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I Am Thankful For… (by Lincoln Mitchell)

I am thankful for the memory of sitting in the bleachers, but sometimes in better seats, at the Oakland Coliseum in the late 1970s when the A’s were terrible, and the Yankees were very good. It was like a gathering of the New York tribes as many of us had moved to the Bay Area would watch our Yankees drub the A’s. I felt like I would hear more Yiddish, New York accents and Puerto Rican accented Spanish in one afternoon at the game than the rest of the year in San Francisco.

My brother and I were between ten and fifteen years old in those years, but these A’s-Yankees teams were the only chance we got to see the Yankees play in person and to be surrounded by others who shared our background and our team. The bleachers were terrible. The benches had no backs and gave us splinters, so there was some physical pain involved. Nonetheless, during those nice days in Oakland – San Francisco was always colder-enjoying the warmth of the sun, drinking cold soda (we were too young for beer), eating too much junk food and watching Reggie, the Goose, Guidry, Willie Randolph, Graig Nettles and Thurman Munson was a special experience.

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