BART tales: A brief history of A’s and their opponents taking BART to the Coliseum

Shohei Ohtani and Chris Bassitt were supposed to kick off this weekend’s A’s-Angels series with an epic head-to-head matchup on Thursday.

The Bay Area said otherwise.

An accident on the Bay Bridge reportedly forced the Angels to take BART and it sounds like Ohtani made a mistake on his transfer and didn’t make it to the Coliseum in time. 

Classic! A messed-up BART transfer is a Bay Area rite of passage. Just wait ‘til he falls asleep on the train and wakes up at Pittsburgh/Bay Point.

“The bus coming over, I guess there was an accident on the Bay Bridge, which caused Plan B, which meant they had to go back and take BART,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said, via “And I guess there was an issue with the transfer on BART and that kept pushing him back. Shohei is pretty regimented and usually starts everything around 4 o’clock but he exceeded that by maybe an hour, so we started calling the audible to not pitch him tonight.”

So it was Bassitt’s stage and he tossed his first career shutout while busting out the team’s ‘Rider of The Wave’ trident they recently got in the clubhouse. Ohtani went 0-for-3 and was actually Bassitt’s first strikeout victim of the night.

This isn’t the first time BART has played a role in A’s players and opponents getting to the Coliseum. Here are a few more BART-related stories I was able to dig up over the years:


Johnny Damon

Former A’s outfielder Johnny Damon was recently in the news for his sloppy DUI arrest, which wasn’t a good look. But, hey, 20 years ago he was lovin’ that California livin’ by taking BART and skateboarding down the Coliseum ramp to get to games.


Andrew Brown

You can be forgiven if you have forgotten all about former right-handed reliever Andrew Brown, who made 64 appearances with the A’s during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. But back in 2008, he would ride a fold-up bike to BART to get to games, according to Susan Slusser of the SF Chronicle.

“Like former A’s outfielder Johnny Damon, reliever Andrew Brown is riding BART to the Coliseum, but while Damon rode his skateboard to BART and from the station to the Coliseum, Brown is riding a bicycle. He’s in the market for a new one, though. “I have a broken-down bike,” he said. “A Trek Soho is my dream bike. … extra large frame, 22 inches.”


Sonny Gray and Billy Burns

Brodie Brazil of NBC Sports Bay Area re-shared this funny 2016 photo of former A’s pitcher Sonny Gray riding in BART, just a few feet away from an advertisement with his face on it. That’s former A’s outfielder Billy Burns alongside him.

Brodie reported that Gray and Burns were actually riding BART home after playing a game against the Giants. The rides home are always a little louder and more beery/cheery, but supposedly they were good sports.


Sean Doolittle and Jerry Blevins

They musta not known it was a fireworks night.

Following a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Aug. 31, 2013, A’s southpaw relievers Sean Doolittle and Jerry Blevins got caught with everyone else trying to get up the BART ramp. Of course, fans always have to wait a bit on fireworks nights while they inspect the BART bridge area and make sure no explosives are still burning.

Doolittle was in his second big-league season and didn’t have a beard yet, while Blevins was in his seventh season with Oakland. No one seemed to notice them and they were just another couple faces in the crowd.


Bring back the BART cart!

Dude, who remembers this weird little thing?!

I used to love when the A’s busted out this hilarious BART cart on dollar Wednesdays. Eventually a group of A’s relievers who shall not be named — cough, Brian Fuentes, Grant Balfour and Blevins — would commandeer the BART cart and drive it around the Coli.

They need to bring this thing back to boost local morale.


Angels in 2013

Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton actually had to take BART back in 2013 after there was a bomb scare on the Bay Bridge. They weren’t pitching or anything so they didn’t have to be at the ballpark by 4 p.m. PT, but it sounds like they had no Ohtani-like setbacks.


Twins in 2002

Opposing teams have been staying in San Francisco for decades.

Back in 2002, the Minnesota Twins elected to use BART as the go-to method transportation during their ALDS matchup against the A’s. Here’s a clip from an Associated Press story:

“The Twins are staying in San Francisco rather than Oakland, as they always do. They didn’t dare be late to their first playoff game in 11 years.

“Obviously we have the bus that leaves at 10, but everybody likes to get here early,” said Joe Mays, the starter for Wednesday’s Game 2. “We like the BART. You don’t have to worry about traffic or taking a taxi. Today it was like 15 or 18 guys. We looked like a pack of wolves coming off that thing.”

The players signed autographs for a few fans when they got off BART at the Coliseum stop.

But a few of their teammates got to the stadium a little later — they got on the wrong train in San Francisco and ended up in Richmond, about 15 miles north of the stadium.

Ballplayers might make the big bucks, but even they’re not immune to the throes of Bay Area transit.