Yeah, I know, great stuff is always happening to me, but this one, in my book, takes the cake.
So, being Brad Pitt's body double was pretty much a once in a lifetime thing, and playing with Hendu, Campenaris and Mike Moore at Papago Park was seriously special, but today was one of the suitest moments in my life as an A's fan. Yes, suitest, not sweetest.
Today, the Oakland A's honored the team that started it all, arguably one of the most talented teams in A's history, the 1972 Oakland A's.
When I was a wee lad in 1972, ESPN was called the newspaper, and on Sundays, the newspaper printed pictures in color. It was these color photos of the 1972 Swingin' A's, the Mustache Gang, that caught my attention and launched me into 40 years of fandom. I would cut out the photos of the players and games and tape them to my wall, studying them for hours. One player in particular, Rollie Fingers, was my favorite. That great name, crazy mustache and the antics! Growing up in Southern California, to be an A's fan was unheard of, as all my friends were Dodger's fans. But those Swingin' A's were my boys of summer, the reason I was and am an A's fan.
Before the game began, many of the players from that 1972 Championship team were honored before the game in a great ceremony. One the big screen they showed the players who had passed and on the field the current team lined up to shake their hands. It was very touching.
My friend, who attended the game with me, and is a frequent fantasy camp player, has a very good relationship with several of the players, so we were invited into the Championship team suite to watch the game. Here I was, walking into the suite with all of the ballplayers I grew up idolizing, all the baseball cards I sat on the floor of my bedroom and memorized their stats. All of the color photos I clipped from the newspaper and taped to my wall. Here they were, in the flesh.
Campy was the first to greet us, and as some of you know, I know him from fantasy camp. He is such a down to earth guy, as he hustled to the fridge and got us each a beer. We walked around and shook hands and chatted at length with guys like Joe Rudi, Gene Tenace, Bob Locker, Vida Blue, Campy, and many of the guys. There were also players wives and some press people, a few others but it was pretty high security, after all, this is our royalty, our champions.