History of “Oakland A’s Socks Girl”

Ok, well the history of my being a “socks girl” began when I was a kid. I’ve always had an obsession with socks, seriously, I know it’s weird but you can ask my mom.

Original giveaway socks.
Original giveaway socks. 2012.

By the time I was 14 or so, I’d decided that plain white socks were “only for the gym.” I’m a girl with a little more than a slight case of OCD so this moved rather rapidly. I started wearing any socks with colors, pictures, characters – you name it. If I could find them, I’d wear them.

Of course, even back then I had a few pairs of Oakland Athletics socks and some Dallas Cowboys (if you didn’t know by now I was born in Texas and raised a Cowboys fan and I DO NOT regret that one bit … that was for all you Niners fans out there ;-)) socks but I didn’t have a quarter of the number of sports socks I have today.

Things changed in 2012. I was 31 then and there was a “kids only” giveaway of knee high yellow A’s socks at the Coliseum sometime mid-season. I “borrowed” my neighbor’s son, took him out for a day of baseball in exchange for those socks, which I soon began wearing on a semi-regular basis to games at the Coliseum.

Jump to December 2012 and my parents, who’d always gotten me cool socks for Christmas (obviously), got me a pair of knee high argyle A’s socks! I was IN HEAVEN! Now I had two pair to switch off between the games.

Warriors socks by FBF Originals. 2015.
Warriors socks by FBF Originals. 2015.

By the time spring training 2013 rolled around I had three pairs which I rotated (and washed!!) during our annual spring training trip. Everyone around Phoenix Muni (oh how I miss you!! Hohokam is alright but it’s no Phoenix Muni!!) started calling me the “A’s Socks Girl” – from the ticket takers to the beer vendors to the person who watched the smoking area (it’s a VERY bad habit so if you don’t smoke, don’t start!!).

It was pretty funny and it was enjoyable for me – my two favorite things: baseball and fun socks coming together into one world.

What solidified the entire “Oakland A’s Socks Girl” thing  – or whatever you want to call it – was having conversations with the late (and very, very much missed) Bob Welch, who also happened to be one of my childhood heroes, and the A’s very own general manager Mr. Billy Beane.

A's Fan Fest. 2015
A’s Fan Fest. 2015

Now, Beane wouldn’t remember saying this to me but he said something along the lines of “great socks, you should take that and make it your signature thing.” And honestly, who am I to question the advice of BILLY BEANE?! I mean, the man is so successful that I thought – “Wow! Maybe I should, how much fun would that be?”

I believe it was Welch – and Bob, if he were with us, would have remembered these conversations because he took a liking to my mom and I. We would sit and talk about the game. But I believe it was Bob who suggested I start a blog because of my knowledge of the game and its history.

He asked us how we got into baseball and I told him about my mom growing up in Pittsburgh and her father would get Pirates tickets for her and my grandmother, how my mom loved Roberto Clemente (and even got to see him play), how my grandmother adopted the Houston Astros as her second team upon moving to Houston for my grandfather’s job. I told him about how she sat me down at the age of two and I would watch the games with her. Unfortunately, I was never able to visit the Astrodome but I hope to see Minute Maid Park one day!

I told him about us moving to California when I was about to turn four and we went to the A’s game and from then on I was an A’s fan. I never looked back, never switched alliances and ALWAYS, ALWAYS HATED THE GIANTS! (ask me about what I told my baseball coach about our uniforms when I was assigned to the Giants team when I was six, my mom LOVES that story! One day I will write it and link it here ….)

So Bob suggests I start a blog, which I did on May 9, 2013 and Billy suggested I run with the socks thing, which I already had a little bit and that’s pretty much how I became the “Oakland A’s Socks Girl.”

Girls at BART. 2013.
Girls at BART. 2013.

It caught on a little bit around the internet and, this is part of why I LOVE social media, I started making friends who sat in different sections around the stadium. We even got together for a “Twittergate” tailgate prior to one of the games. I think my crazy socks helped me branch out a little bit, be a little less shy/anxious about a lot of things.

I knew it was a “thing” when I was waiting for a BART train to get to a ballgame and three girls all wearing green and gold socks came up to me and said “hey you’re the girl that started the socks movement.” I hadn’t heard of any “socks movement” but online word travels fast apparently.

I also met others who dressed up for games and had “personas” of their own. Remember the A’s had all those walk-off wins in 2012? Well, I met the Oakland A’s Pie Guy. I made friends both the left and right field bleacher dwellers, such as the creator of the famous “Balfour Rage,” Will and his friends and I was very fortunate to meet a group from left field who called themselves the “Melvins Misfits.” You’ve likely seen Coco Fingers, Oakland Greenman and Oakland Vader on tv more than once before.

More recently, a company that makes most of the socks designs for the A’s and pretty much every other baseball team, football team, hockey teams, basketball teams and even the majority of college teams found me on Instagram wearing their designs.

They’ve now become my unofficial sponsors. FBF Originals (stands for “For Bare Feet”) sends me socks, I post pics on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc and poof! Free socks, which as the “Socks Girl” is something I need. I don’t have unlimited funding here! LOL!

cowboysfbf1
Cowboys socks by FBF Originals w/cowboy boots. 2015.

Now, I have everything from A’s to Cowboys to Raiders to Sharks to Warriors and more. It’s a pretty awesome little gig, let me tell you because the socks at the Coliseum or the Arena or the SAP Center are not exactly inexpensive. Although they are most definitely worth the money because they are socks of really amazing quality. I wear mine around outside without shoes all the time and have never had a pair even begin to get a hole in them.

Unfortunately, my 2012 yellow knee highs are officially retired, at least until the A’s play in a World Series. I will break out those babies in a second for something like that but the quality wasn’t great and they didn’t hold up as well as my other early pairs.

I don’t get all my socks from FBF Originals however. I’ve found green and yellow patterns at specialty socks stores and even at Target (check out the sales after St. Patrick’s Day if you are interested)!

And I got into thigh high socks for two reasons. One because I have a friend who runs a company called Throx (just one of his many talents) and they come in some really cool thigh high patterns which I very often wear (unfortunately not green and gold however, those I had to create myself suggesting that FBF Originals come out with an A’s pair!).

Throx argyle thigh highs.
Throx argyle thigh highs. 2013.

The second reason I wear them are night games. It’s not exactly fun wearing shorts with knee high socks to cold games but if you add a pair of thigh highs into the mix (I mix and match my socks A LOT) cold games are no problem! Still cold? Then bring a blanket – at least that’s what I would do as opposed to covering such great socks with jeans but if you hadn’t already guessed – I am a bit of a weirdo!

Besides loving socks, the A’s and getting free socks – do I get any other perks from being the “Oakland A’s Socks Girl?” The answer to that question is I have before but not really anymore.

This doesn’t bother me much (although I think I deserve a little credit for the socks giveaways they are having this season – argyle and mustache socks – both of which I have already been wearing for years!).

However, I didn’t begin this for any other reason than my own enjoyment – and with the hope that people would read my blog and take my opinions and analysis of the game seriously (as it says in my bio I do have a Communications and Media Studies degree from St. Mary’s College of CA). I have always wanted to be a writer – preferably involved in sports. So if you read and happen to enjoy this blog, please comeback anytime!

Melvin's Misfits & Oakland A's Socks Girl. 2013.
Melvin’s Misfits & Oakland A’s Socks Girl. 2013.

Continuing on, yes, I have gotten a couple perks for being the “Oakland A’s Socks Girl”. In April 2013, before I had even created the first version of this blog (it’s a bit scary just starting out so it took me a while) the A’s noticed my online presence and messaged me asking if I wanted to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a game, which I did on April 13, 2013 (what would have been the week of my grandmother’s birthday) at a game where the A’s were playing the Astros (her adopted team!). There must have been some divine intervention from the baseball gods for it to work out that appropriately! LOL!

In 2014, the A’s contacted me asking if I would do an interview for them at Fan Fest. I was wary at first. Throwing out the first pitch is an honor and a gift I will never forget but it was nerve-wracking to say the least.

Then when I found out that the Melvin’s Misfits were going to be there as well, I agreed. It was cool but still a little scary. I can be shy and intimidated by large crowds of people but I made it through and am grateful to the A’s for the opportunity. I got pictures with Beane and manager Bob Melvin that day too. That was pretty cool. 😉

Oakland A's "Personalities." Fan Fest.
Oakland A’s “Personalities.” Fan Fest. 2014.

As of today I am still wearing my socks and shorts to every game whatever the weather (it does lead to horrid tan lines however so if you try it keep that in mind!) and today, April 25, 2015, approximately 2 1/2 years after getting that first pair of giveaway socks at the Coli, I’m going to be debuting my latest pair from FBF Orginials along with my new Rollie Fingers yellow jersey! 

So, that’s it … that’s my story up until this very moment when I should start getting ready to go to today’s game against (fittingly) the Houson Astros. 

If you see me at the Coliseum, feel free to say hi! I won’t bite! I also LOVE it when people show me their #OaklandSockSwag, as a friend of mine once deemed my socks, or any other #SockSwag you may be sporting on any given day. 

Socks with random socks fans at the Coliseum. 2014.
Socks with random socks fans at the Coliseum. 2014.

I also love it when people send me pictures or tag me in pictures where I may have given them the inspiration for wearing sock swag and with your permission will feature them either on my blog (I’m planning to make a page specifically for that) or one of my other accounts.

Feel free to follow me on any one of them – I try to get out the latest MLB news and analysis with of course a slight Oaktown Twist.

But I do update my blog daily and keep up with the latest goings-on around the league so hopefully you will find it fun and informative. 

If you need to contact me please fill out the contact form on the About BBST page. And feel free to add/follow me on any of my social media accounts listed on the About the Aufhor page or on LinkedIn.

Thanks for reading and Go A’s! 🙂

CHECK OUT MY SOCK SWAG GALLERIES*:

*Both galleries are still under construction! Just FYI! More pics to come!

 

 

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