I had the pleasure this week to watch the Oakland Athletics seek a division series title – from the stands at the Coliseum.
It’s been years since I attended a Major League Baseball game, and I’ve never seen an MLB playoff game live. My wife, Jill, had never seen a big league game live, either, so when the A’s won their division on the last day of the season, I jumped online and grabbed four tickets to Tuesday’s home opener.
We were joined by my son, who’s been an A’s fan since shortly after his birth, and his longtime girlfriend, who’s also a huge A’s fan.
It’s not overstating it to say the experience was exceptional.
The crowd at the Coliseum expected a victory, and the A’s did not disappoint, winning the contest 2-0 to keep the best-of-five series alive. Along the way, we got to spend some time with my son while enjoying America’s pasttime.
As we entered the stadium, we each received a rally towel. Jill’s response? “I feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth already.”
The game would provide her with so much more before it was over. The national anthem, with a mini fireworks display, moved her to tears. A lighted sign across from us, proclaiming “This is our house!” as the crowd roared during the game, brought her to tears.
You should know that Jill’s not a big fan of sports, but she was eager to see the game. She took time to study the rules, and asked questions while we drove to the North Concord BART station, and while we rode the train to the Coliseum. I knew she would be fine when the A’s turned an inning-ending double play early on Tuesday, and she tracked the ball as it was hit, fielded, thrown, caught, thrown and caught again.
She jumped out of her seat as if on cue and began screaming.
She was hooked.
The A’s gave us, and the 37,000 others in attendance, a game to remember. They were never behind. They made some outstanding plays, including a home-run-robbing catch in center field by Coco Crisp.
Stadium dogs were eaten. Money was spent on A’s playoff hats. Throats were raw and voices were hoarse before the game was won.
We wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.
The A’s won again Wednesday with a walk-off, 4-3, forcing a deciding Game 5. We bought four tickets to Game 2 of the league championship series in hopes of a Game 5 victory.
It was not meant to be: The A’s lost 6-0.
My son and his girlfriend missed Game 4 but were there Thursday for Game 5, to cheer their team to victory and, once they lost, to celebrate a magnificent run to win the division crown, and for the strong showing against the Tigers.
Now we’ll cheer for the Giants as they seek a National League title and a shot at another World Series ring. This time, I suspect that Jill will be much more interested than she was the last time around.
Reach Managing Editor Glen Faison at 427-6925 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GlenFaison.