Most of us have a moment, game or season when we became loyal A’s fans. My moment came in 1983 at the age of seven when my Dad took me to my first A’s game at the Coliseum. As we made the two-hour trek from our home in Santa Cruz, I had no idea that my life was about to change. Walking from the parking lot towards the East entrance gate I remember hearing the glorious baritone voice of Public Address Announcer Roy Steele for the first time and realizing that I was entering into sacred ground. The experience I had that day as a young boy cemented my lifelong A’s fandom.
Fast forward to a few years ago. As a middle-aged Dad, I was now given the privilege of introducing my own kids to the Oakland A’s. The first game I took my first preschool daughter too was going really well until her ice cream helmet dropped into the aisleway in the third inning and her subsequent tears (and tantrum?!) caused us to exit the stadium in a hurried fashion. In the following years, thanks to the Stomper Kids Area and some Dad tricks I have picked up along the way, we are now able to keep all four of our kids entertained and we are proudly lasting for all nine innings as a family.
One day, I walked out to our garage and discovered that one of our kids had used a black sharpie pen to write on the freshly painted garage door. The graffiti simply said, “Samuel - Go A’s - 8.” It didn’t take a CSI investigator to figure out who was behind the artwork. My son Samuel was eight years old at the time and the penmanship matched his handwriting perfectly. My wife and I sat Samuel down and questioned him. ”Did you write on the freshly painted garage?” His big brown eyes looked back at us and with the conviction of a lawyer he simply said, “I didn’t do it, cousin Paul did.”
This response surprisingly threw my wife and I off the scent as his cousin of the same age had been over the day before. We called my sister-in-law and asked her to casually ask her son about it. He denied the charge and we were back to putting Samuel on the hot seat. ”Son, we know you love the A’s and this writing matches your handwriting perfectly, tell us the truth, did you write on the garage?” After some hemming and hawing that would have made Pinocchio proud, he finally admitted through a flood of tears, ”Yes, I did it, I wrote ‘Go A’s’ on the garage door.”
We appropriately gave him some consequences and the next Saturday I went out to the garage to paint over the writing. Except, I couldn’t do it. As much as we were disappointed that our son hadn’t told us the truth to begin with, and as ugly as the writing looked on our freshly painted door, there was something about the slogan “Samuel, Go A’s, 8” that I couldn’t bring myself to cover over. That was five years ago. The elements (and my original paint job) have taken a toll on that old garage door and the sharpie slogan.
Over the last few months, each time I walk out to the garage, I am reminded that it is time for a fresh coat of paint. Yet, I still can’t bring myself to paint over the “Go A’s.” It feels like it is part of our family history and legacy as A’s fans. So our weathered garage door will have to last another season. Go A’s!