Hey all -
I'm longtime A's fan. I got bit by the bug during Billy (Martin) Ball in 1981. I grew up in the Coliseum in the 80's and fell in love there in more ways than one. My best friend and I sat in the center field bleachers and pretended we were Lon and Bill. We both went on to pursue sports journalism in our undergraduate years and he actually turned it into a nice career until newspapers went kaput.
I stuck with stories but told them through a different lens, spending the mid to late 90's in Hollywood, studying screenwriting at UCLA. I learned who Joseph Campbell was thanks to Chris Vogler's Writer's Journey and got two feature length scripts produced as independent films. One you've almost certainly never heard of and another that was a blip on Black Starz. The shift for me in the way I approached stories occurred after my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD) in 2001.
My dad saw my love for the game and proposed we go see all the baseball parks together. We saw four in 1990 (Comiskey, Wrigley, Tiger and Milwaukee County) and three more in 1991 (Veteran, Yankee and Fenway). Life got busy with retirement for dad and graduation for me. Then Bud Selig cancelled the World Series and we cancelled being fans. Then Big Mac and Sammy dragged us back in. Then came Billy (Beane) MoneyBall. After dad's PD diagnosis, I rewatched the Field of Dreams, bawled my eyes out and told him we had to finish what we started. We did in 2004 and the result is the documentary, Boys of Summer.
That journey continues as there is no cure for PD - yet. I continued making films in the Boys of Summer series and have served the PD community in many ways, including earning my PhD in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences studying the effect of improvisation and storytelling on PD. This brings us full circle to the A's:
I realize all signs point to the A's being already gone. In other words, keeping them here seems impossible. Storytelling, in particular the Hero's Journey, is the perfect foil to the impossible.
I teach the Hero's Journey to people with and affected by PD as part of my 501(c)3 nonprofit in an online writing program called, The Parkinson's Prison and the Hero's Journey to Escape. I would like to lead a class of fellow A's students in a Hero's Journey where we will all explore, discover and share the story of our relationship with the A's. If you're interested, please email me and let's see what we can do, together, to pull off the impossible.
Thank you and Let's Go Oak-Land!
Robert Cochrane: email@example.com