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Rivals Week: the 1989 World Series – where were you?

As the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s get ready to face each other’s Southern California rivals, we’re going to jump ahead and start focusing on the next edition of the Bay Bridge Series. The Giants head to Oakland on Friday, and that doesn’t just mean we’ll see Bruce Bochy play musical-DH for a few more games. It’s also “Rivals Week” on BASG, which means from today (Monday) through Friday we’ll be running daily contests where you can win t-shirts from DIE HARD CO.

Since this is the official beginning of Rivals Week, let’s travel back to the first time the A’s and Giants faced each other in games that counted — 1989.

It was the only World Series those great La Russa/Alderson A’s teams would win during their run, although there was no doubt at the time that Oakland was the most talented team in Major League Baseball as the ’80s ended and the ’90s began.

What’s unfair to that 1989 A’s team is that their World Series sweep should be known for two pairs. The first pair: position players Rickey Henderson (.474/.524/.895, 3 SB during the 1989 World Series) and Carney Lansford (.438/.526/.688). The second pair: pitchers Dave Stewart and Mike Moore, who pitched 29 out of 36 possible innings with a combined ERA of 1.86.

But instead of being a clear indicator of the Athletics’ brilliance during that time, the 1989 World Series isn’t just known as the “Bay Bridge Series,” it’s also “The Earthquake Series.”

As the earth shook all over the Bay Area, I was on an unkempt, gopher-ridden field 300 miles to the north. My soccer team was busy losing its third, fourth or 12th game in a row (Winship Jr. High’s seventh grade boys squad had a hard time scoring goals back in 1989 … preventing them, too). After the game I ran out to my mom’s 1987 Dodge Caravan and hopped in the passenger’s seat, having already forgotten the game I played since the anticipation for Game 3 of the World Series was so strong.

My mom let me know that there wouldn’t be a game that night, and suddenly I was one pissed off 11-year-old. What do you mean, postponed? How big was this temblor, anyway? (Actually, many people in Eureka claimed to have felt the earthquake).

So my mom drove us home, we watched ABC’s coverage of the aftermath (all I remember were some fires and that car going over the edge where that section of the Bay Bridge collapsed), and 10 days later Stewart replaced Bob Welch as Oakland’s Game 3 starter and the World Series ended a day later.

Today’s Contest

I just let you know where I was (and you should all feel fortunate that I didn’t include a photo of my ridiculous haircut from that era). To win today’s contest, let us know where you were on the day of the Loma Prieta earthquake and what it was like. If you weren’t alive or are too young to remember that earthquake, no problem. Just write about the scariest/biggest earthquake you’ve ever felt. If you’ve never felt an earthquake before (and if you’re reading a Bay Area sports blog that’s hard to believe, but okay), let us know what crazy natural disaster you’ve lived through — tornado, hurricane, locust swarm, whatever.

You have until 11:59 pm tonight (6/18/12) to comment, and two winning commenters will be randomly chosen and will receive a brand new shirt from DIE HARD CO!

Just like Bay Area Sports Guy, DIE HARD CO. is an independent local company dedicated to Bay Area sports fans. If you’re someone who wants a new way to “SPORT YOUR COLORS,” check out all the styles DIE HARD CO. has to offer. Enter the code “BASG” to get 20% off all apparel this week. Good luck in today’s contest, and stay tuned for more “Rivals Week” fun as we get closer to the next Bay Bridge clash!

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