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Welcome back, Mr. Hickey

Hey Athletics Nation, welcome back an old familiar friend as a source of news about the A’s.

Those who have followed the A’s for a long time may remember well John Hickey, who covered the A’s (and sometimes the Giants) for more than 20 years before going in the late 1990s to a newspaper in Seattle to cover the Mariners.

After covering the baseball beat first for the Review in Hayward and later for the Alameda Newspaper Group, which grew to comprise the Oakland Tribune, the Argus in Fremont and the Tri-Valley Herald in the Dublin-Pleasanton-Livermore-San Ramon area, Hickey was lured away to write passages in the Northwest.

Now Hickey is returning to the East Bay (after hanging out in Arizona for spring training), working for not only his former newspapers here but also the San Jose Mercury News, all under the umbrella of Digital First Media, the digital component of Bay Area News Group’s parent company, Denver-based Media News Group.

John’s already written several stories, but those who follow the A’s in the Tribune, Review or Argus may have seen only one, Thursday morning (Jan. 31) on Barry Zito receiving the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Clinic’s Hutch Award.

Two of Hickey's stories were for the Monday (1-28) edition, and there is no print edition on Mondays for the Trib, Review and Argus. Two other stories appeared only online and not in the print editions. That may be in part because, for this fortnight, the sports sections are just about all-49ers, all the time.

But that’s another subject all together.

I am a longtime sports journalist myself who has worked as a competitor and as a teammate of John’s. He’s a good man, and I am looking forward to the insights on the A’s that he will share with us. Welcome back, old friend.

Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 12. We can hardly wait.

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