I was saving this post for when Rich Hill finally made his first start for the Dodgers. Which means I ended up putting it off and off and off and ... you know the story. Well, finally, the blisters were fine enough for Rich to pitch, and now I can finally toss up my “farewell” post. The A’s have always been known for their personalities and quirky cast-offs from other clubs that end up making an impact for our strange, little baseball team.
So, without further ado, have some gushing words about these two guys, some well-wishes and old Reddick doodles I found on the inner recesses of my computer. Enjoy! (or not, as the case may be)
I remember where I was when we got Josh Reddick ... Okay, okay, I remember sometime around then, when I first saw him. I was stuck in a telemarketing office, pretending I was working, but actually sitting on the A’s website checking out the interviews with all our new guys at Spring Training 2K12. Reddick was wacky and wild and really jazzed to be in green and gold and I hadn’t seen anyone in so long that just screamed “Oakland A’s” as much as him. I wanted him to do good, and had already decided in my mind that he was my next favorite thing.
Those kinds of feelings are cool, but they usually tank in a burning fire or fizzle out into free agent obscurity. Reddick and his sunglasses and cool hair, however, persevered, and when he won the Gold Glove in 2012, it was clear the A’s had done something right.
Okay, so we probably all had a similar reaction, but that’s just what Reddick meant to us as A’s fans. From day one, he seemed at home, a wacky breath of fresh air. And not only that, he was good, and he kept getting better. We’d been thirsty for a character like Reddick without even knowing what we were missing. So when he came along, he filled that hole like a peg.
While other faces came and went in the past four years, Reddick remained, charismatic, wild and always striving to improve. He became a real part of the community and the A’s family, and, though we’ve prepared ourselves for it, it finally came time to say goodbye on August 1st. We knew it was coming, we told ourselves we were fine, but you can’t not be sad to see a face go that became such a big part of our lives, whether we realized it or not. Even in the dark days of last season, Reddick was one of the pieces that still made us smile.
Fare thee well, wearer of the beard, scaler of walls, our Spider-Man in the outfield... May you continue to inspire and oh... watch out for closing doors...
I’ve only waxed poetic about Rich Hill every time I post here, but damn if he deserves it. The man is on his way to be the star of the next big, inspirational sports flick, and we got to watch an important part of the story. Just after the “All Is Lost” plot point.
As baseball fans, of course we appreciate getting to watch the talents of a star pitcher. As A’s fans in particular, we love to see that star pitcher be a quirky, likable human being. We love characters in our green and gold uniforms, and we love watching them dominate.
We also love (I’m speaking for all of us here) cats. Right? Right. Cats are awesome. The internet agrees.
Though the acquisition of the lanky lefty was an odd gamble for the A’s, it didn’t take long for Rich Hill (and his cats ... no, not really, I just wanted to bring up the cats again...) to prove the A’s had not made a mistake in signing him. Rocky Spring Training and unsettling first start thrown out of the memory banks, Hill became one of the most exciting things we’d seen in a long time. A welcome breath (or gasp) or fresh air after 2015.
While the dog days of summer crept closer and our distance from first place in the division inched further and further away, it was almost a sure thing Hill was going to be gone at the trade deadline. Probably dramatically, at the last moment. On August first, that was exactly what happened.
Rich, we wish you safe travels and healthy hands, and look forward to seeing the next act in your movie of a career! It’s been fun drawing you (and the cats) this season, and it’ll be fun seeing that crazy curveball for years to come.
If you haven’t already stopped reading (props to you if you haven’t) I’ve got some cartoony goodness to
drive you away cap off this send-off post. Enjoy.