Posted on September 1, 2011


Growing up my father made sure to express two important life lessons do things the right way and always be loyal. The 2011 MLB season has been a perfect tool for him to continue those lessons.

For as long as I have been alive (23 years) my dad has been a Oakland Athletics’ fan. With all the greats that have come through Oakland in that time no one has received more of his respect than Mark Ellis. An average bat (career BA .266) an incredible defensive player (career Fld% .991 at second base) and a true professional.

As rookie Jemile Weeks brought a much-needed energy to Oakland with Ellis on the DL. The rumblings of the end of Ellis’s tenure in Oakland began to pick up speed as fast as Weeks turning second and stretching a routine double into a triple. My father feared that he might never get the chance to meet the player exemplifies everything he finds important.

Mark Ellis and fan Larry Valderrama at A's Root Beer Float Day

Mark Ellis takes a picture with long-time A's and Ellis fan Larry Valderrama at A's Root Beer Float Day

On June 30th, 2011, Mark Ellis was traded to the Colorado Rockies the very same day the A’s were having their annual Root Beer Float Day. Ellis displaying his loyalty to the A’s fans still attended the event despite being traded minutes before it began. As my father was walking to the event Mark Ellis emerged from an elevator right next to him. My father shocked and amazed, shook his hand. As they made their way to the event my dad told him how much he respected and admired him.

Two months later in Los Angels my parents attended a Dodgers vs. Rockies game on Aug 27, 2011 to celebrate their anniversary and his birthday. Sporting his Oakland A’s Ellis jersey he received baseballs from Troy Tulowitzki, former A’s closer Huston Street and most importantly Mark Ellis.

In Ellis 10 years with the A’s the closest my father got to him was 25 rows from the playing field. The 2011 season however allowed him to meet him, shake his hand, express his admiration, take a picture and receive a major league baseball from Mr. Ellis. These little moments are what make a season unforgettable. Safe to say Larry Valderrama will never forget the 2011 MLB season.

*I sent this into a baseball magazine that post readers stories. It comes out once every four months I will keep everyone posted on if it gets published.

Posted in: Editorial, MLB