OAKLAND -- A total of 13 A's players appeared on an Opening Day roster for the first time this year, a reflection of the youth that makes up this year's club.
And though the schedule says Opening Day came and went more than a week ago in Japan, several players on Friday noted the uniqueness that comes along with being a part of the home opener.
Count Josh Donaldson among that group. Not only did he run out for his first big league game on Friday, but he did so in the direction of third base. He's still getting acclimated to the hot corner following his transition from catcher in the wake of Scott Sizemore's season-ending knee surgery.
Donaldson's girlfriend, who has been by his side through several baseball moments, was on hand at the Coliseum for his most recent one. Neither are likely to forget it any time soon, following Donaldson's five Minor League seasons.
"Being back in Oakland, it's different, and it's real special to me because it's my first Opening Day here as a Major League Baseball player," Donaldson said. "I'm looking forward to going out there and producing, and giving the fans something to cheer about."
About three hours before the first pitch was thrown, Donaldson appeared rather calm. No word yet on whether he remained as such in the time that followed.
"It hasn't really hit me yet, being here and all," Donaldson said. "I'm sure once the national anthem starts, I'll start to get some jitters. I'm excited more than anything. I've been waiting for this opportunity my entire life, and now I get to go out there and do what I love to do. As long as I keep that in perspective and stay focused, I think everything is going to fall into place."
Andrew Carignan, Ryan Cook, Fautino De Los Santos, Brandon Allen, Yoenis Cespedes, Collin Cowgill, Anthony Recker, Josh Reddick, Eric Sogard and Jemile Weeks are among the other players enjoying their first appearance on an Opening Day roster.