As the final out was recorded by Tigers’ Justin Verlander, the emotions in our section ranged widely. Some responded in anger by punching the seats or yelling profanities. Others headed immediately for the exits, anxious to get home before BART filled up. Then, there were people like me, who stood in stunned silence for a moment, wondering if this was all real.
To be honest, after the final out was recorded, everything else in my memory was a blur. I vaguely remember watching the Tigers celebrate on the field as a lone Detroit fan in our section jumped for joy. I think I remember looking at the scoreboard which read “Thank you for a magical season. See you next year!” I kind of remember thinking I won’t be able to eat Coliseum food until April. But what I remember very clearly is the final “Let’s go, Oakland” chant that rose up from the crowd and how we all got to our feet and waved those yellow rally towels until the A’s tipped their hats to the crowd and then disappeared into the clubhouse. Emotions were running high all around and I admit I shed a few tears along with the rest of the die-hard fans in our section.
The fans didn’t let up so soon afterwards though. From the seats to the parking lots, we kept chanting, celebrating a great season, a season where we saw the A’s clinch the AL West crown when baseball experts said they would lose 100 games. The stadium was the loudest I’ve ever heard it and I think we were all proud of the team tonight.
After I left the stadium, I found myself standing in front of the CSN Sports area where Ray Fosse, Glen Kuiper, Shooty Babbitt, and Brodie Brazil were doing post-game duties. Fans gathered around the fence, hollering “Let’s go, Oakland” into the cameras and asking Brodie to do the Bernie Lean. I’m not sure how long I stood there, but I remember thinking I didn’t want to leave. I felt like the walk to the BART station would accentuate the end of the 2012 season. I must have stood there for at least 45 minutes, watching Post-game until my hands were freezing. Then, my friend suggested we should get going if we wanted to catch the BART.
On the walk to BART, I saw a guy in an A’s jersey sitting against the chain-link fence, his legs outstretched and his body slumping. He was sniffling and looked liked the saddest figure I’ve ever seen in my life. Just before I passed him, I saw another fan extend a hand and help this guy up. And that was when I realized how tight this fan-based community really is. We have all been through so much this season and this loss hit us hard, right in the heart. A wave of depression washed over me and stuck with me on the entire ride back to Berkeley.
I know I’ll be getting lots of comments tomorrow about this heartbreaking loss, but all the haters have to give credit where it’s due. For being the team with the lowest payroll, the A’s have been amazing. Nobody, not even I, thought the A’s would make it to postseason in 2012, let alone win 94 games. I’m proud to say tonight that I was always and will forever be an A’s fan.
As I sit at my desk now, blogging instead of studying for my test tomorrow, I can still hear the “Let’s go, Oakland” chant ringing in my ears. I’m sure it won’t go away anytime soon. Six months is a long time to wait for the 2013 season to start, but I’m sure I’ll be able to handle it. Thank you Oakland A’s for the best memories of the past six months and I’ll be back to the Coliseum next April!