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Here, from the start of the San Francisco Examiner’s classifieds section for Thursday, October 19, 1989, are some of the “Bay’s Ball Cheers” sent in by fans and businesses:
The Cobras gonna Bite!!! -Marty Mongoose
Go Big Daddy Go!-The Over-40 Club Fans
The A’s Will Make Ham-Burger out of Hammaker-Greg’s Burger Emporium
Everybody likes a Weiss guy-I.M. Smart
Kick the A’s A.
Humm Baby–Go Giants. Lets build a GI-Nasty. Patty & Pres.
Bedrosian is no bed of roses!-Cubs Fan
Let’s Get the Eck out of there!-Giant’s fan
The Butler Will Do it-Miss T. Ree
I’m converting to Hendu-ism-Ali Outsinfree

These were a sort of pre-text message, pre-Twitter way for people to broadcast short messages. The Examiner charged $9.45 or $12.60 per line for each message, and gave out prizes, most notably a trip to Hawaii, to about 25 of the people who paid for the messages. See the notice:
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With the Giants again in the playoffs, and feeling like they might be ready to create the magic of a pennant-winning run once again, here’s the story of how they won the 1989 pennant. The Chronicle’s Carl Nolte described the key scene in game 5 of the NLCS vs. the Cubs like this:

In the eighth, with two out, Mike Bielecki gave up three walks in a row, and Cubs manager Don Zimmer sent for his ace of aces, Mitch Williams, to face Clark.

“Strength against strength,” Zimmer said.

Williams is a bearded, intense man they started calling “Wild Thing” in honor of the relief pitcher Charlie Sheen played in the movie “”Major League,” except he doesn’t particularly like the nickname any more.

The Candlestick sound system played Williams’ theme at full blast: “Wild Thing/You make my heart sing/You make everything /Groovy.” The 62,084 fans were on their feet, roaring.

But Clark, glowering with lamp black under his eyes to keep the glare down, thought of only one thing. “There were 62,000 fans yelling and screaming, and the only thing I’m worried about was the baseball. I couldn’t even tell you what Williams’ eyes looked like, or if he had a beard.”

Williams threw him five pitches; Clark hit the sixth, two runs scored, the Giants went ahead 3-1.

PANDEMONIUM

There was pandemonium at Candlestick, wild cheering and shouting nearly everywhere in the city. In the ninth, though, the Cubs nearly did it.

It was the reverse of the Giants’ big moment – two out, bases loaded. But this time, Bedrosian, the Giants reliever, got the side out.

In the clubhouse later, soaked with champagne, Clark credited others. “My teammates were great and so were Bay Area fans,” he said.

“We’ve all seen athletes rise to the occasion,” said Craig. “You saw that again today.”

It was a day so special that the two Bay Area scientists who won the Nobel Prize yesterday cut a news conference short to go to the ballgame. It was also the hottest October 9 in 55 years, Columbus Day and Yom Kippur rolled into one. “It was a beautiful ending,” said David Gonsoroski at Gino and Carlo’s bar in North Beach. “The weather cooperated for a Columbus Day win. Hurray for North Beach! Hurray for Columbus!”

When the game ended, all over the city, from the Embarcadero to Ocean Beach, cars honked their horns, firecrackers saved from the Fourth of July for this occasion went off. People gave total strangers high-fives.

The city’s joy was loud enough to hear: It was as if San Francisco itself had roared.

Before that moment, the city had been giving off a metallic hum as thousands of radios and television sets tuned into the game.

108 TELEVISIONS

In the television department of the Emporium on Market Street, 108 television sets were on display, and most of them were tuned to the game, drawing a crowd of 150 people.

“Normally we have the TVs tuned to KQED, the educational station, because we don’t want the subject matter to absorb people,” said salesman Norman Zukowsky. “But today we had to turn on the game to avoid bloodshed.”

In the Financial District, Bill Norris, who makes his living as a panhandler, turned off his transistor radio between innings because the batteries were failing fast and the voice of Giants announcer Ron Fairly, crackling with excitement, was fading away.

“Oh, I’m a big fan,” said Norris, who came to the Bay Area from Illinois, home of the Cubs. “I’m rooting for the Giants now because I live here.” Actually, he lives in an alley off New Montgomery Street.

In other parts of the city, there was a lot of tough talk about what the Giants would do to the A’s, once the World Series starts on Saturday. It will be the first series between teams from the same region since 1956, when the New York Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers.

About 4,000 Giants tickets will go on sale in a phone lottery today.

“I expect to see a lot of brawls in the bars and clubs,” said Aaron De Beers, who works at the Cafe Trieste in North Beach. “It will be fun.”

And here’s some excerpts from Ray Ratto’s story for the Chronicle on the Giants closing out the Cubs in five games with that afternoon game at Candlestick on October 9, 1989:

The Cubs collected 10 hits and 14 baserunners yesterday, but until the ninth inning, all they had was a single, unearned run to show for it. That came in the third, when Jerome Walton hit a line drive into the path between Mitchell’s eyes and the sun in left field for a two-base error. Mitchell was without his sunglasses at the time, but said, “They wouldn’t have done any good anyway; the sun goes right through those things. I just put my glove where I thought the ball was going to be.” Walton then scored on Ryne Sandberg’s double to right.

True to form for the series, though, even that ended badly for the Cubs. Sandberg tried to make it to third, but chopped his steps rounding second and was thrown out by a combination of throws from Pat Sheridan and Robby Thompson.

“That was a big play, no question,” Giants manager Roger Craig said later. “If he’s safe, it’s a man on third with one out, and (Mark) Grace would be coming up soon.”

Reuschel faced other tight scrapes in the [first, with Mark Grace and Jerome Walton on first and third with two out], fourth, sixth and eighth, but escaped each time because of his skill and those of the gentlemen behind him.

In the fourth, he hit Andre Dawson on the wrist with a 1-2 pitch, and Luis Salazar followed with a base hit to right that sent Dawson to third. Shawon Dunston, though, grounded sharply to Thompson, who began the Giants’ seventh double play of the series.

In the sixth, successive singles by Marvell Wynne and a ubiquitous Grace put runners at the corners with one out, but Dawson, who finished the series with two hits in 19 at-bats, flied to right and Salazar grounded gently to Thompson.

In the eighth, Reuschel walked Walton, watched as Sandberg sacrificed him to second – Sandberg’s second sacrifice of the entire season – and walked Grace intentionally with two out to get to Dawson, who bounced back to the box, his eighth failure with men in scoring position in 10 opportunities.

With all those opportunities and all those zeros, the Cubs were probably asking for what they got. And what they got, of course, was Clark.

He started the seventh with a first-pitch triple that headed down the right-field line, ticked off Dawson’s glove and nestled in the corner, enabling a moderately gimpy Clark to lumber to third. “The ball just kept tailing away from him,” Clark said of Dawson. “I was around first, and he hadn’t even gotten to the ball yet to throw it to the cutoff man, so I just kept running.”

Mitchell followed with a one-strike fly ball to deep center, scoring Clark easily and tying the game.

“It really wasn’t even a strike,” Mitchell said, “but in that situation I’m going to be aggressive. They’d been working me away all day, so I had to go out and get one.”

[In the eighth] Candy Maldonado . . . fought the temptation to try to save his entire season with a swing and coaxed 10 pitches and a two-out walk from Bielecki. Then came Butler, who also worked Bielecki to a full count before walking himself.

“I guess I was a little tired,” Bielecki acknowledged. “I wanted to get that last out and take it from there. I tried to reach back, and there was nothing there.”

At that point, Cubs manager Don Zimmer went out to talk to Bielecki and decided to let him pitch to Thompson. “He asked me how I felt, and I told him I could get him out. I missed with the first two pitches, then I just lost it.”

The four-pitch walk loaded the bases for Clark.

Zimmer called for his stopper, Mitch Williams, and everything his fastball would allow.

“I threw him all fastballs except for one,” Williams said. “At 1-2, I threw him a slider, up and in and exactly where I wanted it. It should have struck him out, but he fouled it back. That’s the best pitch I’ve got, and he fouled it off.”

The next pitch was the fastball, and Clark lined it over second base, the perfect end to a near-perfect series.

“I was talking to Mitch (Kevin Mitchell) in the on-deck circle, and he said, “You remember this guy,’ ” Clark said. “I said, “I do,’ and Mitch said, “Go get it done,’ and I said, “It’s done.’ ”

It was Clark’s third hit of the game – the team had just four – and his 13th of the postseason, in 20 at-bats. They were his seventh and eighth RBIs of the series, one short of the N.L. Championship Series record held by teammate Matt Williams. It was the hit of the season, one that Clark greatly merited as the series’ most valuable player.

But not quite the end, because the Cubs didn’t exactly go away. Steve Bedrosian, who replaced Reuschel, nearly pitched the Giants back into trouble because of successive singles by pinch-hitter Curtis Wilkerson, Mitch Webster and Walton, the last of which made it 3-2.

“My arm’s hangin’, man,” said Bedrosian, who gained his third consecutive save in his fourth consecutive appearance. “My fastball didn’t have a lot of giddy-up on it, so when Sandberg came up, I had to change up there. I’d just thrown 10 fastballs in a row, and you can’t do that.”

With the tables neatly turned and Sandberg, who had a moderately spectacular series himself, at the plate, Craig went to the mound to ask Bedrosian what he wanted to do.

“It wasn’t what he said, but the way he said it,” Craig said. “He said, “I want this guy.’ A lot of guys tell you that, but sometimes you can tell what they really want is to be the hell out of there.”

It took one pitch. Sandberg, who hit an even .400 in the series, sent a modest grounder to Thompson, who backed up a bit to make sure he got a proper hop and threw to Clark for the final out, at 2:54 p.m.

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A few days ago I did an email interview with Ray Ratto of the S.F. Chronicle about his memories of the ’89 Giants as their beat reporter for the Chronicle. The full exchange is here, but I thought I’d reprint the final two questions and answers on this blog because they involve the A’s and Loma Prieta:

Q: How did the press at Candlestick handle the earthquake? What was the difference between how local media and the national/international press reacted?
A: Much of the national media fled the stadium because it thought the place would collapse or because they needed a place with power to file their stories about the event. The locals stayed longer because they knew the terrain, who to talk to, how long it would take to get reaction and information, and because more work was required of them even with the smaller papers the next day.

Q: What’s your memory of the atmosphere for games 3 and 4 at Candlestick? Watching on tv, I remember the emotion before game 3, but otherwise, as a young fan, I focused on the action. I wasn’t in mourning for the Loma Prieta victims, I just wanted to see some baseball again.
A: We all pretty much knew the series would be over quickly because the A’s were better and because they handled the post-earthquake trauma better. A number of Giants clearly had lost the will to keep playing because they weren’t used to earthquakes, because their families were freaked out, or because they all stayed in the Bay Area while the A’s went to Phoenix to get away from all the earthquake news. The series had become unimportant, and we knew it would not be competitive.

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When the A’s finished off their sweep of the Giants on October 28, Kim Boatman of the San Jose Mercury News was there to cover the action:

“Finally, after a season that stretched next to forever, the A’s claimed what they believed was supposed to be theirs in 1988. They held the Giants at bay 9-6 to complete a tidy four- game sweep and win the 1989 World Series.

This Series will be linked forever with the tragedy that accompanied the Oct. 17 earthquake and remembered for the nine days baseball was put on hold. And the A’s paid their respects to the Bay Area by sipping beer instead of spraying champagne after the game.

But nothing could diminish their exultation, which began after Tony Phillips scooped up Brett Butler’s ball after it glanced off Mark McGwire’s glove, flipping to reliever Dennis Eckersley at first to end the game.

Long after the game had ended, Eckersley was hanging onto the glove and ball and the sheer exhilaration of the moment.

”I just started thinking to myself before the last guy got up, ‘This is the out we’ve been waiting for. And you can’t get carried away,’ ” Eckersley said. ”I’ll always remember last year, but I’ll remember this year more. You don’t always get another chance.”

”I don’t know if I’m going to be here again,” McGwire said. “I’m going to savor it. I hope people respect us. If we don’t have respect, I don’t know what will earn it. I hope they say we’re a great team.

”I’d like to see it in the headlines tomorrow, ‘The A’s were great in ’89.’ Not many teams are called great teams that never won a World Series. I hope they put that tab on us.”

The A’s demanded respect from their neighbors, who never held a lead in four games. And they received their due afterward, when the Giants were still shaking heads and wondering what had hit them.

”The A’s were awesome. I’ve been in this league a long time and I can’t remember playing against too many teams as deep as they are,” the Giants’ Ken Oberkfell said. “You hate to lose, but it’s hard to feel bad when a team plays as well as they do.”

”It seems like everything came together right for this moment,” Phillips said. “We were stunned after we lost that first game (in ’88). . . . We got hit by a Tyson right. . . . This season, we battled. We just battled.”

Nothing came as easily this season as this Series did. The A’s took repeated hits — the loss of Jose Canseco for one-half season, Eckersley for six weeks and shortstop Walt Weiss for two months because of injuries — and forged ahead. So, when the Series ended so abruptly, they seemed caught by surprise.

”I thought we needed to win convincingly for the Bay Area to say we’re a better team. I thought we were,” Eckersley said. “I still thought we needed to do it convincingly. I was surprised that we did that. I’m glad we did, but I was surprised that we did. The Giants are a good team. I didn’t expect to win that easily. I don’t think anybody did.”

It was Henderson who had turned the ignition Saturday, popping a homer over the left-field fence on a 2-and-0 count to open the game. He became the 15th player to open a Series game with a homer and the first since Lenny Dykstra of the New York Mets did so in Game 3 in 1986.

And it looked all but finished in the top of the second, leaving the A’s to wait nervously through 7 1/2 more innings.

It was one of those troublesome Hendersons who began the onslaught. Dave Henderson opened the second with a double down the left-field line. Henderson advanced on Steinbach’s fly to right. Phillips grounded out to second. Then, it was hard finding fault with Craig’s logic when he had starter Don Robinson issue an intentional walk to shortstop Walt Weiss. Waiting on deck was Moore, and the sum total of his major league hitting experience was one at-bat in 1987, when he made an out.

Moore swung and missed twice, then drove the ball over Butler’s head in center field. Butler gave chase, but the ball barely eluded his outstretched glove. Moore went into second standing up with a two-run double and the first base hit by an American League pitcher in the World Series since Baltimore’s Tim Stoddard singled on Oct. 13, 1979.

Rickey Henderson singled to left, and third-base coach Rene Lachemann sent Moore loping home. He scored, Henderson went to second on the throw and Robinson departed.

The Giants, a team that made a living off comebacks, stubbornly clung to life. And they came darned close to scaring the daylights out of the A’s and staging one of the great comebacks in Series history.

A’s Manager Tony La Russa lifted starting pitcher Moore after six innings with the A’s leading 8-2. And Gene Nelson, who owned a 54.00 ERA in the Series after failing in the ninth during the Giants’ four-run rally in a 13-7 loss in Game 3, did it again. He walked Terry Kennedy, and Greg Litton followed with a two-run homer. Nelson got Donell Nixon to fly out to right, and left-hander Rick Honeycutt came in.

Pinch hitter Candy Maldonado tripled to right on a ball that Canseco perhaps could have caught. Butler followed with a run- scoring double to left and pinch hitter Robby Thompson’s single made it 8-6. Honeycutt got Will Clark to fly out to right, and Todd Burns came in to face Kevin Mitchell.

The A’s lead looked awfully precarious when Mitchell sent a towering fly to left, but Rickey Henderson caught it on the warning track.

The A’s added insurance when reliever Steve Bedrosian walked in a run in the top of the eighth.”

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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.

LONG FACES

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.

Gala Party

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.”

VICTORY PLANS

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.”

SOME SYMPATHY

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.)

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The Big Daddy, Rick Reuschel, as seen on the cover of Sports Illustrated, the July 10, 1989 issue (it’s a library copy). As the cover notes, he was 12-3, and people were already thinking about a Bay Bridge World Series.

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Willie Mays helps Will Clark out after he’s fallen into the stands while catching a pop-up in game 4 of the World Series.

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