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Gave Away All the ANtics to the A's Players

On Friday, before leaving for Phoenix, I created a PDF file that contained all 14 ANtics comments to date, and had them printed on "good" color paper at Kinko's, and then had them sealed in a clear plastic cover. I made 10 copies of the 15 page document (including cover page) at no small  charge, and set out to see if I could hand-deliver the comics to the Oakland A's players who played  the characters in the comic itself.

            Today, before the game between the A's and the Anaheim
            Angels, I took my 10 copies and aggressively set out to
            find players who had been featured and might have time
            to read them. We found pitcher Barry Zito and handed
            him 3 copies, one for him and two more for him to
            hopefully pass around the clubhouse. I told him that in
            contrast to everyone else there who was angling for his
            autograph, that I wanted nothing and actually had
            something to give him. I said it was the comic strip
            from Athletics Nation that I worked on, and he said
            that he and the team was way into Athletics Nation.

3 down, 7 to go.

            I then went up to the broadcast booth and found Ken
            Korach, who had spoken at last year's AN Day at Oakland
            Coliseum, and said we appreciated it, and gave him his
            copy. He said, "Is this mine to keep?" it was, and I
            left it.

4 down, 6 to go.

            We headed back down to the bullpen, and left one in the
            bucket of balls where the A's relievers would wait.
            Somebody would get it.

5 down, 5 to go.

            Then, walking back toward home plate, I spotted a man I
            thought to be A's general manager Billy Beane, but
            wasn't sure. This man had an FSN shirt on. So I took
            out an ANtics comic where Billy Beane was featured, and
            compared it to this gentleman. Now I was sure it was
            him. I walked up and opened the comic where he was
            featured, introduced the series, thanking him for his
            work and efforts in helping the site, and passed him
            his copy.

6 down, 4 to go.

            Then we went over the A's dugout and saw the players
            warming up, hitting flyballs, playing catch, and
            getting ready for the game. A's star third baseman Eric
            Chavez came out to sign autographs. I got aggressive
            and made my way down there with the kids, and while
            helping the smallest kids pass their baseballs to the
            front, I introduced the ANtics to Eric and passed him 3
            copies - again, one for him and two to share. He said
            that was cool, and kept signing.

9 down, 1 to go.

            With the last ANtics book, we headed back up to the
            broadcast booth to announcer Ray Fosse, who was
            conducting an on-air interview. We waited for his
            interview to end, and they cut to commercial. At that
            point, I thanked him for reading the first ANtics
            episode on the air last year, and passed him his copy.
            He stood up and shook my hand and said thanks. I said
            thanks for his good work and wished him luck.

10 down. None left.

            So, was it mission accomplished? I don't know. I really
            was hoping to get one for Joe Blanton, but he wasn't
            easy to get. And Ken Macha, another target, was at the
            team's other game. But I think we did well. We talked
            with Chavez, Zito, Beane, Fosse and Korach - all
            kingpins on the 2006 Oakland A's. And I hope the ANtics
            don't end up in the trash. But I feel it's not fair for
            just me to enjoy them, for if it weren't for the
            players, we'd have nothing to make up after all.

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