Battle of the Bay series trophy

A’s, Giants will now fight over Bay Bridge Trophy during the annual Battle of the Bay


Every year the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco giants play four regular season games. Now they call it the “Bay Bridge Series,” the way the teams in Los Angeles have the “Freeway Series” and in New York they have the “Subway Series,” but the “Bay Bridge Series” started out as something different and for those of us who still remember it, it’s something any of us will forget anytime soon. 

First I’ll start out with the big news. Thanks to NBC Bay Area’s Brody Brazil who tweeted a great idea to Cal Trans about using a pieces of the old Bay Bridge, which was recently redone, to make a trophy that goes to the winner of the Oakland-San Francisco interleague series each year, called the Bay Bridge Trophy – at least for now that is its name.

The idea is seriously brilliant and Cal Trans took notice and agreed. A trophy made of part of our old Bay Bridge will make up the trophy that will go to the winner of the “Bay Bridge Series.”

 

For anyone born shortly before or anytime after 1989, here’s what went down. The series was billed as “The Battle of the Bay” — not the “Bay Bridge Series” — which is why on social media you will often see it referred to as both.

Almost anyone who was around to see this incredible series happen – and a lot that happened was certainly incredible – will call it “The Battle of the Bay,” to this very day.

The A’s and giants met in the World Series. After playing Games 1 and 2 in Oakland, the two teams moved across the Bay to Candle Stick Park for Games 3 and 4 with the Athletics up 2 games to none. 

Shortly before Game 3 of the series was about to start an earthquake hit south of Candle Stick in Santa Cruz. It rocked Northern California from Monterey to San Francisco. We are used to earthquakes in California but this was no everyday 4.0 quake, this quake hit 6.9 on the Richter Scale and had a surface wave magnitude of 7.1.

I was eight and can only relay what I remember from my parents living room in Walnut Creek. I remember I was watching the pre-game stuff from Candle Stick on television, I remember the tv going fuzzy (yes, they actually used to do that!) and yelling to my mom that “the tv wasn’t working and I’m not missing the World Series!” while at the same moment the phone rang.

It was my grandmother in Texas – oddly calling to see if we were ok. My mom looked perplexed for a few minutes and told me to stand in the doorway. And then it hit us. 

At first we kind of laughed, not understanding what was to come, it was just another earthquake. We’d been having them for months!

That’s when everything really started shaking and “oh haha, it’s an earthquake” tone got a bit more serious. Glasses started falling out of the cabinets and shattering, my mom ordered me under the desk in our kitchen while she hung up the phone from my grandmother and moved under the dining room table. It was the first of just two times in my 33 years living in California that I saw a wooden floor appear to be moving in waves — except it wasn’t just appearing to do so. I have friends who saw the sidewalk do the same.

It was pretty insane after that …. people were killed, injured and left homeless, fires consumed the city, part of the Bay Bridge collapsed and baseball was stopped for I believe it was 10 or 11 days. However, the World Series must go on, right?

battle of the bay series bay bridge trophy

Part of the Bay Bridge collapsed during the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989

The A’s took the next two games against the giants sweeping them, in what was likely the greatest moment in the history of “The Stick.”

Now, here’s the real moral and/or point to my earthquake story. Don’t EVER let a giants fan tell you ( or if you are one – this is something you need to get straight) that the giants were SWEPT by the A’s because of the earthquake, that is simply not true. Each team had the same number of days off and the games were played as they were supposed to have been at The Stick, which had been deemed safe for the two teams to play in. 

The other moral to this story is that no matter what happens from now until eternity – the Oakland Athletics will forever OWN the BAY! That reason has to do with one thing and one thing alone. The original 1989 Battle of the Bay. Now the odds of these two crosstown teams both facing off in the World Series is slim to none. The odds of it happening again in the future, even after we are long gone, is also slim to none. The odds of one of those two teams sweeping the other? Well it’s less than that! 

So what that it was almost 30 years ago? So what if the giants won their “3 in 5” – even if they ever eclipse the A’s nine World Series Titles, they will NEVER own the Bay. This isn’t even about the A’s winning an unprecedented 3 STRAIGHT World Series between 72-74 (unless you are the Yankees – no other team has EVER done that), it’s about the first “The Battle of the Bay” so no one, old or young should ever be under the impression for any reason that the Athletics won that series for any other reason than that they were just a superior team.  PERIOD.

Sorry about that, I tend to ramble on from time to time – but isn’t that what blogs are for? Not to be complete serious or gramatically or punctuationally — I leave that stuff for work — here I can be me. So I’m just doing that for today! 

Anyway, back to the trophy! We don’t know what it will look like yet, but it will be ready by next season and A’s team president Dave Kaval said it all with a simple tweet:

 

So to all the millenials who missed this – remember the A’s already OWN the BAY and have for almost 30 years! #LetsGoOakland #RootedInOakland