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1989 was a season of both triumph and tragedy for the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics, still marking baseball’s only cross-Bay series. But 1989 is remembered as much for the devastating earthquake that struck moments before Game 3 of the World Series as it is for the exploits of Mark McGwire, Will Clark, and other stars. In this history, Gary Peterson combines his firsthand observations with meticulous research and new interviews with players, coaches, and broadcasters to offer a fresh perspective of ...
1989 was a season of both triumph and tragedy for the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics, still marking baseball’s only cross-Bay series. But 1989 is remembered as much for the devastating earthquake that struck moments before Game 3 of the World Series as it is for the exploits of Mark McGwire, Will Clark, and other stars. In this history, Gary Peterson combines his firsthand observations with meticulous research and new interviews with players, coaches, and broadcasters to offer a fresh perspective of that unforgettable year. From Dave Dravecky’s emotional return to the mound after cancer surgery and his gruesome injury in his next start to highlight-reel performances by Clark, McGwire, Jose Canseco, and Rickey Henderson to Dave Stewart reaching out to rescue workers after the earthquake, Battle of the Bay captures the agony and excitement that surrounded the Bay Area in the summer and fall of 1989.
Gary Peterson is a staff writer for the Bay Area News Group. He was previously the sports columnist at the Contra Costa Times for 25 years, during which he covered the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants throughout the 1989 season. During his career, he has covered 13 Super Bowls, five World Series, four Olympic Games, and one Final Four, winning multiple Associated Press Sports Editors awards as a top-10 sports columnist. He lives in Concord, California. A former manager of the Chicago White Sox, Oakland A's, and St. Louis Cardinals, La Russa led teams to three World Series titles. He resides in Alamo, California.
Posted November 16, 2014
4 of 5 stars (very good)
When fans think of the 1989 World Series, there are two thoughts that immediately come to mind. One, of course, was the devastating earthquake that hit the area just before the start of game three. The other is that the series was dominated by the Oakland A’s, winning the series in a sweep when they never trailed for even an inning in the four games. However, there was much more to the 1989 season for both the A’s and their opponents in the World Series, the San Francisco Giants. The seasons for both teams and the memorable moments are captured in this book by Gary Peterson.
I was impressed with this book for two reasons. The first one was the balance in covering both teams’ 1989 seasons without any apparent bias toward one club or the other. Most fans in a region with two baseball teams will usually favor one team or the other, and reporters will usually have greater knowledge of the team for which they cover regularly. But in the case of Peterson and this book, both teams have equal footing for both the amount of space in the book, the tone of the passages for each team (overwhelmingly positive for both clubs) and for the unusual stories.
From the off-field exploits of Oakland’s Jose Canseco and his brushes with the law to the inspirational comeback from cancer of Giants pitcher Dave Dravecky, both teams are covered completely in the book. Not only these types of stories, but the reader will be taken through each team’s season, from important regular season series to the division-clinching games and through their respective league championships, both the Giants and A’s are well chronicled in the book.
That leads to the other reason I was impressed with this book. The baseball recaps were thorough and complete. Nearly every series played by both teams was described and where the teams were in the standings at that particular point in the season. The reader will learn about many players on both teams, not just the stars. From Carney Lansford of the A’s falling just short of winning the American League batting title to Kevin Mitchell of the Giants and his antics, the reader will be following both teams through the entire season.
The earthquake is also covered in a respectful and complete manner, with aspects from both Candlestick Park and the region as a whole. Thoughts from the players and the commissioner of baseball (who ultimately decided the World Series would not be cancelled) and a story of a man who was found alive in the rubble on a bridge make that chapter a compelling read.
Overall, this was a very good book that covers all aspects of the season for both teams. It does not go into great depth for either team or the World Series, but it is an entertaining book that all baseball fans should enjoy.
Did I skim?
No - the book was an easy read, easy to follow, and was interesting along the way.
Pace of the book:
The book moved along at a terrific pace, as the recaps of the seasons for both teams were complete, but not too detailed as to drag the book down.
Do I recommend?
Fans of both the Giants and A’s will enjoy this balanced account of the 1989 season and World Series, while readers who like to read about baseball history will also like this book.
Posted October 31, 2014
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Battle Of The Bay is a great memoir of the Earthquake World Series. Tony LaRussa express his feelings about Roger Craig,and the facts about the great players and managers and what they did after they retired from their teams can't be beat. This is the ultimata book for any Giants fan.