I heard about Bob Welch’s death on June 10, and was prompted to look up the new closing chapter to his book, Five O’Clock Comes Early, which he wrote for its republication in 1991. Welch was scheduled to start for the Oakland A’s in game 3 of the World Series. However, he’d pulled a groin muscle during practice on the 16th. Late on the afternoon of the 17th, he was in the trainer’s room, getting his arm rubbed down and hoping his groin would hold out enough for him to make his start. Welch was thinking about and talking to his recently deceased mom, hoping she’d help him get through the game, when:
All of a sudden, the trainer’s room started swaying and shaking. A swirl of dust billowed out of the air vent. Things started clattering on the walls. I had never felt such misguided energy in my life, like the whole damn stadium was a rocket ship trying to take off. I heard somebody say, “Earthquake!”
I walked outside toward the parking lot, praying the walls and the ceiling would hold. It was the longest damn fifteen seconds you ever want to see. When the earthquake was over, I was thrilled to see that Candlestick Park, which is so ridiculed by everybody, had actually held together.