by on May 15, 2010

Oakland A's Quilt

Baseball is timeless, unless you are talking about  the Boston Red Sox vs. the New York Yankee’s (my sportscasters love to bring up the length of their games and how many trips Jorge Posada takes to the mound every inning). Nonetheless, there is something very comforting about the pace of the game for me.

Every time I go to a game I am 15 again (although now I need glasses to clearly see the players on the field)! I look forward to a hot dog. I look forward to the National anthem. Hell, I look forward to everything about the game.

When I was a kid it was a treat to sit in 4th grade at school and watch 15 minutes of a playoff game or the World Series at lunch. We would have the games on at home from time to time and I would be interested but I had not yet fallen for the sport fully. Then, one day in October, 1971 to be exact, an upstart group of guys from Oakland made it to the playoffs and the game was on the TV at our house. I noticed this guy named Rollie Fingers and his handle bar mustache. That was it! I was hooked and I have never looked back. This brawling group of guys wiggled their way in to my heart and that was it.

Then a few season’s later I went to my first game live. We were going to an event at the arena and it was sold out. There was a baseball game going on next door so me and 4 other friends decided to go to the baseball game instead. We got tickets right behind the Oakland dugout in the first row and I smiled at Joe Rudi as he was running in from left field and wonder of wonders, he smiled back. My heart skipped a beat. Oh my goodness, I needed to do this MORE!

The Coliseum

Well, that year we went to about 15 games and somehow I saved up enough money to go to the Playoffs and World Series of 1974. I was going with my friends, Kathy, Collette and Stacey. It was a blast. We decided that we wanted to do something to bring the players good luck so we baked them some cookies which we planned to give them as they walked in to the stadium from where they parked their cars. (I forgot to mention that a friend had told me where the players parked their cars while we were in class during summer school. Summer school was good for something, after all!)

So we baked, and we baked, and we baked some more. It was quite the labor of love. We put them in plastic bags and then put them in brown paper sacks which we decorated with their nicknames and their team numbers.

Then next day we couldn’t wait to give them their cookies. It was so much fun and they were so appreciative of all the hard work we had put in to decorating their bags. As you know, they beat the dreaded Dodgers in 5 games and I was sitting there with my feet dangling over the rail just a few feet away from where Joe Rudi hit the home run into deep left center to win the Series. Pandemonium!!! That night, as we waited for the players to stagger back to their cars, several of them said they were convinced that our cookies were the thing that helped them win the Series. Pure music to a group of young girls ears.

And a tradition was born. The next year we baked the players cookies after every road trip so that they would have good luck on the home stand. From what I understand, the players looked forward to those cookies and traded each other so they could have more of their favorites. It was a great time in my life. Very special. Many happy memories. I became friends with MC Hammer when he was just a young kid. I also became friends with one of the A’s players, Ted Kubiak, who even invited us to his house in Piedmont. I still remember that beautiful home of his, his lovely family and their Chow dog and the laughs that we shared.

I think the players tolerated us pretty well and were sweet enough to leave us tickets before every game and we were blessed with parents who supported our love of the game and traded off picking us up at the stadium after every game. My eternal gratitude to all of them for contributing to so many great memories.

Young A's Talent - Pitchers

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