I have opined about this here before, but this one will definitely leave a mark. The Oakland Athletics traded away one of their stars just before the trade deadline. Okay, they traded a pair of their stars, but only one will really matter to me. I might miss Rich Hill, a thirty-five year old left-handed pitcher with some experience and some promise if he ends up throwing a no-hitter int he World Series for his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Like the way it hurt to watch Josh Donaldson hit home runs for the Toronto Blue Jays in last year's American League Championship Series. And every time the Blue Jays roll into Oakland, I am reminded of that green and gold T-shirt I have with his name on it. The shirt I bought because I am Donald's son, and I have a son named Donald. The shirt I bought because there was this really good third baseman who played for a really good team here in Oakland.
Just not good enough.
It's been a long time since the World Series was played here in Oakland. Fans of the Athletics have their history and their heroes, but most of it happened before I came here and adopted them. I was here for the Streak, when a mediocre team turned things around enough to win twenty games in a row. That one was special enough to get Brad Pitt to be in it, eventually. Brad hasn't made it out to the Coliseum recently. Not that there hasn't been some success in our ballpark over the past few years, but the most notable stories coming from down there have been about the rotten plumbing and sewage backing up in their dugout. Why would anyone want to stick around if they didn't have to?
That's why I will miss Josh Reddick. He was a right fielder who seemed to enjoy the mess. He could knock the ball around the yard, and his fielding abilities got him the nickname Spider Man and endeared him to my son forever.
And there were the pies. Josh may not have made the ritual of throwing a pie in the face of the player who hit the walk-off run for his team, but he made an institution out of it. Josh Reddick knew he was playing a game, which is why he switched his walk-up music to George Michael's Careless Whisper a few years back just to keep things from getting stale. Like the back of their dugout. It was fun having Josh around the clubhouse for the past few seasons. Now, my son has a green and gold T shirt that can be worn with nostalgic pride, and a "remember when?" smile.
Bye, Josh. Thanks for the memories. And the pies.