When the 7.1 earthquake interupted the World Series 20 years ago this week, I was in a San Francisco press box - seated behind a massive window that should have shattered but didn't.
Phil Rogers, a Chicago national baseball writer who'd never been through a quake before, gave a short scream and ran across the press box tables until he reached an open door.
What followed were 10 days of news stories from around the Bay Area, where the Giants and Athletics were suddenly forgotten. Memories of that week arise now because veteran writer Jim Street, now with MLB.com, blogged about them - and we were together for much of that time.My recollections? Moments after the quake, which hit minutes before a World Series game was to begin in Candlestick Park, a sold-out crowd stood and cheered. Nothing was going to stop them from enjoying this game.
No one in the park knew at that moment that part of the Bay Bridge had collapsed, or that buildings from San Francisco to San Jose had collapsed. It didn't seem all that serious until players and their families began to gather on the infield, where they felt safest.
Phil Rogers came back for his computer, packed it and left. Ten days later, when the World Series resumed, he stayed gone. Quakes do that to some people.
Street and I spent time reporting from the region, finding stories both heroic and tragic. A young server in a coffee shop was killed when the roof collapsed on her minutes after she was supposed to have been off work.
A former Vietnam vet, now homeless, climbed up a collapsed freeway to help those pinned in their cars escape. A family at the epicenter of the quake - yes, it had an address - was picking through the flattened remains of their home.
When their small cat emerged from the wreckage, they wept with joy.
The World Series that year was good for the soul of the Bay area, San Francisco and Oakland, because it brought some sense of normalcy back. There were great plays and fine pitching performances.
I covered them all for the News Tribune. What I will always remember most, however, is that cat emerging from a house that stood only a few feet high - and the faces of his family when they saw him.
By the way, Street, I was just a boy when all this happened. You must be really old now.