitchouts than Roger Craig and Tony La Russa will during the real Series.
We had to make some assumptions. Though Scott Garrelts has had an outstanding season, for instance, Reuschel was picked as the Giants starter; all of us remember Garrelts’ shakiness in clutch situations in past years. Dave Stewart was the A’s starter, even though it could be argued that Mike Moore pitched better this season, because of Stewart’s reputation as a big-game pitcher.
And, though Mike Gallego has played surprisingly well at shortstop for the A’s this year, we assumed that Walt Weiss would be the starter in the Series.
Because the opener would be played at the Oakland Coliseum, the designated hitter was to be used, so we made Ernest Riles the Giants DH and batted him fifth, between Kevin Mitchell and Matt Williams.
That behind us, we played the game as honestly as we could, considering that the company president, Trip Hawkins, is a Giants season-ticket holder and was watching our game avidly. Not saying the game was fixed, mind you, but . . . IN MANY ways, the game mirrored what is likely to happen in a Bay Bridge Series.
There was, for instance, Steve Bedrosian coming in and throwing a two-run homer, just as he did to Dale Murphy of the Atlanta Braves on September 12. There was Rickey Henderson stealing two bases.
And Walt Weiss got three hits.
Walt Weiss? The same player who has hit under .240 this season? Yes, because the Series often produces unlikely heroes. Remember Buddy Biancalana? Gene Tenace? Don Larsen? Howard Ehmke?
The matchups? Reuschel put Jose Canseco in his hip pocket, striking him out four times. Again, the kind of thing that could happen, because Reuschel could keep a too-eager Canseco off balance.
Stewart gave up a single to Will Clark in the first inning but struck out Clark with two men on and two outs in the third. He pitched very, very carefully to Kevin Mitchell, walking him twice.
The scoring went like this:
The A’s scored first in the bottom of the fourth when Tony Phillips walked and came around on a double by Weiss.
The Giants evened it in the fifth. Jose Uribe led off with a triple – speaking of unlikely heroes – and scored on a successful suicide squeeze by Brett Butler.
In the seventh, the Giants took a 3-1 lead when Pat Sheridan doubled and, after a strikeout by Uribe, Butler and Robby Thompson followed with singles. Because the throw went to the plate on Butler’s single, he moved up to second and was in a position to score on Thompson’s single.
Singles by Sheridan, Butler and Thompson provided another Giants run in the top of the ninth, but that 4-1 Giants lead became very shaky in the bottom of the inning.
When Weiss led off with a single, Keller took out the tiring Reuschel, who had thrown 137 pitches, and brought in Bedrosian. On a 2-1 count, Henderson hit a 395-foot shot over the left-field fence to bring the A’s back to 4-3.
Carney Lansford followed with a drive that backed Mitchell up to the fence for the first out. Canseco, finally seeing a real fastball, drove one of Bedrosian’s right to the fence in left-center, but again, Mitchell caught up to it. Finally, Dave Parker hit one off his fists that the busy Mitchell caught for the third out.
A shaky outing for Bedrosian, but a save nonetheless, and a Giants win.
Before the ALCS with Toronto started, Rickey Henderson said: “I can say I was the final piece of the puzzle. They were missing a leadoff hitter, they were missing a left fielder. When I used to look at the Oakland team, I’d think about what was holding them back from being a great team. Maybe they were waiting for me to come back and fill that.
“I can create things and be a very productive player. I watched this team from the stands during the last playoffs (in 1988) and noticed that they lacked something exciting at the top of the order. I can give this team excitement at the top of the order. If we win the championship, I think I’ll be a difference because I can get on base and make things happen.
“When I played against them [in 1988], I didn’t think they were that good at all. I never thought they had that great a group of guys. Now, I think we have a tremendous team.”
It happened on September 27, 1989. The Chronicle reported:
The Bay Area’s baseball dream – a World Series between San Francisco and Oakland – moved a huge step closer to reality last night when both the Giants and the A’s clinched the championship of their divisions. The A’s won the American League’s Western Division title at the Oakland Coliseum by beating the Texas Rangers, 5-0. Hours later, the Giants won the National League West when the second place San Diego Padres were mathematically eliminated by losing to the Cincinnati Reds, 2-1, in the 13th inning. The Giants actually backed into the title, because they lost their own game to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 1-0 – but they made baseball history anyway. It was the first time that two teams from the same region clinched division titles on the same night.
The A’s struck early with an enormous two-run homer by Jose Canseco in the first inning of their game at the Coliseum. The ball went up into the second deck, and for all intents and purposes, the game was over right then. “When Jose hit that homer,” said starting pitcher Mike Moore, “I just went out and told myself that might be all I get tonight.”
Moore then went on and threw a one-hitter until he was relieved in the seventh inning. The outcome was never really in doubt, but the fans stood for the entire ninth inning anyway. When the last man was out, the players mobbed first baseman Mark McGwire, who made the putout, and pitcher Gene Nelson, who had relieved Moore. The crowd roared, and the players took baseballs and tossed them in the stands for souvenirs.
“This is great,” said Susan Nelson of Pittsburg. “It’s even sweeter than last year.” “Yeah, this is fun,” McGwire said in the clubhouse later, as the players sprayed champagne over each other, sports reporters and TV people. “It was a tough road, so it’s better than last year. I think a lot of people wrote us off early. . . . But through it all, we never gave up on ourselves.”
Walter J. Haas Sr., the team’s owner, was soaked with champagne. He didn’t mind. “I’m just so proud,” he said. “They say no team ever repeats, and we did.”
For the Giants, the drama was dragged out until it was almost agony. They needed only one win or a San Diego loss to clinch, but they lost their third straight at Dodger Stadium. It was the only time they had been swept in a series all season. Now their fate was in the hands of the Reds, playing at San Diego. The Reds led most of the game, but the Padres came back to tie it up in the ninth inning.
The Padres, who had been red-hot all month, had the bases loaded in the 11th inning with one out, but they failed to score. In the 13th, they had the tying run on third base when Garry Templeton struck out. All this time, the Giants sat in the visiting clubhouse at Dodger stadium, drenched in gloom, but still hopeful, listening to a broadcast of the drama in San Diego. When the Padre game was over, the Giants broke out the champagne. “You’ve got to love it,” Clark yelled. “We wanted to win it on the field, but . . . we’ll take it any way we can get it,” Clark said before the end of the Padres game. “It’s suspended animation.”
Both the Giants and the A’s will probably be favored to win their league championship series. The Giants face the Chicago Cubs, a team that has failed to win the big games so often that being a Cubs fan has become an American cult. The Cubs have only appeared in the league playoffs once – in 1984. They have not played in the World Series since 1945 and last won the series in 1908, when Teddy Roosevelt was president. But this year’s incarnation of the Cubs is a scrappy young team led by Don Zimmer, a canny veteran manager who once was a coach with the Giants. Their most colorful player is relief pitcher Mitch Williams, who once said, “I pitch like my hair’s on fire.” Fans call him “The Wild Thing.”
“We should have folded,” said McGwire, “”but we didn’t. That’s what makes this year a lot more special.” A Bay Area World Series? “”It would be the ultimate baseball experience of a lifetime,” said Bobby London, who has season tickets to both the A’s and the Giants. “You cannot ask for anything more.”
[By the way, the 5-0 win was the A's last shutout of the year: Three double plays helped the A's register their 20th shutout of 1989, a fairly astonishing number that shows how important pitching was in getting the A's through this championship year. Jamie Moyer would have many days ahead of him, most better than this one: he got through just the first inning and two batters in the second, giving up six hits and three runs, and closed the season at 4-9.]