Terence Moore

I’ll get to the song in a moment, but let’s start with this: If you ignore that no-hitter thing for the Boston Red Sox, this flirting with invincibility thing looks familiar.

The first month of a Major League Baseball season.

A team mostly allergic to losses.

A bunch of fans hugging their heroes like crazy for what they believe will be a magical ride through October.

It’s just that the Red Sox are “only” 17-4 after losing 4-1 Sunday in Oakland. They also spent Saturday night getting zero hits against those same A’s. I’m saying “only,” because the Milwaukee Brewers were 18-3 along the way to a 20-3 start in 1987, and they weren’t the first team to do that, even during the same decade.

I’m referring to 1981 and the A’s of a young Rickey Henderson, Billy Martin during the early stages of BillyBall and yours truly working for the San Francisco Examiner.

Those A’s ended years of misery with eight victories to start the season after trips to Minneapolis and Anaheim. They quickly went to 9-0 after a 16-1 bashing of the Seattle Mariners during their home opener before 50,000 folks, the largest crowd in Oakland in years. I was there, shocked along with everybody else.

Then came the song.

After the final out, the clever marketing folks for those A’s sent that relatively new song blasting across the PA system of the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum.

Celebrate good times, come on! (Let’s celebrate)
Celebrate good times, come on! (Let’s celebrate)

With the crowd losing its mind over the A’s and the song, the A’s marketing staff kept playing it, and playing it, and playing it. Everybody loved it, including me, and then came the next day in Oakland, where the A’s crushed the Mariners again (8-0) for a 10-0 record, and the song kept playing in a loop.

There’s a party goin’ on right here
A celebration to last throughout the years
So bring your good times, and your laughter too
We gonna celebrate your party with you

I still loved it.

Then came the next day in Oakland, where the A’s rolled to an 11-0 start after a 6-1 rout of the Mariners.

Yahoo! It’s a celebration
Yahoo!
Celebrate good times, come on!
It’s a celebration
Celebrate good times, come on!
Let’s celebrate

I liked it. Sort of.

With every home victory for the A’s that season, “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang became the signature way to honor Billy’s boys. It stayed that way the next season, and the one after that, and by the time I left San Francisco in 1985 to take a job with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, I only could tolerate that song. (In case you’re wondering, here we are, 37 years later, and the A’s still play “Celebration” after every home victory, and they did so Sunday after they beat the Red Sox).

Anyway, whenever I hear that song now, I challenge the world’s record for switching to something else, or I bolt from the room.

Then I threaten to shout, Yahoo!

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