Hi! My name is Jen Rainwater and I will be covering the Oakland Athletics for Prospects1500. I’m 36 years old and currently reside in Northern California with my fiance, chihuahua/terrier mix and our two cats.
The love of the game has been in my family for generations. My mother grew up in Pittsburgh, PA attending Pirates games with her family during the 1950’s and 60’s, getting to see players such as the great humanitarian and Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente and 1960 World Series hero Bill Mazeroski. Some of her favorite memories growing up were listening to the games on the radio with her mother, as she was ironing, with the cool spring breeze blowing in through the open windows.
After moving to Texas during high school my mother says she wanted nothing to do with anything related to the state, not even the team in the city she’d moved to, the Houston Astros. I’m not inclined to fully believe this story as she flinches every time it is noted that Nolan Ryan was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a member of the Texas Rangers. Her mother, on the other hand, fully embraced what she affectionately called first her “adopted team” and eventually simply her “boys.” My earliest memories as a child in Houston are sitting in my high chair at her house watching the Astros games in the early 1980’s.
Upon moving to California in 1985, my parents took me to my first live baseball game at the Oakland Coliseum for my fourth birthday and I have not looked back. Many interests have come and gone in my life but my love for the game has never wavered. The Athletics are “my boys” now but I will always have affection towards the Astros as they were my first introduction to the best game in the world.
I’ve been an A’s fan now for 32 years, a season ticket holder for two decades and have not missed a single spring training in what will now be 18 straight seasons this coming March. My love for the team knows no bounds but my love for the game as a whole is even stronger.
For as long as I can remember I wanted to work in baseball, especially in a media aspect as writing was always a subject I excelled in. I interned with the Athletics during college as a production assistant on live broadcasts and later worked on sports news broadcasts and at the local newspaper. I earned my BA in Communications and Media Studies at Saint Mary’s College of California in 2005 and, while I have had other jobs along the way, I always still hope to be able to make a living writing about the game full-time.
I started my blog in 2012 at the urging of the late, great Bob Welch (the last pitcher to ever win 25+ games in a season, winning 27 in 1990 along with the AL Cy Young Award) and I try to keep up with it as often as possible. I do have a second passion for fun, creative, sports related socks and thus my blog is called Bullpen, Baseball & Sock Talk which I like to describe as “a mix of MLB news and analysis with a slight West Coast bias and an Oaktown twist.” My blog launched my foray into writing on a more full-time basis. I have written for numerous sites including spending two years as a featured MLB columnist with FanRag Sports and a year as the managing editor for FanSided’s Call to the Pen. I am currently in my second stint with Call to the Pen writing as part of the staff. On the side I write freelance articles for an array of other baseball sites both here and in other countries including Canada and the United Kingdom.
Unlike so many other staff members here at Prospect1500, I am not the biggest fantasy baseball buff. Still, that’s not to say I don’t participate. I usually find myself involved in at least one league a season, sometimes more.
I’ve always enjoyed watching and learning about upcoming A’s prospects. I used to attend many of the A’s former Triple-A affiliate Sacramento River Cats games (before the team was taken over by the San Francisco Giants, was moved and became the Nashville Sounds) and still often attend games of the Athletics Single-A affiliate Stockton Ports. I’ve been privileged enough to see many very talented players come up through the Athletics’ farm system. Learning to analyze each prospect’s skill set and predict their potential of joining the Major League club is something that I am still learning but something that I also find extraordinarily fascinating, which brought me here to Prospects1500. I look forward to providing readers with the best information possible on the Oakland Athletics’ farm system.
Follow me on Twitter @baseball_jen!