Last night, I was so excited to be at the Oakland Roots USL home debut versus the Sacramento Republic. My wife, daughter and I had plans to meetup with my brother and his family and my sister and her family. It was the first time we had seen my sister, her husband and their son in almost two years.
It all went south pretty quickly as we walked up to the gate at Laney College stadium. People were coming out of the way in and confusion abounded. Eventually, a man from the Roots came around and announced that the Sacramento team refused to play on the field and the game had been cancelled. This turned out to be untrue by the team’s own statement, so that was real bad form… blaming your opponent for cancelling a game that was cancelled because the field had dead sod and was an injury risk.
But the real event happened when my brother texted us from the parking lot and said “Meet us at Plank…”
Anyone who knows me knows that I bleed Oakland Athletics green and gold. I used to be a front page writer for Athletics Nation, Editor at Large for Newballpark and have season ticket holder pins, bobbleheads, jerseys, hats… nesting dolls. You name it, I got it in Oakland Athletics stylings.
And further, I started researching ballpark developments in 2000. This after the City of Oakland made an objectively TERRIBLE deal to bring the Raiders back to Oakland in 1996 and followed it up by refurbishing the Oakland Arena for the Warriors. Both of those deals, 25 years later, have real ramifications for the City of Oakland as they approach a potential new deal with the A’s. This despite, and probably a little bit because of, both of those teams plying their respective trades in different cities.
One of the very first “sites” I ever tried to understand was Jack London Square on Oakland’s waterfront and this was because at the time… The Giants had just completed their park right on the water and it was gorgeous. I quickly realized that “Jack London Square” really meant Howard Terminal based on the HOK Oakland Ballpark Study that was released not long after I started trying to figure this out on my own, and there were copious reasons that this site seemed like a fantasy back then, and I wrote about it. More than once.
I am here today to tell you that I am 100% in favor of a ballpark at Howard Terminal now, and it isn’t because of Sophomoric threats of relocation. It is about Oakland.
I like to write about spiritual topics on Saturdays. Therefore, sticking with this theme… I am today writing about one of my spiritual heroes: Batman.
With Halloween just around the corner, there is no shortage of costumes languishing on shelves. I walk through the costume section of Target any time we go there, masked and sanitized. I think back to the Halloween when my brother and I were Batman and Robin and I prefer the home made costumes our mother made. Not because the muscles were ripplier, or that they were tremendously accurate. But, because of the Batman and Robin that we wanted to be.
Man what a dang week of playoff baseball this was. My love of baseball is almost part of my DNA. I was born into a crazy sports loving family. Mainly because my father was the oldest of seven boys (which is why I call my Grammie St. Evelyn, seven boys ?!?!?!?!). So they all grew up playing every sort of game imaginable and passed that down to all of us in the next generation. The backyard at my grandparents house was always best when it was being used as a wiffleball stadium.
I spent so many happy hours playing wiffleball in my grandparents backyard, in my Uncle John and Aunt Carol’s backyard (UJ is the funniest guy I know, he named his backyard Jooky Stadium based on a hilarious Sprite commercial) and over at my man Lester Partridge’s house, 2 Cat Field. I mean the point is, today the spiritual topic we are diving into is the great game that is responsible for wiffleball. We are talking baseball.
I have struggled with getting into shape for pretty much my whole adult life. For a while I got into running, at other times I tried lifting weights and I have done the miracle diets. All of these things worked, until they didn’t.
At this point I have settled in on some general concepts and a plan that has been developed by a childhood friend who runs a gym in my hometown, Ryan. I am finding that the key is… to find something that I can do consistently, duh.