Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I don’t know if you’re Irish, but if this day means something to you, then celebrate as you wish. Just be safe.
With people wearing green today, I like to go over my favorite green uniforms in the top major leagues in America.
MLB: There’s something about the simplicity of the green pullover with the city name on it. This was it for the A’s. It wasn’t even that popular of a design in terms of all the outrageous looks they had in the ’70s. But this look from 1982 sold me. Simple and classic. It’s a shame that the A’s are the only team in baseball today that wear a green jersey.
Then again, I am biased towards the A’s. But their balance of gold and green is a great complement to the entire set. I wish they could throw back to these beauties in the near future. That would be awesome. Here’s to wishful thinking.
(Side note, I like what the Mets wear during St. Paddy’s Day every spring.)
When Jim Harbaugh was the coach of the 49ers, he attended an Oakland A’s game. He invited then Warriors head coach Mark Jackson to come to 49ers training camp. He also met with the Giants and got them and the 49ers to unite together in support of the city. These were the things that Harbaugh did when he was with the 49ers and his connections to the Bay Area were very strong.
Now that the 49ers and Harbaugh are no longer together, one could assume that Harbaugh might not be as active in participating in various things with the local teams. That’s not the case.
As you can see, Harbaugh still remains connected to the Bay Area and he’s a special guest with the Athletics at spring training today. In fact, he might even coach at first base for a few innings.
Last night, my favorite Oakland A’s player from my childhood announced his retirement. Mark Ellis joined the A’s in 2002 and was so consistently amazing with the team until his trade to Colorado in 2011. Even though he wasn’t a big name like Miguel Tejada or Erich Chavez, he stuck through some tough years for the team but remained professional.
Drafted by the Royals in 1999, Ellis came to Oakland with Cory Lidle in a three-team trade in 2001 for Angel Berroa, A.J. Hinch, and Ben Grieve.
“It was definitely time,” Ellis told The Chronicle on last night about his retirement. “My kids are getting older and I kind of realized it was time to do something else.”
What made him so endearing for me was that he always seemed to be clutch at the plate. But his offensive stats aren’t what made him a player with so much longevity, rather it was his defense. His .991 career fielding percentage is fifth best all time among second basemen. He even set a then record .997 fielding percentage in 2006. It still shocks me that he never won a Gold Glove in his career.
Out of the Big Three the A’s had in their early years of dominance in the 2000s, Barry Zito was my favorite over Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson. All three pitchers were great, but it was something about that Zito curveball that just amazed me.
Zito was great for Oakland and spent seven seasons with the team, making three All-Star games and winning a Cy Young award in 2002. He was great for Oakland, but when he was to hit the market, I knew his time was gone. It was either San Francisco or the New York Mets and he choice to stay in the Bay.
I grew up an Oakland A’s fan and I didn’t really invested into baseball until 1998. That was a great year for the game itself with the home run chase going on. But since I grew up in the East Bay and my heart still broken over Mark McGwire being traded, I tried to find a hero on the A’s that would comfort my sadness. That came in the form of this power hitter named Jason Giambi. He had been with the team for a few years at that point but it wasn’t until the 2000 season did I really become a huge fan.
He won the MVP that year and the A’s made the playoffs for the first time in a while. The team was ready to build upon his talents and he was going to be the core strength of this group of young talented players. The first bobblehead I ever got was a Giambi bobblehead. I recall going to a lot of games in the following season and if my non-Brian Williams memory serves me right, I was there for this game.
Entering this offseason, I expected the A’s to make moves. After all, they went all in in 2014 and didn’t win. As a result, the team was gutted and needed to reinvent themselves. I don’t think the talent pool is so bad that they have to rebuild. But instead, they had to make some changes to make it work in a year or two.
Nobody is sacred with Billy Beane as the general manager and I know that. Trading players away to gather talent for the future is what the A’s have always been about. And it’s not surprising that a trade like this could happen. I am an A’s fan. I know this. I’ve been through it. I don’t get emotional about it.
The Athletics just shared the above quote from The Sandlot. It’s a good quote except for one problem: they misspelled “heroes.”
However, if the quote was referring to the delicious sandwich, then it’s not a misspelling. But I don’t think Babe Ruth was talking about sandwiches.
Or maybe he was?