Flashback Friday: The Earthquake at Petco Park

Baseball is a game with an inordinate amount of variables. Each time a pitcher uncorks a pitch, there are virtually hundreds of things that can happen.

It can be a crazy and downright wacky game at times, but the majority of players have experienced most of those odd scenarios. However,  no amount of training could prepare the Toronto Blue Jays for what they were about to experience one fateful day in San Diego.


For this week’s Flashback Friday, we take a look back at the earthquake that hit during the Blue Jays/Padres game on Monday June 14th, 2010.

The earthquake came in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Blue Jays enjoyed a 6-3 lead over the Padres. It looked as though the players were going around the horn following a routine groundout when the quake struck.

It registered as a 5.7 magnitude earthquake, but the players and coaches had a multitude of reactions to the quake. Some shrugged it off as commonplace while others were rightfully concerned about the stadium shaking.

Players like Aaron Hill, Vernon Wells, John Buck and Scott Downs had no knowledge of the earthquake, while others sitting in the dugout like Shaun Marcum definitely felt something rumble underneath his feet.

“That was first earthquake … that was pretty fun. I was in the clubhouse. I didn’t feel it until they said something on TV. So, I kind of stopped moving and the TVs were moving a little bit and I kind of started floating back and forth a little bit. That’s always fun.”

Vernon Wells took the nonchalant approach to the 5.7 magnitude earthquake from his view in centre field at Petco Park.

“I didn’t feel it … I didn’t know what everybody was fired up about. I was like, ‘A plane flew over. What’s the big deal?'”

As you can see from the video, the players in the field assumed it was just business as usual. But once the foul pole in left field started to sway, that’s when most people in the stadium knew something unusual was going on.

Chase Headley, the man due up for the Padres, stepped out of the box and being accustomed to playing near the San Andreas fault, certainly knew what was taking place. As did Padres outfielder Will Venable, who was in the clubhouse watching tape on Kevin Gregg to prepare for his at bat.

Perhaps the most interesting reaction to the earthquake belonged to the fans; as the public address announcer urged fans to stay calm, they cheered as the earthquake went on for approximately 45 seconds.

Video courtesy of MLBAM, quotes and info courtesy of MLB.com


Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.