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Last At Bat

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kkk mentioned in his blog about how former players he watched becoming general managers and presidents of teams makes him feel old. For example Chris Mullin was the identity of the Golden State Warriors when I was growing up and now he's their general manager. But there's another general manager (and now part owner) in Oakland that everyone knows, Billy Beane, but unlike Mullin he's far better known for his work in the front office than as a player. In fact you'd probably have barely even noticed the guy when he played. Although I didn't happen to learn this until many years later but I actually had been witness to his last at bat in the Majors.

 

As I mentioned in my first entry I had very few memories at all about my first baseball game. In fact as great as the A's were in the late 80's I have very few in game memories about them even though I went to probably 6-7 games a year. One game that I do sorta remember was on October 1, 1989. October 1st happens to be my birthday and from '87 to '89 I had my birthday party at the A's game. Really the only thing I remember about the game itself was Mark McGwire homering (his birthday too) and the A's beating the Royals on the final day of the regular season. A couple of years ago on another nostalgia trip I was looking at the boxscore and play account for game. Being that it was the last day of the regular season and the A's had wrapped up the A.L. West they pulled all their starters during the middle of the game. It went into extra innings and in the 11th inning with it tied 3-3, Billy Beane came up with a runner on 2nd and no one out. If you know anything about the Beane-era A's is that they rarely bunt, as they shouldn't as it's fairly useless strategy in the American League. But what did they ask the young Beane to do on this date?

 

ATHLETICS 11TH: Javier walked; Javier stole second; Beane out on

a sacrifice bunt (pitcher to first) [Javier to third]; Bando

singled to right [Javier scored]; 1 R, 1 H, 0 E, 1 LOB. Royals

3, Athletics 4.

Yup, Beane's last at bat in the Majors was a bunt and I was there to witness "history"....not that I remembered it.

 

Fun fact: The Royals DH in this game was Bill Buckner, just like my first game.

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