There really isn't anything like listening to an A's game on the radio.
I tried stomaching the game on TV for a bit, but honestly, if there's anything more sterile and detached than the broadcast and broadcasters for MLB playoffs, I don't know what it is. In an age of premium sports packages on every satellite and cable service, streaming to phones, retinal plug-ins, and so on, it's nice to know that Selig hasn't mucked with the mainstay that is the radio broadcast.
I grew up listening to the games on the radio with my dad. Mind you, this was still back in a time when you could watch a game on the local TV channels, which we did, but my dad made sure to foster a respect in me for the irreplaceable Bill King. We're talking AM broadcasts, with that wonderful crackle in the background of King and Korach's colorful descriptions of the action on field.
Listening to a baseball game is the auditory equivalent of reading a story versus watching it. Both have their merits, but there's something about soaking in the information and letting your imagination fill in some of the blanks that is a truly magical experience. Having a legend like King to orrate added even more to the experience. The inflection, the energy, the diction, King was a master and never left you wanting during a broadcast. You knew what was happening and with more color than you could ever conjure on your own.
King's been gone for a while now, but he was definitely there in spirit with Korach and Fosse for this game. Sitting there tonight, listening to the sound of the crowd and the PA while the broadcasters went nuts as the A's tied and then won the game, there's just nothing like it. It's pure electricity shooting through your system.
Anybody who watches this sport knows that it's more than a game. My father and his family grew up in Oakland, and I have that same sense of pride for that city as I do for my home here in San Leandro. A win for the A's is a win for Oakland. It stops being about the MLB and money. Wins like these, like the A's have been pulling off for the whole season, are symbolic of what a place with not much hope is capable of, a glimpse into the real heart and soul of its people.
These radio broadcasts make me think of all the other days of glory the A's have brought to Oakland, whether it was while I painted my kitchen or learned to drive in the parking lot across from the coliseum. So many days and nights with that indelible sound playing like a soundtrack through the story of my life. Tonight really brought all that back to the forefront of my mind and it's an incredible feeling.
So go A's, go Oakland, and win tomorrow. Down 0-2 and now we're tied-up for a game five? Holy Toledo, indeed.