Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dad's "A"mazing Birthday Weekend


This past weekend, my family and I hit the road to Oakland to take my dad to the A's-Cardinals game to celebrate his birthday. My dad is a big St. Louis Cardinals fan, and he hadn't been to a big league baseball game in years, so we thought this was the perfect birthday present. Despite our second degree sun burns, and the fact that the A's lost by a lot (good for the birthday boy, not so good for the rest of the group!) it turned out to be an awesome day!
We got to the Coliseum two and a half hours early and stood in line in the hot sun all to ensure that we got Coco Crisp bobbleheads. The awesome thing about these is that unlike a traditional bobble head where the head, well, bobbles, Coco leans back and goes side to side, doing his signature "Bernie lean." I realize that if you aren't an A's fan you will have no clue what I'm talking about, but the Bernie lean is a ridiculously awesome part of the A's experience, and one that makes me laugh every time I see people doing it.

Nellie and I with our Coco lean bobbleheads.
(I would post the picture of Nellie and I doing our best Bernie lean, but it's even too ridiculous for this blog!
In honor of the birthday boy, we begrudgingly sat on the first base side above the visiting dugout, otherwise known as Cardinal country on this particular day. It was painful enduring a 9-inning masterpiece by Adam Wainwright (the Cardinals pitcher that threw a complete game against my A's) being surrounded by cheers and a sea of red. I will never forget the look on Nellie's face when, after an inning-ending strikeout by "Waino," the St. Louis fan behind us smirked "take that Oakland!" If looks could kill... that guy would be in big trouble! Even though our team lost, it was our dad's team that won, so it was a much happier ride back to Sac, and an early birthday present for dad.
In addition to dad's birthday, we also celebrated another major milestone...Johnny Fontana's first major league baseball game! And I will remind him forever that he was decked out in A's gear for his first baseball game every time his dad tries to make him wear Giants orange and black. If you couldn't tell, it's sort of a touchy subject in our family. You're either an A's fan or a Giants fan (or in my dad's case, a Cardinal fan). Not sure how poor Brendan is going to make out when he grows up with his mom, auntie, and grandma all putting him in A's gear, but his dad and other family all buying him Giants stuff. I can only trust that he'll do the right thing when he grows up and be an A's fan! 
Speaking of Brendan, he had to stay home because he's getting to the age where he can't sit still for a long period of time, and he would have been way too hot, but his daddy Ben made the trip to Oakland. For being one of the Giants fans in the family, he was a trooper, even though he sat by himself in his own row under the shade for most of the game. With many of us still recovering from horrible sun burns, Ben looks like a genius now.
Almost the whole gang was able to come to the game, except for poor Corey who had to work. He's one of the biggest A's fans I know (both figuratively and quite literally), so I know he was bummed he couldn't make it. I missed the big guy, but he was with us in spirit! And we brought him home plenty of souvenir A's beer cups!
No matter the outcome of the game, as cheesy as it sounds, it's always a win when I'm with my family. It was an awesome day of baseball, sunshine, and family time capped off by dinner at a Mexican restaurant and swimming 'til nearly midnight. Pretty good day in my book, and hopefully a happy birthday for my dad!

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