Covering Loma Prieta: ‘My Feet Were Moving and I Was Standing Still’

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SAN FRANCISCO-

Game 3 of the 1989 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics had just started to get underway.

Fans watching the televised pre-game show knew something had gone wrong when the broadcast went to static.

Those at Candlestick Park in San Francisco felt a jolt underfoot.

“Instinctively I looked down and honestly, my feet were moving and I was standing still,” recalled FOX40 sports director Jim Crandell who was covering the bay area matchup.

“At the ball park, initially, there was like little concern at all. It was almost like, ‘Oh it’s San Francisco, we had another earthquake.’ But then when people found out how severe it was, that’s when the mood definitely changed and everybody scrambled to try to get ahold of their families and try to get out of there and get home,” remembered Crandell.

FOX40’s satellite transmission truck was at the stadium to be used for the ball game post-show, but ended up being used for wall-to-wall coverage of the quake damage and reactions from fans and players.

“We just did live shots for hours and hours and hours, because it was the biggest story in the country,” said Crandell.

He recalled his crew telling him his next live report on the earthquake would be for Japan TV.

“And I went, ‘Excuse me?’ And so I was on Fuji network in Japan for a long time explaining the scene there, and they were translating,” said Crandell.

After the game had been postponed by the MLB commissioner and fans had filed out of the ball park, Crandell remembers how bay area cities divided by baseball came together to cope and rebuild.

“There was a definite comradery of sorts, despite all of the problems and some of the bad things that happened … people sort for had empathy for one other and sort of banded together,” said Crandell. “That’s something I’ll never forget.”

Katie Hackett contributed to this report.