SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Thousands had gathered under clear skies and sweltering temperatures at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park for Game 3 of the historic Bay Bridge World Series.
Little did they know that Oct. 7, 1989 would become known for much more than a baseball game. Among those fans were legendary San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana and his wife, Jennifer.
“I had never been to a World Series, I was so excited,” Montana said.
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The Montanas had come to the park with their newborn baby, Nathanial. They had left their younger girls with friends. Their first stop: a luxury box where 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr and his wife Candy were seated.
“We had just left Mr. and Mrs. DeBartolo’s box and I had Nathanial,” remembered Jennifer.
The Montanas ran into their friend, the late 49ers wide receiver Dwight Clark. He began to coo over the baby.
At 5:04 pm, everything changed.
“Dwight kissed Nathanial and the earthquake happened,” said Jennifer.
At first, like many of the fans at Candlestick, the Montanas were hesitant to leave. The lights in the stadium had gone back on, and they thought the game would resume.
But, Jennifer had lived through a few quakes, and knew instinctively it was time to leave. The scene was at first full of panic: as fans streamed out through the tunnels in Candlestick. It took them four hours to get home as the freeways were jammed and gave them a memory they never will forget.