OAKLAND – A's star Matt Chapman wasn't the only Gold Glove third baseman at the Coliseum on Friday night.
Former A's fan favorite Eric Chávez was back in Oakland to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Friday's game against the Los Angeles Angels, and to present Chapman with his 2018 Gold Glove award.
"It's been a good run for third basemen here in Oakland, and I hope the fans enjoy it," Chávez said before the game.
Chávez won six consecutive Gold Gloves with the A's between 2001 and 2006. Now a special assistant with the Angels, Chávez said he thinks Capman has the potential to be even better than he was.
"Actually (former A's infielder Frank) Menechino texted me this morning and said, 'Did you see him yesterday? He looks exactly like you,'" Chávez recalled. "I said, 'Frankie, I doubt that. I know he's got a better arm than I do. I had to bounce the ball to first base at times.' But I'm really excited for him."
Chapman isn't the only player on this A's club who has impressed Chávez. After watching Oakland win 97 games en route to the postseason last year, he believes they have what it takes to do it again.
"They've got young talent," Chávez said. It always comes down to health. ... If these guys can stay healthy and some of these young guys come up together at the same time and take that next step – that's what we did. Mulder, Hudson, and Zito, we all kind of took a giant step at once and had a pretty good run there for a couple of years."