Here you go - Vikings, Blazers, Penguins and A's, my long-time pro franchise favorites. Shouldn't it be Chiefs, (KC) Kings, Blues and Royals? Growing up in Wichita, I didn't pay attention to regional favorites, if a team caught my eye early I stuck with them.
The Athletics won three straight World Series in the 70's, which made a lasting impression on me at a young age. I've watched the A's play several times in Kansas City, once in Cincinnati and Minnesota but never by the bay or by the highway.
Opportunity knocked on the door Tuesday night while in Oakland. Dean Blevins and I went live at 8:20 California time for our Thunder report. Once we were done I dropped Dean off at our hotel in Emeryville and hustled down the highway. I picked up the game on the radio on the drive over to the ancient Coliseum. The game was tied at three in the 7th inning, so I'm thinking extra innings, a pitching change by the A's helped stall the game before I arrived.
Parking was a non-issue; you would have a hard time convincing me that OKC couldn't pack the park better if the team played in Oklahoma. I'll save that argument for a later day.
I hustled up to the gate, but they wouldn't let me in without a ticket. The security guard pointed to the ticket counter, so I raced over to the counter but no luck, shutdown for the night. The guard then pointed me to a ticket machine, similar to an ATM machine. I purchased the cheapest ticket $15 dollars and jogged into the Coliseum with the game still tied at three. I had outfield bleacher seats but sat on the third baseline since the seats were plentiful to pick from.
What timing? Less than a minute after sitting down, the A's un-tied the game with a hit to go up 4-3 in the bottom of the 7th. I wanted to share the moment with my wife on the phone but I knew she was sound asleep, so I called my dad instead.
It was pretty cool talking to my dad while the game played on. The Rangers almost spoiled the perfect night by scoring two runs in the top of the 9th to take a 5-3 lead. The Athletics didn't disappoint me in the bottom of the 9th. Khris Davis hit a walk-off grand slam in the 9th and the A's rallied back, winning 8-5. You couldn't have scripted my first A's home game any better.
My dad heard the crowd roar over the phone, while he watched the game on about a 10 second delay on the MLB network. A moment I will never forget, $15 dollars for two and a half innings of baseball and worth every penny.