I will be honest. If you were to have told me that at this current moment I would be having baseball with drawls I would have told you, you were out of your damn mind. More importantly that I would have gone to a total of 14 baseball games this year I would have also told you I had better ways to spend my money. So imagine my surprise how I rekindled love for the game and more importantly my team the Oakland Athletics.
Here's the thing. I have always been an A's fan. Have I been proactive about this team? No. Have I gone to A's games prior to my new found love? Yes. Was I sober at any of the for mentioned games? Well no. The only thing I can say about baseball was at the time I thought it was the most boring sport in the world. Golf was the first most boring sport, coming in at second was baseball. Anything having to do with baseball was ridiculous. Aside from the countless movies that made baseball the most greatest sport on the planet that was the only way I found baseball interesting. Through a beautiful scored soundtrack, wonderfully gifted actors, great direction and phenomenal screenplay anything is possible.
When my friend Hilda invited me on a tour of AT&T Park (Home of the San Francisco Giants) I wasn't aware of how that would change my outlook of the sport. Going on a tour with fellow baseball fanatics is different then going on a tour with people who don't care about the sport. To see how a complete empty patch of nothing came to become one of the most beautifulest parks in the states is overwhelming. The recent history as well as behind the scene features made me wonder more about the sport as well as the people that were in love with the sport. I started doing my own research on the sport, my team's standings as well as familiarize myself with something I knew nothing about. People thought I was crazy. Nobody understood how I went from talking about fashion, food, and film to talking about a sport I knew absolutely nothing about.
Of course the time that I got involved with the sport couldn't have happened at a better time. I lost important people of my life, I lost my job and instead of crying about my losses I found something to occupy the emptiness I felt inside. With the help of a pact I made with Lily (someone I had met through Hilda on the tour, huge Giants fan) we vowed that for every Oakland game Lily went to I would in turn go to a Giants game. I wouldn't have gotten through this summer if it wasn't for Lily. Baseball doesn't become interesting until you met someone that makes everything fun for you. For every strike, stolen base there's Lily that has the same twisted sense of humor you do about things. The only two people on this planet that ever took time to explain and be patient with me about a sport are Hilda and Lily. They didn't make fun of things I said, corrected my explanations and made jokes with me about every other team that weren't teams from the west coast. I guess you can say they created a monster because through them I started understanding what I was reading, watching, even understanding every call as it was happening. Before I knew it I watched from Game 1 until the post season. It wasn't just my team I was watching I was commenting I was getting more involved and feeling a different sort of passion then I had for any thing else.
In a way going on that tour was the gateway into the sport. Lily was the person that changed the whole game for me. You realize how much you learn from people just by how passionate they are for a team. You yearn to find passion in something so much that it hurts your heart as well as brings a smile across your face.
There are many reasons why I am an A's fan. Aside from the growing number of put downs I've heard about being a fan it's knowing that no matter how many World Series they've won, no matter how many times they have defied odds they will always be the under dogs of the MLB. It doesn't matter that they've won 20 games in a row, or that they've paved the way for so many hall of fame veterans no one will ever look at the A's as they do the Yankees or the Giants. Every season they regroup their band of misfit players and play for miracles. It's more than just wins, its earning the respect of their peers that told them they would only win at most 70 games this season. They won 94 and AL West Division Champions. I cheered, insulted, cried, and did countless superstitions with this team. Even if they didn't make it to the World Series even after they lost to Detroit in Game 5 I still cannot get my mind off hearing the chanting so crystal clear from the TV. There is nothing like seeing people that were completely misjudged by an industry of perfectionists, find respect among their peers and among their fans.
If you ask me why I'm an A's fan it's simple. I've been the misfit, the broke down, beat down, black & blue. I know what it's like to be the under dog and want the respect of my peers. All it takes is one magically season to turn it all around. Seasons come and go. Players get traded, people change but I will never forget how I felt this whole season. I met some great people, rekindled relationships with family memebers and more importantly grew to love a sport I never thought I would ever love. With that stated I will never stop rooting for you Oakland. No matter what happens next season no one can take away the magic that happened this season. Thank you Oakland for filling my heart with hope, because it's when I've lost everything that this team brought some of the greatest influencial people in my life. Thank you Lily, Hilda, Anthony and importantly Bob Melvin and Billy Beane.
This one is for the under dogs.
"Lets go Oakland".