OAKLAND - In 2002, the Oakland A's captivated the baseball world. Now 16 years later, they're doing it again.
On Saturday, the A's honored the 2002 squad and their legendary 20-game winning streak, welcoming back several players to the Coliseum. That team has certainly taken notice of what the current A's are doing.
"It reminds us of some of the things we were doing back then," former outfielder Jermaine Dye said. "It's good to see this organization and these players play the way they've been playing, and hopefully they can keep it up."
"They're incredible," Mark Ellis, former second baseman, said. "The personalities on this team, the leadership on this team, and the youthful energy they have, it's invigorating."
While this year's A's squad hasn't quite matched the 20-game winning streak from 2002, they have won an incredible 39 of their last 52 games to pull within a game of first place in the AL West. Astoundingly, 21 of those 39 wins have been comeback victories, with 15 seeing the winning run scored in the eighth inning or later.
"It's so much fun to watch," said former pitcher Mark Mulder. "It seems like it's a team out there right now that all gets along, and they're all pulling for each other."
"I think a lot of the good teams that have come through here have had a lot of similar aspects, as far as chemistry and youth, and some piecemeal guys," Scott Hatteberg, former first baseman, said. "But the one thing they've always had is great chemistry, and this team has got that."
"There's a lot of talent," Ellis said. "They can have all the energy and everything they want, but they also have a lot of talent."
Other former players on hand Saturday included Ray Durham, Tim Hudson, David Justice, Randy Velarde, Billy Koch, Ricardo Rincon, Terrence Long, Jeff Tam, Micah Bowie, Aaron Harang, and Jim Mecir. Former coaches Thad Bosley and Rick Peterson were also honored, as were Melanie and Christopher Lidle, the widow and son of pitcher Cory Lidle.