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Living the Dream

East Bay raised professional ball players.


Oakland A’s pitcher Tyson Ross

Michael Zagaris

 Oakland A’s pitcher Tyson Ross and San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford have a lot in common. The East Bay–raised ballplayers are the same age (25), have the same agent, and get to play for their favorite teams from childhood.

“It’s funny how Brandon and I have had such similar careers,” says Ross, who grew up an A’s fan in Oakland, very close to the ballpark that now serves as his workplace. “We even played together during high school, for Rob Bruno’s NorCal team in San Ramon.”

Crawford, who grew up in Pleasanton, was always a Giants fan. “My dad always had season tickets, as far back as I can remember. I think I went to my first Giants game when I was a baby.”

Both players look back at Little League trips to the Coliseum and Candlestick, when they would watch the players on the field, and fantasize about their own futures. “That was always the dream,” they both say.

Ross and Crawford remain friends, despite playing for rival franchises. That’s nothing new, either, as Ross played college ball for Cal while Crawford went to UCLA. They both realize how rare an opportunity a big-league spot on the hometown team is. “A lot of my teammates fly their parents across the country once or twice a season to watch them play,” says Ross. “My parents get to come every night, whether I’m pitching or not.”

San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford // Missy Mikulecky


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