In the days since his house was lost in last's week's wildfire, 9-year-old Loren Jade Smith of Santa Rosa felt he had to tell the Oakland A’s — his favorite team of all — that he’d lost all his treasured A’s memorabilia with it. The A’s knew they could do their part to soothe the young man’s ache.
Friday at the Mark West Little League field, Loren was surprised by a visit from A’s president Dave Kaval, manager Bob Melvin and catcher Bruce Maxwell. And they came bearing gifts.
With mom Amber Watkins, dad Tait Smith and his 9-month-old brother Seth on hand, Loren received three season tickets to A’s games for 2018, the opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a home game next season, plus new A’s gear, autographed items and various gift cards. The A’s also delivered baseball memorabilia from other major league teams and hundreds of fans across the nation.
“When we heard that Loren lost all his A’s memorabilia from throughout the years, we knew we had to do something,” Kaval said. “We are overwhelmed by the generosity we received from players, other teams in the league and baseball fans."
In addition to what the A’s provided, donations were sent from current and former A’s players, MLB teams including the Red Sox, Cubs, Indians, Tigers, Marlins, Giants, Mariners and Rays, as well as the MLB alumni association, Topps and Fox Sports Productions.