August 2010

One of Baseball’s Greats



Kara and the Law familyOne of the
highlights of the last homestand was a special visit from Vern Law, a pitcher
for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1950-1967. Law lives in Utah but was in the Bay
Area for special church events and outings, including the ballgame on Thursday
night. During the third inning, I had the lucky opportunity to chat with him,
his son Vance, also a Major League ballplayer who played for the A’s for a
season, and his grandson, Andrew.

Vern Law's baseball card

During Law’s
career, he was twice named to All-Star teams, a Cy Young Award winner and a
1960 World Series champion. Any baseball historian will tell you that the 1960
series between the Pirates and the Yankees is one of the most famous in the
sport’s history. It’s the only time a World Series has been won on a walk-off
home run in the bottom of the 9th inning in game seven. Imagine the
drama, the thrill!

As a
starting pitcher, Law pitched in games one, four and seven of the series. When
I chatted with him on Diamond Vision, he told me that he liked to rib the
series’ hero, Bill Mazeroski, the walk-off run hitter, that if he hadn’t been
pulled as the pitcher earlier in the game, there would have been no need for
his heroics. Of course, he’s only kidding. In my brief interaction with him,
Law came across as kind, humble and a true gentleman. Someone who represents the game with dignity.


Richard with Vern Law's autograph

My story
could end there. After all, it’s not every day that the Coliseum hosts one of
baseball’s greats. However, what made that Thursday night truly memorable in my
mind was connecting a lifelong admirer of Vern Law’s and the man himself. After
I finished my interview with him, Richard, a longtime season ticket holder and
serious baseball historian, stopped me and asked if he was dreaming. Was that really THE Vern Law sitting in the Oakland Coliseum?!?

Vern Law's autographVern Law signing autographs

You see,
Richard grew up in Pittsburgh, rooting for the Pirates. Vern Law was one of his
favorite players, and he was lucky enough to watch him throw in game seven of
that 1960 World Series.
In fact, on Richard’s drive to the Oakland Coliseum
last Thursday, he was listening to the old play-by-play radio recording of that
famous game. It was such an eerie coincidence that Law happened to be sharing
air space in the stadium that very same night. When I interviewed Richard on
Diamond Vision in the eighth inning, he was still trembling from meeting one of
his childhood heroes and marveling at his good fortune to connect with a
baseball legend. In Richard’s words, “magic really does happen here in Oakland.”

Three Homestands, Twenty-Three Games to Go…

Kara, fans and StomperIt’s really hard to believe, but the 2010 season is starting to wind down. I hate to be the one to break the bad news, but I’m just wondering how the last four and a half months disappeared so quickly?!? To me, Spring Training feels like last week. And Dallas Braden’s perfect game could have been yesterday.

So here are the facts, fans: starting today, Monday, August 16, there are only three more homestands and twenty-three more home games left in the 2010 campaign. We’ve only got about a quarter of the season to go, and you know it’s going to go by in a green and gold blur!

SuperfansFans with Suzuki sign

Because of this sad news, I urge you and your friends and family to make these next few homestands count! I know summertime is busy with vacations, camp,
parties and the like, but procrastinators, it’s time to start making
A’s baseball a priority. Click here to visit the A’s website so you can pick up your tickets today!

Fans celebrate 11th birthdayCute fans in matching tie-dye

In my opinion, there are a lot of factors that have made this season zip by (at least in comparison to last year). For starters, the team has been playing well and we all know it’s a lot more fun to watch a winning team. Instead of dreading upcoming series, we’ve been looking forward to them, thus the schedule appears to fly by.

Thumbnail image for Kara, Dan and his "Kara" t-shirtAlso, it doesn’t take a meteorologist to tell you that this summer has been positively Arctic. Where are those bright, sunny days and warm evenings? It’s been feeling a lot more like earlier May than mid-August. Yet another reason why it’s hard to believe the season is coming to a close.

So fans, get out your green and gold, make those homemade signs and come on out to the Coliseum for the remaining days of A’s baseball in 2010. I can’t wait to see you there!

Big Expectations

Chris Carter

All of a sudden, with the call up of Chris Carter before Monday’s game vs. the Seattle Mariners, the final 51 games of the season are starting to look a lot brighter.

Rationally, I know that might not make total sense. How can one rookie make that much of a difference? And to be fair, the starting pitching staff and regular A’s lineup has been looking pretty sharp recently. Case in point, taking 2 out of 3 in the last series against the AL West leading Rangers. But there’s still something about the addition of the Carter that has everyone buzzing…

For starters, there’s the hype. You just look at this guy’s numbers, from both his bio and his on-field performance, and it’s hard not to be impressed. 6’5″ and 230 pounds with 27 home runs in just four months in Sacramento. It’s pretty common knowledge the A’s need some pop in their lineup, and hopefully, this guy can lend his strength and contribute.

I had the chance to meet Carter during Spring Training. Initially, it was tough to coax out detailed answers from our curious questions, but his shy smile won us (the Diamond Vision crew) over. Once we post that interview, I’ll be sure to link to it here.

Fans, what do you think? Excited the Chris Carter wait is over? Wish Billy Beane had called him up earlier? Or maybe it doesn’t make much difference to you one way or another?