Earlier this year, I was listening to the MLB Tonight program on Sirius/XM and one of the topics discussed was which Bay Area (San Francisco-Oakland) team was going to end up with a better season. Of course, since my mind works better while thinking about the past than about what happened two hours ago I started thinking about the long running history of the A’s-Giants World Series match-ups.
These two long running franchises have met in the World Series three times, twice in the span of three years between 1911 and 1913. After a long wait and a move to the west coast for both, they had their then rubber match in 1989. At the time, the sizzling hobby was following many of the players including Will Clark, whose 1987 Fleer rookie card was selling for upwards of $35 during that period and the threesome of A’s stars: Rickey Henderson and the Bash Brothers, Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, all of whom saw their key rookie cards selling for more than $100 during the hobby peak.
With all that star power and baseball at a near peak, many fans were looking for a nice long series between these two teams. However, there was a slight change in plans as before Game 3, just as the ABC Network was beginning their telecast, a major earthquake hit the San Francisco area. It was later discovered to be the biggest quake in the region since 1906. If you’re old enough to remember, you probably can still hear Al Mchaels exclaim during the pre-game, “I think we’re having an earth…” and then the telecast going to snow.
Candlestick Park survived just fine but the players and their families were shaken. The game was canceled and for nearly a week the story of the devastating Loma Prieta quake dominated national news.
Eventually, the World Series resumed and the A’s completed a sweep with only two starting pitchers used in the four games.
And since card companies were always looking to stay current with their cards back then, Score made a photo of Canadlestick and called the card “Lights Out”. That card, which is card #701 in the 1990 Score set, is certainly a reminder of a year when the real world trumped anything happening on the field. It’s basically just a picture of the empty ballpark and it’s not rare or valuable (you can buy one for a buck or two) but it’s an interesting piece of baseball history that is available at a local store or show for less than a drink at a fast food joint.