During the Athletics’ 6-4 victory over the Yankees last night I kept thinking of the things I was going to write about in my subsequent blog post about the game. I thought of pointing out the increase in empty seats I see when the Yankees roll into town these days. I wanted to be sure I mentioned the crew singing “Happy Birthday” to Geoff early in the game and drinking beforehand in the parking lot. I also wanted to brag about the new free parking spot I’ve been using recently. But when I woke up this morning, the unexpected news I received took precedence over everything: Our friend Amy Johnsen had died at just 22-years-old.
Right now I’m not sure what the cause of death is, but according to Section 149 veteran Will MacNeil he talked with David last week and was told Amy had fallen into a coma four days ago and had a weak heart. Hearing this felt like a heavyweight fighter delivered his fiercest punch square to my gut.
Our crew first had the pleasure of meeting Amy when she accompanied her father, David Johnsen, on a trip to America in April 2010. We had originally met David during the 2008 season when he came to Oakland to watch his favorite team, the Yankees, play against the A’s, during a vacation stay. As with 99% of the people we recruit to our crew, he heard and saw us doing our usual chaotic thing, so he came to sit with us and share in the holy mess of a good time. With his superior drinking skills and fun-loving demeanor the Aussies are known for, we immediately welcomed him into the fold.
At the end of his vacation David promised that he would come back in the future and party with us again. Sure enough, two years later he returned, this time with his daughter in tow. Amy fit right in with us just like her dad, thanks in large part to her ability to kick back brews like a grizzled hunter in the Outback.
Personally, I thought she was awesome because she has one of those vibrant personalities that makes you want to forget about anything that isn’t related to having fun. I’ve heard that Aussies know how to have a good time, and David and Amy certainly lived up to the billing.
Eventually it came time for them to return home, but we had all become even closer thanks to our wacky baseball hijinks. I figured it would only be a matter of time before David and Amy came back to pick up right where they left off since they both vowed to come back again. Even though I wasn’t aware of an imminent return trip, I fully expected to soon be at a game and hear a bellowing Australian accent yelling, “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!” from behind me before seeing David and Amy bounding down the stairs towards us as I turned around. Unfortunately, that day can never happen now, but the thought of it will always bring me an indescribable amount of joy.
Even though Amy only spent a bit of time with us in the bleachers she felt like a veteran member of the crew. She was a good person who knew how to have a good time, and that’s what we’re all about. Doing this entry makes me wish that I had a blog back in 2010 so I could have more concrete memories to reflect on. It makes me wish that I had gotten to know her better while she was here. But above all, it makes me wish that she didn’t have to leave this planet so early. We’ll miss you forever, Amy.