by Ray Bergman
Game 28 - Athletics vs Rangers at the Oakland Coliseum
September 23, 1996Home sweet Home... There is nothing like sleeping in your own bed and waking up to realize my dream is now a reality...Travelling by car and stoping off to see 28 baseball games in 28 different stadiums. I did it! And now, can you believe this? I'm ready to start again, but... Reality at home has set in also, so now I'm back to my real job and will watch the playoffs and World Series on TV.
I finally got things put away, a twelve hour job. I traveled 15,082 miles in 56 days. That averages out to 269 miles a day. Tonight's game pits the high flying Texas Rangers against the Oakland A's. Since I'm back home in the Bay Area of California, I will have to dress warm. It gets chilly in this area this time of the year, especially at night, but not as cold as San Fransciso in the summer, as you may recall from my Game 1 summary.
The Oakland franchise began at the turn of the century. Then, they were known as the Philadelphia Athletics. The A's, as they were called, moved to Kansas City in 1955 and played there until 1967, when upstart owner Charles 0. Finley moved them to Oakland. They arrived in Oakland in 1968 but had to share the Bay Area market with the fans' favorites, the San Francisco Giants. The Oakland Coliseum and the Giants home base, Candlestick Park (AKA 3 Com Park), are about 7 miles apart, as the crow flies. The A's have had some not so great and some great players, also some Hall of Famers, Reggie Jackson and Jim (Catfish) Hunter to name the more prominent. In the history of the A's, the team's most flamboyant owner has been the green jacketed Charlie O Finley. Charlie always said the "0" stood for owner.
Since this was my last game of the dream, I arrived a little early, at about 6:05 for a 7.30 game. The Coliseum has just been renovated for the returning Oakland Raiders and I wanted to be able to search out all the new nooks and crannys that make a ballpark. It now has three levels of seating with skyboxes just below the third level. The outfield, where most of the renovations took place, now has two small bleacher seating areas, one in left center and the other in right center field. There are mezzanine seats above the bleachers and luxury suites above the mezzanine. They now display two large scoreboards and two jumbotrons. The seats were all new, painted green and looked great.
The game was a long drawn out affair which took to long to play (see notes). Oakland prevailed and came away with a 5-3 victory. The only two ballparks I had to wear a long sleeved sweatshirt to keep warm were in the Bay Area.
Watch for "Ray's Ratings" in a few days.
Right now I'm feeling kind of sad the dream is over. Would I do it again? You bet ya!!
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