My favorite day in baseball history: Game 4 of the 1989 World Series
This day in baseball history in 1989 was the greatest day of my entire life. I was eight years old and it’s an entire series that I will never forget, the 1989 World Series.
I know it’s hard to say it was the best day of my life, given the 6.9 Loma Prieta Earthquake that devastated both San Francisco and Oakland. My heart goes out to every single person who wa injured or lost someone they loved that day but this series meant the world to me. The Battle of the Bay was awesome to begin with – the A’s playing their crossbay rival but it only got better from there!
The earthquake hit just prior to the start of game three on October 17. The World Series did not resume until October 27.
Games 1 and 2 were dominated by the A’s. Dave Stewart started the game against Giants’ pitcher Scott Garrelts. The A’s shut out the Giants holding them to just five hits and going on to win the game by the score of 5-0.
Similarly, the A’s dominated Game 2 behind the stellar pitching of Mike Moore who faced Giants’ pitcher Rick Reuschel The game was tied 1-1 going into the fourth when Jose Canseco drew a walk and later scored on a double by Dave Parker. Catcher Terry Steinbach sealed the deal in the fourth, hitting a three-run bomb to put the A’s ahead by the score of 5-1, the score they won the game by.
Game 3 as we all know was postponed due to the earthquake and was rescheduled for October 27th. It was a high scoring game with the A’s emerging victorious, winning the game 13-7. Again Stewart took on Garrelts. Memorable moments include Dave Henderson‘s two home runs. The A’s also had home runs by Jose Canseco, Tony Phillips and Carney Lansford. The Giants struck with the long ball twice, thanks for Matt Williams and Bill Bathe.
However, Games 1-3 of the 1989 World Series is not why we are here today. Today is October 28, 2016. On this day in baseball history, the final game of the 1989 World Series was played. The great Rickey Henderson led off the game with a home run putting the A’s on the board. Oakland added three more runs in the second, three more in the fifth inning, one-run in the sixth and another in the eighth.
The Giants put up a good fight that day but they couldn’t overcome the Athletics’ bats or starter Moore, who started Game 3 instead of Bob Welch, and pitched against the Giants’ Don Robinson. Home runs by Kevin Mitchell and Greg Litton brought the Giants closer to the A’s but scoring two runs in the sixth and four in the seventh wouldn’t prove to be enough as the Giants lost the game and were swept by the Athletics, who won the game by the score of 9-6.
The Final Out:
I remember the final out of that game at Candlestick Park like it was yesterday. Brett Butler was at the plate for the Giants. Dennis Eckersley, one of the greatest closers in baseball history, was on the mound in the ninth and had already gotten two outs.
It was a play that was almost not made. Eckersley got Brett Butler to ground out – the ball going in between first and second base. First baseman Mark McGwire dove from first, the ball glancing off of his glove but second baseman Tony Phillips again came up with an amazing defensive play backing up McGwire and tossing the ball to Eckersley who made it to first base just in time to get Butler out – and the Athletics’ became the 1989 World Champions, sweeping the Giants 4 games to none.
Video of the last out of the 1989 World Series as the Oakland Athletics SWEPT the San Francisco Giants in the “Battle of the Bay.”
Why was this game and this series so important to me. I’d disliked the A’s crossbay rivals since the first day I stepped foot inside the Oakland Coliseum at the age of three. I just knew they were the rivals of the boys in green and gold with the white shoes and it’s something I have always believed and will always believe.
As it stands now ….. all I have to say is 4 > 3, 9 > 8 and IF the Giants ever tie the A’s in World Series Championships, the Athletics will always have the tie breaker … THE 1989 SWEEP which was concluded on this day in baseball almost 30 years ago.
Happy World Series SWEEP day!!!
**This post is written in memory of and dedicated to three great ballplayers who I had the pleasure of knowing and who the world has lost in the past few years: Bob Welch, the last pitcher in baseball history to win at 25 or more games in a season, the nicest man on the planet who let me wear his ’89 WS ring – Dave Henderson and finally defensive ace and all-around fun guy, Tony Phillips. I owe all of them for not only the memories of this World Series, but for the joy they brought me when I met them as an adult. Three wonderful men, all gone too soon! May they RIP and always be remembered! **