October 04, 2013

Oakland Athletics

I have to admit. 

In the mid–80s I was an Oakland Athletics fan.

This was before they were the bashin' A's of the late '80s/early '90s. This was when they had a young pitcher named Tim Birtsas. Birtsas was from Clarkston, Mich., and knew my Uncle John Morgan really well.

I first heard of him when my Mom told me about him. Then I was reading The Sporting News one day and found out that he had been one of the players traded to the A's in the huge Rickey Henderson trade prior to the '85 season. I thought that was cool.

He ended up making the A's in '85 and we actually saw him pitch. After the season, I was able to meet him at his house, ask him some questions, get a baseball autographed — and I actually met a Major League Baseball player. That was awesome for a 14 year old.

Birtsas didn't do much in his five years in the Show. He actually had his best season his rookie season in '85. He was eventually traded to the Reds with Jose Rijo for Dave Parker. A pretty even trade in the end for both teams.

For a brief time in the mid–80s, I had a second favorite team.

Birtsas once hit my hero with a pitch, which was ironic in its own way.

Let's go, Tigers!

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