I’ve long thought that of all the promotions the A’s run, Root Beer Float Day is among the best. It always attracts a sizeable crowd, it gives fans a chance to meet and mingle with players and other local celebrities, and it obvious has delicious root beer floats. However, despite my love for the iconic ice cream beverage I was on the verge of skipping the festivities yesterday out of sheer laziness once I got into the stadium. But like many things in my life, a “the hell with it” kind of decision led to a cool experience to talk about.
As many of you know, I park out on San Leandro St. and walk up 66th Avenue to get into the front gate. Unless I stop in the lot to tailgate I like to get completely lazy and relax once I get into the bleachers. It’s common for me to not leave my seat for an entire game. So even though I got inside the stadium at 11:30, I gave in to my apathy and dismissed trudging upstairs to the Eastside Club get a float simply because I hated to walk a bit more.
After about 30 minutes of roasting in the sun, the natural drive for hydration and shade kicked in and I headed up to the concourse to hit the water fountain. Once I got there I figured I should just walk the rest of the way to the Eastside Club and the brave the crowd to get a float and get a peek at the festivities.
I guess my sweet tooth activated at precisely the right moment because I got a line to buy a cup at exactly 12:05, the cut-off time for cup sales. I paid the $2 for the regular cup and ducked inside hoping to find a short line.
I strolled up to the first booth in my path which was manned by members of the Oakland Fire Department. After standing around with a few other people for a minute or so in what we all thought was a line, one of the scoopers pointed to the other side of the counter and said the line started there, behind a dozen or so people.
I just decided to move on to another booth with a shorter line and immediately struck gold with the 98.1 KISS FM booth, which only had two people in line.
When I got to the table I told the scoopers that KISS was the only radio station that I still actually listen to, which is sort of true when you consider I only listen to 95.7 The Game for A’s away games and 107.7 The Bone has been coming up short for me in the reception department the past few months. As one of the scoopers, Chris, got the ice cream in the cup, I decided it would be a good time to snap a photo for the blog.
While my float was being prepared I talked a bit with the two other scoopers in the booth. Unbeknownst to me, I was talking with Christie James and Sylvia Chacon, two of the on-air personalities for KISS. Despite listening to Christie during a countless number of morning commutes and hearing Sylvia on Bay Area radio for years, I wasn’t able to recognize who they were simply because I had never seen a photo of them. It took me a few moments but I finally recognized who I was talking with.
As they finished my float, Sylvia asked if I would pose for a picture, which I happily obliged. She also asked for my name and what time I would be listening so she could give me a shout out. I said around 8. Sure enough, I was driving around after 8 last night when Sylvia made my day by dropping my name on the radio.
I’d never had somebody say my name on the radio before, so that was a cool little thrill in itself. The whole experience was compounded by the fact that I pretty much grew up listening to Sylvia on the radio ever since back in the KFRC days when my parents only played oldies during car rides. Perhaps it’s nostalgia, but she’s something of a Bay Area institution in my eyes.
After getting my float I left the Eastside Club and walked around the concourse to head back to my seat and get ready for the game. I figured that I couldn’t do any better than meeting Sylvia and getting a shout out on the radio in the mere five minutes it took to walk there and get a float.
With A.J. Griffin absolutely dominating the Cincinnati Reds lineup in a complete game, two-hit effort to lead the A’s to a 5-0 victory, the only thing wrong with yesterday was the extreme heat. I kept running back up to the concourse for shade and water.
After Griffin walked the two of the first three batters of the game it looked like we were set for another three-hour game under the brutal summer sun. Thankfully, A.J. found his control and refused to relinquish it, going the distance for the first time in his career and sparing us an extended baking session by finishing in a mercifully short (for this era) two hours and 20 minutes.
It was a perfect day at the ball park, even if Mother Nature didn’t fully cooperate. There couldn’t have been anything sweeter than An A’s victory and a radio shout out on Root Beer Float Day. Not too bad for a spur-of-the-moment decision.