Kansas City Royals

Watch rare clip of Scott Hatteberg celebration for A's 20th straight win

Watch rare clip of Scott Hatteberg celebration for A's 20th straight win

It was a home run that would make you become “romantic about baseball.”

Before Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill starred in “Moneyball,” the walk-off home run by a guy not named Chris Pratt in an A’s uniform was a historic moment in real life.

On Sept. 4, 2002, Oakland first baseman Scott Hatteberg’s game-winning homer against the Kansas City Royals would forever be solidified in the organization’s story. It was a 12-11 victory for the A’s -- their 20th straight win -- which then turned into an American League record.

Recent footage surfaced of the postgame celebration as Hatteberg ran into the Oakland clubhouse and it just makes you want to smile and hug the person next to you:

[RELATED: Stephen Vogt love 'I believe' chant follows him around still]

The original clip was uploaded on YouTube more than 11 years ago by Brian Pollzzie, but it was a rare glimpse into what happened immediately after the game. And it’s never too late to relive that. 

The clip was part of the A's story in the early 2000s that would go on to be made into a book, and eventually a Hollywood feature, but the defining moment of that era is something that would be hard to repeat. 

Duane Kuiper shares amazing Hunter Pence story from 2014 World Series

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AP

Duane Kuiper shares amazing Hunter Pence story from 2014 World Series

The Giants relied on Hunter Pence's leadership during his first stint with the team. He didn't pick up "The Reverend" moniker for nothing.

Pence earned the nickname after the 2012 NLDS, giving his teammates a fiery, inspirational sermon as San Francisco trailed two-games-to-none in the best-of-five series with the Cinncinati Reds. The Giants overcame that deficit, and a three-games-to-one hole against the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS, to win their second World Series of the decade following Pence's speech. Though he slashed just .210/.230/.290 in his first postseason in orange and black, the speech cemented Pence's place in Giants lore.

The Giants only faced playoff elimination once after that run -- the 2014 NL Wild Card Game in Pittsburgh-- before Game 7 of the World Series. San Francisco, coming off a 10-0 road loss to the Kansas City Royals in Game 6, had reason to hang its collective head.

That, unsurprisingly, is not what Pence did.

"We got off the bus at the hotel, and it just happened that Hunter Pence and I were the only two in the elevator going up." Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper recalled Tuesday on KNBR's "Murph & Mac Show." "And really in Hunter Pence's style, he looked me in the eye and with deep sincerity said, 'I'm glad. This is the way it has to be. I can't wait for tomorrow.' "

Pence's confidence was warranted. He entered Game 7 batting .435 with a home run and 5 RBI in the World Series, recording a hit in each game of the Fall Classic. The outfielder kept rolling in Game 7, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Had Madison Bumgarner not thrown a historic five-inning save three days after tossing 119 pitches, Pence would've had a strong case for World Series MVP. He tied Pablo Sandoval for the Fall Classic lead with 12 hits and three doubles, leading all hitters with a 1.167 OPS. Pence's calm in the face of adversity went a long way.

"Meanwhile, everybody else is ready to puke (after Game 6), right?" Kuiper continued. "Because of (losing Game 7 in 2002 to the Anaheim Angels) and we got a Game 7 ... but he was ready to roll, man. I don't believe he slept. I think he sat in his chair in his room and waited until the bus left the next day."

[RELATED: Kuiper reveals his most underrated Giant from title teams]

Pence returned to the Giants this offseason after an unlikely All-Star campaign with the Texas Rangers in 2019. The veteran admitted he doubted if he could still play after the Giants didn't re-sign him following the 2018 season, but he revamped his swing and revitalized his career as a 35-year-old.

The Giants likely won't be contenders whenever the MLB season starts after the coronavirus pandemic, but Pence won't be counting San Francisco -- or himself -- out.

A's September series vs. Royals changed due to potential Chiefs opener

A's September series vs. Royals changed due to potential Chiefs opener

You can't mess with tradition.

With the Kansas City Chiefs being dubbed the Super Bowl LIV champions, the A's September series in Kansas City against the Royals has been altered a bit with the following changes:

Tuesday, Sept. 8 will now be a split doubleheader, so all four games of the series will still be played with time alterations.

The winner of the Super Bowl traditionally (since 2004) hosts the Thursday night NFL Kickoff Game each year. So, there would potentially be a change should this occur to accommodate Kansas City fans. 

[RELATED: How Semien became A's ironman with behind-the-scenes work]

Previously in 2013, the Ravens were forced to open on the road due to a scheduled Orioles game. It appears the leagues did not want a repeat of a clash among the two sports. 

This will also create an extra day for the A's to travel to Seattle for a three-game series.