The Rabbits Black “Life in” series is a collection of opinion pieces that go beyond the world of music and focus on the cities where Rabbits Black writers and members live. While music can help define a city, there’s more than just tunes happening in our towns.
With the two Bay Area baseball teams battling it out right now, I think it’s time I pledge allegiance to my baseball team of choice. That team is the Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants. Yes, I root for both teams and I’m proud of it! Growing up along the Peninsula in San Mateo, I was pretty much equal distance from both ballparks. From the stands I got to watch San Francisco native Willie McGee beat out ground balls for the Giants in 1992 and Scott Hatterberg hit a walk-off home run for the A’s 20th consecutive win in 2002. I had a Ben Grieve and a JT Snow jersey in middle school (ya, I know). One of my favorite baseball players of all-time played for both the A’s and Giants- Vida Blue. I grew up liking and enjoying both teams, something that was totally normal growing up in San Mateo in the 90s. Later in life I would also spend formative years living in both San Francisco and Oakland (OK, Berkeley) and enjoyed quick trips on BART or Muni to the games- rooting for both teams was just part of life living in the Bay Area.
Now if the A’s and Giants were to play in the World Series this year (a real Battle of the Bay, not this Interleague play) I would want the A’s to prevail. I started to lean towards the A’s after the Giants moved to PacBell Park. Nothing against the best stadium in baseball, but I grew up going to games at Candlestick and Oakland Coliseum, so I don’t get that feeling of nostalgia that you learn to cherish as you get older when I go to Giants games today (oversized blankets and chocolate malts is how I remember Giants baseball). And let’s be honest, as soon as I was able to truly enjoy a proper tailgate, there’s no better place for drinking beer in the parking lot than at an Oakland A’s home games.
Now I am sure some fans from both sides of the Bay have their reasons for disliking the other team (you saw Barry Bonds at the supermarket as a kid and he refused to sign your baseball, Dennis Eckersley used to give you nightmares growing up) but I have every reason to like both. Yes, my reasons for liking both are because of my personal experiences, but isn’t that what liking baseball is all about? Creating a personal connection to a team, player, smell, taste, feeling, or even a special family member who took you to your first game as a kid. I have a lot of those connections and feelings for both teams- I guess that makes me pretty damn lucky.
I moved to Los Angeles six years ago, and nothing strengthens your resolve for Bay Area sports fandom like living in LA. The 1988 World Series- not so fun. The 1989 World Series- now that was awesome! Let’s do it again.
Go A’s and Go Giants- because I could never bring myself to root against Oakland or San Francisco.