July 19 for the A’s originally was going to be a day where the world would see just how passionate the bleachers at the Oakland Coliseum are.
The A’s were scheduled to do a bleacher tribute giveaway while the Houston Astros were in town. But one fan wanted to make sure that wasn’t forgotten.
If you don’t know much about the bleacher crew, they are extremely dedicated, never miss home games, and in the process make ornate banners … and some even bang on drums.
The drums would have been an easy way to troll the visiting team as part of the Astros’ cheating scandal during their 2017 World Series run which had the team allegedly banging on trash cans to signal to the hitter which pitch was coming.
A's drum-beating bleacher fans will be celebrated on Sun. July 19 with a bleacher tribute giveaway item, coincidentally (or not) with the Astros in town.— Jessica Kleinschmidt (@KleinschmidtJD) January 9, 2020
Bryan Johansen, of San Jose, is one of the fans who proudly creates detailed banners to support his favorite team, but when A’s president Dave Kaval invited the crew to hang some of these creations in their respective homes, Johansen noticed something.
In one of the seats, sandwiched between two variations of Ramón Laureano, Johansen’s favorite A’s player, was Astros’ mascot Orbit … in a trash can. That was compliments of Johansen himself, who told NBC Sports California he didn’t think the A’s would actually print it out and display it:
The photos of his cutouts created a viral sensation.
“A small group of us were there last Saturday hanging up banners and saw it,” Johansen said.
“I had several banners printed up and we coined the series the ‘Battle of the Bang,’” Johansen said. “So, the cutout was done because we were going to have the opportunity to swap the banners out this year.”
Here are some of the other creations he wanted to use for the weekend:
(Photos courtesy of Bryan Johansen)
Johansen, and two others, Paul Bailey and Carl Moren, do the brainstorming behind these banners, but it’s not all to troll. They have also raised over $6,000 to date toward the A’s Community Fund in association with these banners.
A’s pitcher Mike Fiers was the whistleblower in exposing the Astros of their cheating ways saying they would steal signs electronically in 2017 during his time with the team. This turned a majority of the baseball world against Houston.
Despite many months going by and no fans in the crowd, Fiers wasn’t sure if that would make a difference with how fans perceived him, or the situation.
As Johansen proved, they certainly didn’t forget.
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