One For The Ages: Mike Gallego's 1989 Earthquake Story

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Mike Gallego told the story below as part of the "bloggers press conference" at FanFest. It struck us as a story worthy of standing alone, so we separated it from the rest of the interview and are running it as part 3 (here's where you can find part 1 and part 2).

After reading, feel free to discuss anything from Gallego's story to your own story from 23 years ago. My "1989 earthquake" story is kind of funny and involves a fellow ANer, "Nick," who was living in New York at the time.

I was walking home from Cal, excited to watch the game and traveling briskly because I knew it was already 5:00pm. As I got to within 1/2 block of my house, it seemed like the street was kind of swaying back and forth but I didn't think anything of it -- I probably thought I was just light-headed from walking so fast uphill to get home in time for the first pitch.

I bolted through the door, raced upstairs, turned on the TV, and was furious to see that the TV was getting no reception. "Technical difficulties, now??? Of all times????" I was fuming when the phone rang, and it was Nick. "I'm just calling to see if you're ok," he said, to which I replied, "Well I'm not -- can you believe the reception on my TV has gone out?"

That's when I learned -- from my friend in New York -- that there had been a major earthquake in the Bay Area.

A good story? Perhaps. But not as good as Gallego's...Enjoy.

Gallego: When it did start coming, I don't know if you've ever been down in the locker room at Candlestick any of you. But it was underneath the stands, and when the earthquake was coming you could literally hear it coming -- it was like a rumbling, this rumbling. I mean, I wasn't playing that day again -- obviously -- I'm sitting in the locker room and I could hear this thing coming, and I thought it was the fans actually stomping their feet because you're right underneath them. So I'm like, "Wow, what is that?" and all of the sudden, you looked towards the air vents, and this dust and soot started coming through these air vents and this place starts rocking.

And we're in Candlestick, and we're not used to this locker room, and it's huge. This locker room was really big. And boom -- the power goes out. And people started screaming, "Get the hell out of here, that's an earthquake, this place is coming down!" That's all we heard - "GET OUT!" And everyone starts running.

There was about 20 of us still in the locker room, because the starters were on the field warming up. So, all the power's out, and it's about 5:20ish -- I don't know the exact time -- but there was one door open in the back where the light was coming through, so that was the only target you had of light. We're running towards this, as the place is literally rocking like a wave.

We're running into tables, windows, chairs, tripping over, running into each other -- complete panic. You know how they say walk calmly out? No, we were screaming and yelling and trying to get outside cause we were scared to death. I get about halfway, and I turned around, and I started going against the grain. And everyone was like, "Where the hell are you going!?" and I just keep going. Complete darkness, and I get to my locker, and I'm feeling around and I grab my glove.

[laughs]

And I said "if I go down, I'm going down with this." Because you all know, I didn't get there because of my bat.

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