Then it happened. The Titans went on an epic streak and won twenty-one of their next twenty-five games, won the Big West title, and climbed their way back into the Top 30. Most importantly they received an automatic bid to the regionals, where they won six of their seven games and earned a trip to the College World Series.
Going in as underdogs, they wrapped up their Cinderella season by beating the three highest ranked schools in the country to win their fourth National Championship.
That summer, the Oakland Athletics drafted two Titans within the first three rounds of the MLB Draft. They drafted Jason Windsor, the College World Series Most Outstanding Player in the 3rd round. And in the 2nd round, they drafted one of my favorite players over the past decade... Kurt Suzuki.
That season, Kurt was one of the best players in college. He was a First Team All-American and he won both the Johnny Bench Award and the Brooks Wallace Award.
However that June he really struggled at the plate going 2 for 20. But he was given one last opportunity to redeem himself. With the score tied 2-2, runners on first and second, and two outs in the bottom of the seventh... Suzuki ripped a ball past the Longhorns' shortstop and drove in the winning run in his final collegiate at bat.
A few years later, he became the starting catcher of the Oakland Athletics and the focus of my Oakland Athletics PC.
Yesterday, I added two very cool items to that collection:
These two tickets were given to me by a fellow Oakland A's fan and a supporter of my blog. He had contacted me a few weeks ago and offered to trade me his collection of SI for Kids cards:
In addition to the two ticket stubs and huge collection of SI for Kids cards, he also helped me out with my 2013 Topps Update 1971 Minis set by throwing in this Manny Machado:
There were a handful of other Oakland A's and San Diego Padres items too... including this 1966 Topps Wayne Causey:
I had never heard of Mr. Causey until yesterday. But thanks to the internet, I discovered that he was a solid, versatile infielder, who was primarily known for his defense.
Thank you Andy for the awesome trade. I've hung both of your ticket stubs on my office wall where it'll be appreciated on a daily basis. And your collection helped me fill some huge gaps within my SI for Kids binders.
On top of it all... this trade motivated me to organize my Oakland A's PC. I spent several hours yesterday sifting and sorting through cards. Your package has finally been built and will be shipped this Wednesday.
Thanks again for reaching out and striking up this trade.
Happy Sunday and sayonara!