Sports in San Francisco for the year 1989 was a time of great triumph overshadowed by greater tragedy.
Nothing can make up for the loss of life that resulted from an October earthquake that happened right before Game 3 of the World Series. But just as the city of New Orleans found joy in the 2009 Saints as they recovered from Hurricane Katrina, so too could the San Francisco of 1989 find joy in not only a Super Bowl run by the 49ers. And the city could at least look back with fondness on the run of the San Francisco Giants in baseball.
The Giants won the National League West for the second time in three years, and when they vanquished the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series, it marked the Giants’ first pennant since 1962. With the American League champ being the Oakland A’s, right across the bay, everything was set for the entire Bay Area to celebrate.
Then the earthquake hit, on national television, shortly before Game 3 of the World Series. A pall was cast over the Series, and play was delayed ten days. Oakland ended up winning the title, but the tragedy hung over everyone.
The sports fans in the city turned to football for their distractions. The 49ers were already the defending champions, with a total of three Super Bowl victories in the 1980s.
Even with a new head coach in George Seifert, the Niners did it again. Their 14-2 regular season followed by a dominating postseason run marked them as a dynasty in the big picture and their single-season performance as one of the best in the Super Bowl era.
It ended a tumultuous year for their city. The people of San Fran had suffered, and had a lot of rebuilding ahead. The Giants on the baseball diamond and the 49ers on the football field gave them some fun amidst the turmoil and tragedy.
Read more about the 1989 San Francisco 49ers
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