Has this been done before? Probably. Do I care? Probably...NOT. No way! In fact, I think I did something very similar to this 4 years ago on here.
It's mid-February, my least favorite time of the offseason. After losing seasons I welcome the months off, and after winning seasons I can use the months off to appreciate the good season that was just had, and appreciate the local sports. Go Oklahoma State! But, Ok. State basketball sucks this year, so I'm ready to lump all my hopes into A's baseball. Every year, though, just about this time optimism springs eternal. We're going to ROCK. But, it also a time period with little to no baseball news, and I get antsy, and I want to write about the A's, and I don't want to study for my American Military History test that's on Thursday.
So, let's get to talking about your first memory of the A's (for us who were fans from childhood) or what moment your A's fandom just "clicked" (for those of us who became fans later in life).
My dad, born in Wichita, Kansas in 1951 was naturally a Kansas City A's fan. They up and moved after '67, and it took two years before the Royals moved into town, and the A's were just getting good, and the Royals were an expansion team and they were going to suck. Or whatever the 1967 equivalent of suck was. Stink? Was suck a popular term for suckage 45 years ago? Not-groovy? Is that too 70's? Not happening? Tell us about it old timers!
Anyways, they move to Oakland right when the A's are about to RAWK, and my dad's fandom follows them westward, and he moves to Oklahoma, giving him even less reason to follow the Royals. So, some 22 years later, I'm born in November, 1989. I like my birthday because the A's won the last World Series before I was born, and haven't won one since. That's fun!
Of course, I was too young for the great teams from 88-92 (although I did have a Baseball Almanac from the 91 season, which I read front to back a ton of times in about 1997. Mark McGwire hit .201! Ernie Riles (WHO?!) was their third baseman. I know a lot about the '91 A's for a person who was still routinely shitting his pampers when the games were being played. Oddly enough, I know a lot about the 2010 A's for someone who is still shitting his...
My first actual, actual memory of the A's comes from the 1996 season. The only A's games my dad got to watch on TV were when the A's played the White Sox, and it was broadcast on WGN. Or if the A's played the Rangers, and sometimes that would be broadcast. So, I begun to watch the A's a little bit, and the first baseball play that I remember was during one of the CHW-OAK showdowns on WGN with Hawk Harrelson at the mic.
Mike Bordick homerun.
Bordick hit 5 home runs that year, and looking through baseball-reference, of course two of them were against the White Sox. But, one was on April 19th, and I was likely in my kindergarten class macking on some 5 year old tail. The other was on July 24th, 1996. I'm pretty sure this is it:
I also feel pretty good that one of the games of that series was delayed by rain, because the idea of a rain delay was a foreign concept to me, and I remember turning to WGN to watch the A's, and they were playing one of those old 50's movies that they only play during rain delays. And I was all like, "What?"
Jose Herrera was batting leadoff in that game that was delayed by rain. What happened to that guy? Seems like if a guy could OPS .700 at the age of 23, he could have at least carved out a career. But, he didn't. He never played in the majors again after '96.
That's the first definitive A's memory I have. I have some other ones that are muddied somewhere in my brain. I think I was at an A's-Rangers game in Arlington in 1995. But I'm not 100% on that, or even 75%, but I am probably 65% sure. I got Mark McGwire's autograph at a spring training one year when I was very young. 1995, maybe 1994. I have some vague memories of it. My dad holding me up like a winning bingo card, trying to get McGwire's attention. It worked. We were about 5 or 10 feet above him, he was about to walk down a breezeway to go back to (I presume) the dugout. My dad tossed a ball and pen down, he signed it. Tossed both back up. My dad dropped both. So, McGwire had to do it again.
(As an aside, in a game in 2002 in Arlington, Ray Durham signed a ball for me and then stole my pen.)
So, there it is. My first memory of the A's. No doubt, some of you have better ones than a Mike Bordick homerun. But hopefully they are all as fuzzy and warm as mine is/was/were/potato.