Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire: Ahh, the Yesteryears of the Oakland A's

Eian BellAnalyst IJuly 21, 2008

Okay, Ill start off by saying that I am not a baseball fan.

Now before you bash me for posting articles regarding MLB when I obviously don't know anything, let me explain.

I was a baseball fan, but it seems like it's been so long. Well, maybe it has. Back in the late '80s, early '90s. Wow, has it been that long?

I was an Oakland A's fan. I played little-league baseball, albeit I was not very good, but unfortunately, at that age, they did not yet have Pop Warner football in my area ( I would have excelled at that).

I was an Oakland A's fan back when the game was exciting to me, and how could it not be?

Playing first base and bashing home runs was Mark McGwire. Honestly, I always have trouble remembering who was on second, but shortstop was Walt Weiss, third base was Carney Lansford, and the catcher was Terry Steinbach.

In the outfield, from left to right, was: Dave Henderson, Rickey Henderson, and McGwire's brother in bash, Jose Canseco.

I don't remember a lot of the pitching staff, to be honest, but I do remember Bob Welch and Dennis Eckersly.

Here's the thing.

I was into the game. I watched nine, 10, or 11 innings every night, if it was televised, which was just about every night in this part of the country.

I remember Canseco becoming the first 40/40 man. I remember when Rickey Henderson stole second base to beat Lou Brock's record, and I remember him hoisting that base high above his head.

I remember Dennis Eckersly coming out to the mound in the ninth inning of any given game, with his curly locks hanging rebelliously low, to save yet another game.

I remember the battle of the bay, and I remember the very next year when we were swept by the Reds in the Series.

Here's what I don't remember. When did watching baseball become boring to me? I know that it wasn't long after losing that series to the Reds, but it wasn't because we lost. It was because that was smack dab in the middle of football season, and right about the time that my beloved Raiders became my one true sports love.

Over the years, I have seen baseball on TV, and I have quickly changed the channel because it just doesn't hold the excitement it once did. I have watched my childhood heroes achieve greatness and then fall from their pedestal.

When I saw the highlight of the ball bouncing of Canseco's head in Texas, I couldn't believe it was the same guy I once worshipped. And when McGwire got wrapped up in the steroid scandal, it blew my mind. He always seemed like the clean-cut "good guy" to me.

Recently I have watched a couple games, only because my bedroom TV is limited to basic channels these days, but I've watched and I've felt a twinge of the enthusiasm I once did.

I'd really like to be a fan again. I need something to cheer for between January and September. Maybe I should even become a Royals fan, so I don't have to worry about the postseason interfering with my Raiders games.

Anyways, I'm not sure why I even wrote this article, other than maybe nostalgia for the past. I know that if those '89 Oakland A's were still around, playing for the A's at the same age, as if they were immortal, I wouldn't be typing this, because I'd be too busy watching them.


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