Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Favorite Team

Recently I have received several comments and emails from readers expressing their die-hard allegiance to their teams.  Although that wasn't the point of their notes to me, it is nonetheless part of most all of us.  Who is your favorite team?  Having a favorite team can really make a certain set of cards special to us.  It has for me.  Well, I'll use that to talk about mine.

I grew up, and have lived my whole life, in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I live about 30 miles east of SF and 20 miles east of Oakland.  The City and the Peninsula are Giants territory.  The East Bay (proper) is A's country.  But a fascinating thing about the Bay Area and the rest of Northern California is that living outside of these two areas allows one to be a fan of either - or BOTH! - teams.  It is unlike any other metro area of the country that has two teams.  You simply AREN'T a fan of both the Yankees and Mets, the Cubs and Sox, the Dodgers and Angels.  So, I grew up a militant fanatic of both teams.  When asked how I could cheer for both teams (prior to 1989, that is), I would always answer that it was easy because it wasn't like they would ever play each other when it counts.  It was only in 1995 when the Oakland Coliseum built Mt. Davis to woo the Raiders back to Oakland from LA - and subsequently destroy my bleacher seats - that my allegiance shifted a good bit to the Giants.

But a very special thing happened in 1974, the year of this set, and also in 1973, the year that contained most of the photography in this set, as well as the year of highlights covered by special cards in this set.  The special thing was that the Oakland A's won the World Series.  I was the ages of 8, 9 and 10 when these three victories took place, '72, '73 and '74.  And '74 was my biggest collecting year, so the A's naturally had a big effect on me through this set.  It was that really special time as a kid when things were grand with your own team.  You didn't have to worry about house payments, getting a job, or girls yet.  You were free to be a kid.  And when your team wins, you do a lot of jumping up and down.  And reviewing their cards with fondness when you grow up.

1 comment:

  1. Steve,

    You couldn't have stated it any better. We are about the same age. I grew up an A's/Raider's fan in this period San Ramon and now in Danville) but also pulled for the Giant's & 49'ers knowing they would never face each other. I was wrong of course and pulled for my A's in the 89 series. My kid's pull for the teams the same way. I still look back at that time period when I was 8-12 as one of the most favorite periods in my life. Like you said, no responsibilities, girls not in the picture yet and the summers seemed to last forever.