One day in late July of 1975, I asked Bhagavan Adi Da if He would like to go to a baseball game. The conversation began while we were down at the swimming pool below Holy Cat Grotto. It was a Sunday afternoon. We continued talking as we walked up the hill, and the conversation lasted until we got up to the Manner of Flowers. We sat down in the living room and finished the discussion there with Bhagavan Adi Da sitting on the couch and myself kneeling next to Him. Adi Da was very enthusiastic and happy about the plan to go to a baseball game with a group of devotees. I found out how many tickets He wanted me to get, which was about 15. The team in the Bay Area to see in those days was the Oakland Athletics. They had made the playoffs every year from 1971 on and would also this year, 1975. Their team included stars like Reggie Jackson. So at that moment it was definitely the A’s that we wanted to see, rather than the San Francisco Giants. And the best team of course to see them play would be the New York Yankees. Adi Da was a New Yorker, of course, that was the team of His childhood. So that was the series I bought tickets for, as Adi Da and I discussed that Sunday.
I went to the Oakland Coliseum advance ticket office and got the best seats I could find. They were on the first base side, about half way between home plate and first base, maybe twenty rows up from the field. It was still several weeks until the game, but I was so excited. I could hardly believe that we would all be going to the baseball game with the Divine Realizer, but there were no indications of anything but that we would all be going.
The day of the game was August 14, 1975, a Thursday. Adi Da had come down from the Mountain of Attention and spent the night at the Mill Valley House. Early in the morning I came there with Godfree Roberts in Bhagavan’s white Mercedes 450 SEL. When we all got into the car to leave for the game, I was given Beloved Bhagavan’s wallet to carry for Him. It was “my day” to be with Beloved Bhagavan. I sat in the back seat, Adi Da was in the front in the passenger’s seat. Aniello was next to me in the back. Godfree Roberts was driving.
Game time that day was 1:30 PM at the Oakland Coliseum. Dick Bosman was pitching for the Athletics, and pitched a complete game. Rudy May was the starting pitcher for the Yankees, and pitched into the 8th, and took the loss. I remember that it was a hot day, and we were drinking beer in the stands, and eating these large hot dogs called “foot longs” or Collosals. Because it was hot outside, we did not realize how tipsy we were getting from the beer.
Aniello, who was sitting just in front of Adi Da in the next row closest to the field, was rooting for the New York Yankees, and Beloved was rooting for the Oakland Athletics, the local team. I was sitting about three seats to Bhagavan Adi Da’s left, towards home plate in the same row as Beloved Bhagavan. Two ladies sat between myself and Beloved. The game started out with Oakland getting the first run in the bottom of the first, but then the Yankees tied it up in the top of the fourth. And then there was no scoring at all. When it got to the eighth inning, New York was threatening to score with two players on base. Aniello started to tease Adi Da. He began rub it in to Beloved Bhagavan that His team was going to lose, and that the Yankees were going to win. He was really teasing Bhagavan. There was just enough tipsiness that the interaction between Aniello and Bhagavan got a little charged, and everyone else was listening and adding to the moment and the drama. We all were involved and wondering what would happen next. It was all in good fun, but there was some machismo coming from Aniello.
Suddenly the Yankees were retired, and now the A’s were up. In what had been a completely tight and well-played game, the Yankees started making errors. They made no sense–suddenly the Yankees were falling apart. To all of us there, it was completely obvious that Beloved Bhagavan was affecting the game. For no reason the Yankees made two fielding errors on consecutive plays, and suddenly Oakland was ahead, not to lose again. First the center fielder made an error, which I don’t remember too well. But I remember that Stanley, the shortstop for the Yankees unaccountably dropped the ball. As this happened, there was Beloved Bhagavan just smiling, and Aniello looking a little resentfully at Adi Da and just shaking his head. He realized that there was nothing that he could do. A little later the Yankees pitcher threw a wild pitch. The inning went on and on, with Oakland scoring four runs. Everyone was realizing that Beloved Bhagavan was Divinely Willing Oakland to win. There were four runs on four hits, with two errors by the Yankees and the wild pitch. In the top of the ninth, the Yankees went out, 1, 2, 3.
It was pretty amazing to us all, but we kind of took it in stride, because it was the kind of thing that we had come to expect from Adi Da. Being 1975, Bhagavan Adi Da was more active with Yogic Siddhis, rather than simply remaining present in the Heart. However, usually we saw this kind of miraculous effect on circumstances in the situation of the Ashram and the Mountain of Attention, not sitting among 20,000 people in the middle of the Oakland Coliseum.
We walked back to car in the sun, which was in the middle of the parking lot. I remember it took a long time to get out of the parking lot because of all of the traffic in the parking lot, and it was pretty quiet in terms of conversation.
This day with Adi Da continued, with a trip to Japantown in San Francisco, a brief visit to the movies, and then a gathering in a devotee’s house on 28th Avenue in the Sunset area of San Francisco. But those stories will have to be the subject of other leelas.