The 2012 Oakland A's might just be the most incredible success story of my lifetime if they can finish what they've started and reach the postseason. I'm only 24 years old, but I know amazing when I see it.
This year's team was supposed to be an afterthought who at best, might win 70 games. Nobody could've reasonably expected a bunch of retreads and rookies to make any noise in a division that includes the two-time defending American League champs and the star-studded Los Angeles Angels.
Furthermore, the team had just traded off the only real proven talent it had with Andrew Bailey, Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez all being shipped off for the sake of the future. It all went according to script in the beginning of the year with Oakland failing to hit and the A's falling nine games below .500.
Then something funny happened; they got good. Really good.
Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes provided a dynamic duo in the middle of the order while Coco Crisp started igniting rallies at the top. Chris Carter was called up and became who we all hoped he would be and Bob Melvin was making all the right moves.
I have to be honest, I never thought this would last. I'm from New York and couldn't see the games, but followed every night on the computer. Despite being young and practically broke I bought MLB TV so I could watch starting at the All-Star Break. All I was hoping for was a fun July and August, and maybe to stay above .500.
Then the New York Yankees came to town. Being a New Yorker, you have no idea how much I hate that team. When we won four games in a row, my Dad and I celebrated like we were rooting for a team that actually had a chance, because all of a sudden, they did.
The rest is of course history. Oakland has gone on a run of mythical proportions, challenging the mighty Texas Rangers for the AL West crown and submerging the Angels under the weight of a team that refuses to die.
I love sports. I follow all four and root passionately for a team in each. I've never had more fun pulling for a group that this one. The A's have shown me this is no fluke, one game at a time.
Who knows how the rest of the campaign will play out. Oakland might overtake the Rangers and quite possibly be the best underdog story since Rudy. The A's could also falter and break our hearts, no matter how improbable that looks at the moment.
Regardless, 2012 has proven to be magic carpet ride for all of us thanks to this squad. There's nothing more exciting in sports than being a fan of the proverbial little-engine-that-could.
The future is incredibly bright, eclipsed perhaps but only one thing; the present.