At 5:04 pm local time on this day in 1989, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake shook Santa Cruz County, CA, as well as Monterey County and the San Francisco Bay area. One of the largest earthquakes in the area since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the Loma Prieta earthquake caused much devastation including 63 deaths and 3,757 injuries. Although much had been learned since the earlier 1906 quake, a lot of damage occurred, including at the Cyprus Street Viaduct section of the Nimitz Freeway (I-880) in Oakland, the Bay Bridge, and San Francisco’s Marina District.
Though it was devastating, it could have been much worse if not for a coinciding baseball game. Game 3 of the 1989 World Series between the Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants was about to begin when the earthquake occurred. Many of the people that would have been on the roads at the time were either heading toward or seated for the game at Candlestick Park, or at home watching the pre-game show. That left many people off roadways such as the viaduct, which accounted for the majority of the casualties. The game was ultimately postponed for 10 days, the longest delay in the history of the Series.
Here is footage of the pre-game show at Candlestick Park as the earthquake happened: