May 10, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Sean Doolittle (62) looks for the pitch call during the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at O.co Coliseum. The Athletics defeated the Nationals 4-3 in 10 innings. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
It started so simply. Last night, I observed a slew of tweets directed towards Sean Doolittle that I found horrible and unacceptable. I went to bed thinking about how dejected and upset I was after the A’s lost to the Royals. I know I was not alone in my disappointment. But the tweets I saw expressed more than just sadness. They were angry, and the individual(s) sending them was directing that anger towards the players and their loves ones, A’s writers, and other fans. Of course I was heartbroken to see the A’s season abruptly end. But I was also deeply saddened that I could not thank my team for another season and to say goodbye until spring.
Game 5 in 2012 and 2013 were agonizing for A’s fans. I was there and felt as if I couldn’t breathe. We watched in horror as we saw our postseason dreams slip from our hands. It was painful, but then something amazing happened. As the Tigers ran onto the field to celebrate, a “Let’s Go Oakland” cheer broke out in the Coliseum. In that moment, my sadness was replaced with pride. I was so proud of the team I love so much. It was our way of saying thank you for another season; we’ll all be back next year.
The Wild Card elimination hurt for so many reasons I won’t bother even listing them. But the main reason is that we, as fans, were deprived of the opportunity to express our gratitude. When I woke up this morning, given the hateful tweets I saw last night and the way this season ended, I knew what needed to happen. I tweeted out that today should be #SeanDoolittleAppreciationDay.
I thought it would give A’s fans on Twitter a great opportunity to share a few photos or memories. To say thank you to “the man, the myth, the legend” that is Sean Dootlittle. It wasn’t long before the hashtag #SeanDoolittleAppreciationDay began to pop up throughout twitter. Then I saw it on Facebook and Instagram as well. It spread like wildfire, or like an unkempt beard on the face of a legend.
"Unicorns wear Sean Doolittle backpacks #SeanDoolittleAppreciationDay-Jennifer Trumpp (@JenniferTrumpp) October 6, 2014"
As always, A’s fans rose to the occasion. Twitter is now full of hundreds of hilarious and creative #SeanDoolittleAppreciationDay tweets. And if those weren’t hilarious enough, just read what Sean replied to all of those messages. They are priceless.
I hope we can spend the offseason expressing our thanks towards other A’s players as well. Maybe this will be the first of many days like this.
It was wonderful to see A’s fans refocus their sadness or frustrations and instead create something positive. Part of being a fan is supposed to be a sense of loyalty. Win or lose, no matter what happens we cheer on the men that don green and gold. Together, we created positivity out of a negative situation. We expressed humor, creativity, and gratitude. As horrible as we felt watching our team lose that Wild Card game, imagine how hard the players were taking it?
That devastation was made clear by Sean Doolittle’s girlfriend, Eireann Dolan in a beautiful post.
Sean Doolittle is great guy and an amazing player with an incredible story of dedication and commitment. I am thrilled that the fans could rally behind him and celebrate everything from his hard work, great season, hilarious personality, and his epic beard.
"@whatwouldDOOdo’s K/BB ratio is so sick, the CDC had to pull workers off the Ebola outbreak to contain it #SeanDoolittleAppreciationDay-nowBodhi (@nowBodhi) October 6, 2014"
Perhaps we can organize a Sean Doolittle Appreciation Day for a home game during the 2015 season. I hereby nominate June 11th, 2015 (Game #62) as Unofficial Sean Doolittle Appreciation Day at the Coliseum. We can thank @mommy2girls on twitter for her great suggestion! Another suggestion is to celebrate on Sean’s birthday, September 26th. It’s a Saturday home game against the Giants. Tweet me or leave a comment on this post for ideas of how to celebrate and observe the occasion. We’ll need suggestions for shirts and signs!