Originally when I sat down to write this story, I wanted to write a preview of the MLB playoffs. While I absolutely have plenty of opinions about what will happen in the next 4-5 weeks of madness, I couldn’t seem to bring it all together in a way that made since, mostly because all I had on my mind was the Oakland A’s. And after watching last night’s NL Wild Card game, clearly you cannot predict what will happen in these wildcard games, so this is going to be a little story time with MJ, the preview will be after the Wild Card game and after my heart is either broken into 29384756 pieces or after my heart is overjoyed.
Anywho, here’s what I have been thinking about for the last few days. The Oakland A’s haven’t won a playoff game since I was 13 years old, and they have not won a playoff series since I was 6 years old, something I sadly do not remember. The last time the A’s won the World Series was 1989, and do I think that will happen this year? Probably not. Would I like that to happen, absolutely. This team has a wonderful infusion of rookies, veteran talent, hitting, and pitching that you need to go on a posteason run, but with our history I am hestitantly optimistic.
When I was 12 years old I sustained a terrible concussion playing baseball in late September. Soon after that, the Oakland A’s were in the 2012 American League Division Series against the Detroit Tigers. Even though I could barely think, let alone bare the blue light of the Tv to watch the games, I went against the advice of my family, indluding my sister who is a nurse, and my doctor to watch those 5 games. And I still remember every single one of those games like it was yesterday. I remember nothing else from the day of my concussion until about Christmas, but I remember that playoff series.
My point in all of this, is that baseball is a sport that has changed so many lives. Nationals 20 year old Juan Soto was asked last night, why do you work so hard every day even though you are now in the big leagues and one of the best in the game? He responded that he does it all because he is tired of being poor. Juan Soto was born in the Dominican Republic, and at 20 years old has made enough money to bring his family to the United States and has lifted them out of a less than ideal situation into one where they can watch their child perform on the nation’s biggest stage.
Only in a playoff baseball game does a 2-2 count with 2 outs in the bottom of the 4th inning somehow raise 41,000 people to their feet to scream their heads off for their pitcher. That does not happen in April, and that does not happen in football or basketball. That happens in October baseball. Ever since the early 1900’s, baseball has given people an escape. An escape from wars, an escape from extreme economic depression, an escape from political strife, or even an escape from an injury like mine.
When I watched the A’s in 2012, I wanted to be a major league baseball player for the Oakland A’s. While I would still love that, skill and a back injury have gotten in my way. My new dream is to one day write for or broadcast for the Oakland A’s. And whether I do that in an official or unofficial capacity, you all will get plenty of A’s content from this day forward. The love for the game of baseball, and what I have seen this game do for millions of people across over a hundred years, THAT is what draws me in. From people like Juan Soto, to people like me, this game has done a tremendous service for over a century and will continue to do so. If I can give just one person that escape for one moment, I will have done my part.