I love the start of the Major League Baseball season. Rarely does the prospect of overpriced domestic beer and eating questionably sanitary and unquestionably unhealthy food — all while surrounded by foulmouthed drunks — sound as appealing as it does this time of year.
Monday, April 1, my compatriots at the Press-Banner watched with a collective chuckle and roll of the eye as I dashed out the door, slid across the hood of my car like a 1970s detective show (that might have only happened in my mind), and sped north toward the bright stadium lights and shabby seats of the O.co Coliseum for opening night of Oakland Athletics baseball.
Going to A’s games is always a refreshing experience, because not only is baseball way more fun to watch live, but it’s also a nice reminder that there are, in fact, other A’s fans out there.
There’s no denying that Santa Cruz County is solidly San Francisco Giants country, nor is there any denying that the San Francisco Giants are baseball’s “it” team right now — and deservedly so.
That said, last year was one of the greatest seasons of Athletics baseball ever. And as a resident of Santa Cruz County, it was one of the most difficult to follow due to lack of outlets.
The signal for the Athletics’ flagship radio station — 95.7 FM The Game — literally cuts out the second you pass the summit on southbound Highway 17. After that, it’s all-Giants-all-the-time on KNBR 680, or no sports at all.
Last year, by the time the A’s knocked off the Texas Rangers to win the American League West Division crown on game 162, I was almost ready to drive to Mt. Madonna with a pile of coat hangers, tinfoil, a car battery and a poor grasp of science if it meant being able to pick up a radio signal for an A’s game.
I recently contacted the Athletics, asking if there was a radio affiliate in the Monterey Bay area that perhaps I had overlooked. No, was the response, and I learned there were no plans to create one in the foreseeable future.
So, for Santa Cruz County A’s fans, unless you’re at a computer and have paid a subscription to MLB’s online radio feed or are in front of a TV set, you are out of luck.
There are two professional baseball teams in the Bay Area, but only one of them do you have to really do any sleuthing to find.
Reporter Joe Shreve has been an A’s fan since he was a boy watching the Bash Bros. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 438-2500 or post a comment at www.pressbanner.com.