"Eireann and Sean Forever" - Pride and the Oakland A's

 Sean and Eireann leading the charge...

Sean and Eireann leading the charge...

By Kelly Hunsucker (@KellyLiz1321)

If there are two people in sports who are more adorable than Sean Doolittle and Eireann Dolan, I ask you to prove it. Their power couple duties include, but aren’t limited to, things like: being amazing ambassadors to Oakland Athletics baseball, witty twitter banter, and social activism. Their social activism is what truly makes them stand out. Like any great couple, they are a team. While Sean has been working on rehabbing his shoulder, Eireann is continuing to turn out blog posts that effortlessly embody what they both stand for: love, equality, and respect.

The first essay of Eireann’s I ever read was a response she wrote to Dirk Hayhurst’s article, Minor League Manhood. Her response was incredibly brave and candid, depicting her own encounters with violent sexual assault. It was a very real, very deliberate article calling out both the horrendous actions described by Hayhurst and the implicit guilt he and anyone else that stood by and didn't speak out should be assigned. I could not respect that more.

Then there was the time that Men’s Health decided they needed to run an article educating the male population on how to talk to women about sports. Because what world would we live in in which women can have as much love, knowledge, and fervor about sports as men? Eireann’s expertly sarcasm-soaked blog post was the exact amount of bologna that this subject deserved in the first place.  

Sean and Eireann’s power-couple status was solidified when she wrote about Sean Doolittle Appreciation Day. Let’s all go back to last October when we were playing the Wild Card game in Kansas City. We can all remember how the second half of last season went. We all know that feeling in our stomach after watching baseball in August and September that looked nothing like the team we knew in June or July. But this is baseball. This is part of the game we love so much: everyone is human, everyone is fallible. Part of being a fan means supporting your team in good times and bad, and especially realizing that they, too, are people, who need encouragement when things don't go their way. After all, they want to win as much as we do. That's why when I read Eireann’s post, which was a response to negative tweets Sean received after pitching in that Wild Card game, I was reduced to tears.

In it she describes how Sean came to be as a closer for the A’s. She discusses all he does for military families, having been in one himself (something I relate to personally and truly appreciate). Mostly, she reminds us that he has not been pitching for very long. That most people in his position have had years to hone their craft in places that are not under a microscope. And that at the end of the day, Sean is playing exactly where he wants to be: for the team he grew up cheering for. 

 Green Collar since day one

Green Collar since day one

After receiving many awful things via twitter, the most amazing thing happened. A’s fans, some of the best fans on Earth, rallied together to stand behind our red-bearded closer and created a hashtag that started to trend, #SeanDoolittleAppreciationDay. Eireann’s post reminds us to support our team with integrity and from a place of love.

Speaking of love. The A’s recently announced that they would be celebrating a LGBT pride night for a home game in June. Apparently, this prompted some people to claim they were going to sell their tickets to that game. Enter: Eireann and Sean. Eireann has offered to buy as many tickets as she can with her own money and will donate them to a local LGBTQ youth shelter. Sean has offered to match whatever ticket amount she is able to purchase. They also started a GoFundMe account to raise money to fill the stands that night and offered to match the donations up to $3000. As of 4:00 P.M. on April 1st, that account has already raised almost $18,000.  I’m overwhelmed with pride, myself. I’m proud to call myself an A’s fan. I’m proud to associate myself with the likes of them, who would go to such lengths to ensure that everyone feels included. No doubt, Eireann’s “hella gay moms” had something to do with fostering that kind, generous spirit. 

So thank you Sean and Eireann. May your love last forever and may you be voted King and Queen of baseball.