So, this weekend, the Oakland Athletic’s baseball team pay tribute to the team that did the unthinkable a short ten years ago. A 20-game winning streak. Complete with a walk off home run by first baseman Scott Hatteberg, in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals on September 4th, 2002.
Thanks to a very generous friend, I had the good fortune to attend the home games of the Streak. It was one exciting time. That 20th game found me in one of the A’s luxury box suites. It was some downright exciting baseball that night. Having a lead of 11 runs and having blown that lead was one thing. Being tied 11 all in the bottom of the 9th was downright painful. (Sorry, Giants fans. That’s real torture.)
So, when the opportunity came to relive that moment during the filming of “Moneyball”, I and my wife spent one night at the Coliseum. Managed to sit in a whole bunch of places around the stadium, including the Diamond level seats as well as the right field bleachers where the final home run ball landed. If you see the film, we managed to show up on screen, just to the left of Jonah Hill during the 20th game sequence. If you blink, you’ll miss us. But there we are.
And this coming Saturday night, we’re off to the Coliseum again, as the team pays homage to the players and coaches who made history 10 years ago. Some of those players are still playing the game, though none for the A’s. Different directions have taken them in other ways on other teams.
The moment captured for the film is exciting. Meant to be. Drama highlighted on screen. Scott Hatteberg the unlikely hero.
Not as I remember it, but a nice attempt, captured in time. At least the bobblehead being handed out Saturday includes the late Bill King calling the moment as it happened.
Now that’s timeless.