5 Tattoo Ideas For The Tortured A’s Fan
If you have as many baseball feeds in your Twitter timeline as I do you’ve probably come across this wild tattoo emblazoned across the back of a Los Angeles Dodgers fan which was featured by Mike Oz of Yahoo’s Big League Stew:
What do you guy think? pic.twitter.com/a0uB6OgUbI
— Mr.Dodgers Baseball⚾ (@mrdodger323) January 21, 2014
My knee-jerk reaction was to share it on Facebook and joke that the Dodger fan stole my thunder, robbing me of a chance to get an Oakland A’s-themed tattoo on my back featuring Rickey Henderson, Bill King, the Oakland Coliseum and a BART train.
Capturing the glory of your favorite team in ink is easy and plenty of people do it. Heck, some people like this Seattle Seahawks fan get way too far ahead of themselves and celebrate a great moment that hasn’t even happened yet. If the Denver Broncos win the Super Bowl next Sunday that Seahawk fan is going to look like an idiot forever.
Sometimes people get tattoos to remind them of a hardship they endured. Something they survived that made them stronger in the long run and a little more appreciative of the good things they currently have. There’s no reason a die-hard baseball fan can’t do the something similar by capturing their team’s most painful moments for eternity in ink on some random part of their body.
What better way to remind you that a winning season, making the playoffs or finally taking home a World Series title is all the sweeter because of all the hard times that were endured in the long, heartbreaking pursuit of glory?
As an A’s fan, there are plenty of gut-wrenching moments I can come up with that help make the good times the team is currently enjoying a little sweeter and keep the rough patches in perspective. Without further ado, here’s this longtime A’s fan’s top five tortured tattoo ideas:
5. THE BOB GEREN ERA
Over the past 25 years of A’s baseball, this was the Dark Ages for Oakland. A hopeless mess from 2007 up until Bob Melvin‘s arrival in town.
There was also a lot of losing during the early years of Art Howe‘s stint as manager, but at least he seemed to know what he was doing and it eventually felt like the franchise was headed in the right direction as the young players were steadily improving.
You just never got that feeling with Geren. He seemed like a nice enough guy and you can blame a lot of losing during his tenure on moves general manager Billy Beane made that didn’t pan out, but the majority of sometimes-bitter A’s fans (including yours truly) remembers the Geren era as a rudderless mess capped off by reliever Brian Fuentes turning on him in 2011.
How about a tattoo of Geren and Fuentes glaring at each other? That’d do a fine job of capturing the broken spirit of the Geren era.
4. MAGGLIO ORDONEZ’S WALKOFF KNOCKS THE A’S OUT OF THE ALCS
Overall, I remember October 2006 fondly. I got married on the day the A’s beat the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS to finally make it to the ALCS.
I was all fired up. I was married to the woman I love, my favorite team was one step away from the World Series and I was headed to Hawaii for my honeymoon.
The only black mark on October 2006 for me was seeing the A’s do a face-plant in the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. Every time I checked in on the playoffs while I was on my honeymoon the A’s were getting their rear ends handed to them by the Tigers (gee, that feels so familiar).
The final insult was Ordonez taking A’s closer Huston Street deep in the ninth inning to send Detroit to the World Series and the A’s into the offseason and an extended playoff drought.
If there’s a bitter moment worth etching in ink, this ranks right up there.
3. JEREMY GIAMBI’S NON-SLIDE/DEREK JETER’S FLIP PLAY
This ripped my heart out in 2001 when lead-footed Jeremy Giambi lumbered around third base only to be thrown out by the narrowest of margins thanks to Derek Jeter‘s brilliance for the New York Yankees.
Why was Jeter in position to make that fabulous play? Why didn’t Giambi slide? Why the heck didn’t Howe use Eric Byrnes as a pinch runner?
Since the pain of this play will haunt me forever, it’s a worthy candidate to be a tattoo for a tortured A’s fan.
(BTW, look at that photo. Does Giambi look out to you? I know I’m totally biased but I say no)
2. KIRK GIBSON AND THAT STINKIN’ 1988 WORLD SERIES HOME RUN
Damn you gimpy Gibby, damn you all to hell. I can still remember shouting out in pain when Kirk Gibson’s homer against Dennis Eckersley in 1988 cleared the fence in Game 1 of the World Series versus the Dodgers.
It feels like I see that highlight on TV or the Internet at least once a month. What gives?
If you’re and A’s fan who wants to capture the essence of the agony that comes with being a baseball fan, throw Gibby, Eck, a jubilant Tom Lasorda and a stream of Dodgers fans driving out of the parking lot on your back in ink forever. Enduring that punch in the gut made winning it all in 1989 all the sweeter.
1. THE UNCERTAIN BALLPARK SITUATION
The A’s have been stuck in purgatory for several years. They have been pining for San Jose while wallowing in sewage spills at the Oakland Coliseum. Ownership, local politicians and MLB commissioner Bud Selig have often seemed incompetent or disinterested in resolving the issue one way or another in a timely manner. Will the team get a new ballpark in San Jose? Will they get a new venue in Oakland? Will the A’s be stuck in the Coliseum until it’s torn down for a new Raiders stadium or falls apart on its own?
It’s probably the biggest issue hanging over the franchise and tortures fans. Meanwhile, Selig is getting ready to do a victory tour as the A’s continue to twist in the wind as he dodges the entire issue by retiring. Stay classy Buddy Boy and thanks for nothing.
I’m sure there’s a brilliant tattoo artist who could work up something with Selig, A’s owner Lew Wolff, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and a sewage-filled Coliseum with San Jose looming on the horizon. That would perfectly capture the moment the franchise and its fans are currently trapped in.
If the A’s ever get a new ballpark in the Bay Area that helps them compete financially with some of the big-market clubs, this tortured tattoo would remind A’s fans of everything they endured on the way to securing a promising long-term future for the franchise.