I was thinking about this the other night and wondering how I came down this long, winding road to become an A's fan. I wasn't one of those kids that grew up worshipping baseball as a sport. Growing up on the East Coast, I played and enjoyed hockey a lot more. So when I went to Fenway Park and saw Jose Canseco hit a monstrous home run with the most violent swing I'd ever seen in my life, I remember clearly thinking to myself, "Wow, this sport can be pretty freaking cool."
But I only watched baseball tangentially. I'd go to see baseball with my Dad on occasion, but the most interesting thing about the sport to me was the hot dogs. Yet I always seemed to go see the A's play the Red Sox. I would actually have fun at those games with the Bash Brothers. My favorite thing about the game was watching long home runs, so I guess as a kid, my fascination with the long ball led me to my affection for the green and gold. Chicks are the only ones who dig the long ball, kids do too. I imagine that's probably why these guys felt the pressure to do steroids because the home run is by far the sexiest thing in baseball on a primitive level. Now that I'm older and more in tune with the finer points of the game, I'd rather see a guy get a fantastic read on a ball in the gap and make a spectacular running catch. Or Eric Chavez make out-of-this-world plays at third base. Defense is my therapy these days.
To make a long story short, I feel lucky that I wound up an A's fan. I think that there's something about my very nature that makes me attracted to teams that have extremely intelligent general managers/front offices. It's great to see teams that don't have the resources of other teams be able to compete on that same level and even have a greater level of success. As many of you know, the New Jersey Devils are my favorite hockey team. They were looooong before they were any good. I go back to the years when Bob Sauve and Alain Chevrier were their goalies. Ultimately, I think I become fans of with guys who I think can beat the system that's designed to keep them at a disadvantage. The Devils no longer have that problem as everyone plays within a salary cap in hockey, but for a long time, the Devils were at a great financial disadvantage to the other teams in the sport. The Rangers, in particular, were the big-time free spenders and the Devils, much like the A's, always seemed to play the role of red-headed stepchild to the big market Rangers.
So you might say that I'm just attracted to teams that no one expects to win. The similarities between the A's and Devils are incredible. Both are the second (or in the Devils case, possibly even third) in a big market, essentially making them small market teams. Both have GMs that are widely regarded as possibly the best in each respective sport.
My question to you is, how did you come to be an A's fan? Was it something you were simply born into? Did you go to your first game as a kid and it was love at first site? Did you move to the area and adopt the A's and if you did, why did you pick the green and gold over the Giants? I figured this would make a good offday topic, especially as the A's travel to where I originally grew up to play the Red Sox.