Former Bronco Adam Rosales Enjoying Magical Season With Oakland A's
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- On June 30, the Oakland Athletics were 13 games behind the Texas Rangers in the American League West standings. To some, it was the beginning of the end and a very long season awaited. Over the next four months, the A's would pull off one of the most unlikely comebacks in all of baseball, posting a 57-26 record and clinching the team's first AL West championship since 2006 on the last day of the season.
Former Bronco baseball player and A's utility-man/infielder Adam Rosales is getting to enjoy the magical season unfolding before his eyes. Rosales joined Oakland in 2010, and while being on and off the injured reserve list, this season is one he will never forget.
"This year has been unbelievable," said Rosales. "It's really exciting to play with such a great group of guys."
After being 13 games back, the A's roared back in stunning fashion winning. They powered past a five-game deficit in the final nine days of the season, including a three-game sweep of the Rangers in the final series. The end of the final day of the regular season marked the first time all year the A's held sole possession of the AL West.
"We just always kept the clubhouse light during that stretch and just kept reminding ourselves that we were good," said Rosales. "People stepped up and it all came together on the team."
Rosales has appeared in 42 games with the Athletics this season and is batting .222, recording 22 hits (five doubles, two home runs) in 99 at bats. He played in two games in the Texas series, Hitting a double and scoring a run in a 4-3 win on Oct. 1.
During his time at Western Michigan from 2002-05, Rosales was a pure talent and two-time All-Mid-American Conference shortstop. He remains ranked in the top five in career hits (213), runs (156), doubles (46), total bases (365) and stolen bases (47). He is also in the top 10 in home runs (24) and RBIs (119).
"College was all about the fundamentals and really developing them," said Rosales. "I learned at WMU how to go about things professionally and just get the job done."
For any baseball player the chance to hold up the World Series trophy is something kids dream about. When the Oakland A's start the playoffs Saturday, Oct. 6, against the Detroit Tigers, that dream can become one step closer to reality for Rosales and his teammates.
"It would mean everything to win a World Series," said Rosales. "That's the ultimate goal to storm with your teammates and run out onto the field for the World Series."
Rosales, who's hometown resides in Chicago, Ill., can't help but be excited about the fact that he is going to play against a team that was so close during his time at Western Michigan.
"It's really neat to play at Comerica Park in Detroit in my first playoff experience," said Rosales.
When a player at WMU, Rosales and his teammates then took trips often to Comerica Park and watched the Tigers play. Earlier this year in Arizona, Rosales came and spoke to the current players about how big dreams can become reality.
"I was in their shoes at one time," said Rosales. "I just told them to reach for the highest goal and that it's possible."
Rosales was drafted in the 12th round of the 2005 first-year player MLB draft by the Cincinnati Reds. Flirting around in the minor leagues, Rosales made his major league debut in 2008 with the Reds. He played two seasons in Cincinnati before being traded to the A's in 2010.
"It was a great time playing in Cincinnati at that ballpark," said Rosales.
There is a chance Rosales could meet his former team if both teams made a World Series run. The Reds finished the season with the second best record in the National League and begin their playoff run Saturday against San Francisco.
Regardless of how long the A's manage to hang around, Rosales is ready to make the most of his the first post-season of his career.
"We've got everything to gain and nothing to lose," said Rosales. "We're coming out hungry and we'll do anything to win.
"It's surreal, almost as if were just living in the moment," said Rosales. "It's a crazy experience."
Saturday's divisional series between Oakland and Detroit begins at 6:07 p.m. at Comerica Park.