I was on the way past the first level walkway behind home plate, to my seats about 25 rows directly up from first base. I had just walked past Ozzie Canseco and Esther (Jose’s wife) in the crowd and heard a loud noise, looked up to right field and saw a mini-wave pass quickly through the upper deck concrete facade (this was very odd to see a wave move through concrete!). The power went out in Candlestick and everyone was quite confused for a while and it was really quiet, very eerie – we all knew something happened, but did not know what it was. I worked my way to my seat, and the man behind me had one of those Sony “Watchman” handheld units and so we gathered around him to see what was happening.
We saw the Marina District on fire from the helicopter news camera, the collapsed span of the Bay Bridge, and worst of all, the 880 upper decks pancaked on the lower level. It was horrifying as we watched. We then began to hear sirens in the distance and emergency power came back on in the stadium, all the players on the field and more confusion. I knew at that time the game would not be played and headed for the parking lot and my car. As I got near my car, I saw a man next to me and did a double take to see it was Joe DiMaggio! I said hello to Joe and we both had the same idea, get out of there!
I attempted to take the back streets to my hotel in Burlingame, but when I got to 101, it was closed. What made it most painful what that on the back streets, it was pretty tense, people throwing bottles at cars, out on the streets and no power. Eventually I found my way (it was dark now) back to my hotel and attempted to call my family in Seattle – but could not get a call out for hours. I was stranded in the hotel and Bay Area for two days before I could get home. A very memorable, sad and lifelong experience to recall.
By Keith Cupp