The day the earth didn’t stand still

October 20, 2014

Last Friday marked the 25th anniversary of the World Series earthquake in San Fransisco which occurred just minutes before Game One of the face-off between the host Giants and cross-bay Rival Oakland As. And we have not one, but two documentaries to commemorate the occasion.

One, The Day The Series Stopped, was produced under ESPN’s 30 for 30 banner. It features the standard interview/news clip mix but with the resources a giant corporation like ESPN can throw behind it in terms of editing and post-production amenities.

The other bears a similar title — The Day the World Series Stopped but is a basically one man’s tale of shock and awe.

Buy the DVD now!Jon Leonoudakis was at that game with his brother, Tim. It was the first time his beloved “Jints” had made it to the World Series since 1962, which they lost to the New York Yankees on the final at-bat of Game Seven. The earthquake and its aftermath are seen through their eyes and those of their friends, other family members, and fellow fans. It’s at once a terribly sad and triumphant look at the disaster. Much more than the ESPN production, this as a home-movies vibe, which may or may not be your cup of tea. But the Leonoudakis clan takes great joy and comfort in their relationships and that comes across so much, as opposed to “just another project” for the ESPN crew.

Leonoudakis, who served as producer/writer/director/editor for this one, didn’t see much of a conflict with the two films. “Their show is a macro perspective of the vent, whereas mine is more micro,” he told me in a text message. “They should complement each other well.”

Prior to his World Series project, Jon Leonoudakis had similar “hyphenate” for Not Exactly Cooperstown, a documentary about the Baseball Reliquary, a fun and somewhat quirky book about an eclectic group of fans on the West Coast who celebrate off-beat and entertaining aspects and personalities of the game. I spoke with Leonoudakis back then; here’s that Bookshelf Conversation.


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