Earthquake shocks Toronto, Jays

Earthquake shocks Toronto, Jays

TORONTO -- Hours prior to the Blue Jays' contest against the Cardinals on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre, an earthquake reading 5.5 on the Richter Scale sent shock waves throughout the city of Toronto, spanning as far as Boston, Chicago, and New York.

While an earthquake in Toronto is practically unheard of -- the last one of this magnitude coming nearly 20 years ago -- this is the second time this month the Blue Jays have experienced a series of tremors.

On June 14 in a 6-3 win over the Padres, play in the eighth inning was momentarily interrupted as a magnitude-5.7 earthquake swept through the San Diego area. It was the first quake many of the Jays had experienced -- little did they know it wouldn't be their last.

Fortunately this time around play had not yet begun. However, manager Cito Gaston recalls the dangers of earthquakes, and his experience during Game 3 of the 1989 World Series between the A's and the Giants at Candlestick Park in San Francisco when a magnitude-6.9 quake caused extensive destruction to the Bay Area.

"I just felt one last week [in San Diego] and my first thoughts were San Francisco," Gaston said.

"They happen so fast, and you think nothing's happened around you, but something's happened somewhere," Gaston added. "That's just the way it was in San Francisco that day, we moved around a little bit but a lot of things happened over there in Oakland and in the city of San Francisco. Anytime I feel one of those [tremors], that's my first thought."

Gaston was absolutely correct. While Toronto was left with minimal damage, the neighboring province of Quebec had several buildings evacuated due to extensive structural damage. It was nothing near the extent of the '89 quake in the Bay Area, but enough that it was the hot topic of conversation in both locker rooms.

"I was [asking around and] a few kids in the clubhouse, they had never even heard of one being here," Gaston said.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who managed the A's during the quake in the '89 World Series, said he'd heard about it, but didn't feel a thing, prompting the conversation back to baseball.

Gaston's advice to inexperienced Torontonians: "It's not so much about where you can run, because I don't think you can run anywhere -- you just have to hope you're in the right spot."

As for the Blue Jays recently, the right spot appears to be where they are not.