The New Guy: Now With More Oregon and John Jaha

It’s fitting that Greg Kaplan would write me an email May 26th about coming on as a staff-writer. It’s even more significant that I would begin writing this today, the 27th, the birth date of John Jaha.

Yes, think about who that is, John Jaha. Interesting name, may strike the faintest chord in the back of some baseball minds. Jaha played for the Milwaukee Brewers from 1992 to 1998, then signed to play with the Oakland A’s for the 1999 season. His first year in Oakland, he was Comeback Player of the Year, and an All-Star, but after that, not much else. Jaha would retire in 2001, relatively unnoticed. I know, most of you are asking why is this guy going off about Johns Jaha. Jaha was born in Portland, Oregon, just like me, new Home Field Advantage staff writer Michael Schwartz. Good connection, right? Let’s move on.
John Jaha

My parents hail from the east coast, but I was born in Portland, Oregon (like Jaha). All I ever had to cheer for locally was the Portland Trailblazers, and I did, until the arrest sheet became the image of the franchise. So as is with most west coast people, college football was my heaven. Oregon versus Oregon State football was the highlight of the year, and as a Beaver fan, the early years were easier–1998’s double overtime thriller closed out by Ken Simonton is something I’ll never forget, especially since the Ducks are light years ahead now. And those who know me, know I can’t go without mentioning the Miami Hurricanes, who I fell in love with in 2000, and I’m still a diehard Canes fan.

In good ol’ Oregon, I played football all four years of high school, as well as some lacrosse, track and field, intramural basketball, and baseball growing up. College football and baseball are my passions, the histories, I find to be better than anything else in American history. The Negro Leagues are one of my favorite topics, and Josh Gibson is my all time favorite ball player.I know a lot of trivia, but I do have to concede the fact that Greg Kaplan beat me in Sports Trivia Night one fateful night of the spring 2011 semester at Marist College. My only comment on that: I do not like Brooks Robinson.

So really, the John Jaha thing and Oregon State are my only hometown plugs. I’ve always been a New York Yankees fan, it runs in the family, and someway, somehow, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are my NFL team. This sort of phenomenon happens when you’re from Oregon.

But I don’t think that’s why I was invited to write for HFA–I think it was my part in Marist College’s radio/tv/film and sports communications department as a rising Junior, vice-president of WMAR Marist Radio, assistant sports director of MCTV, I co-host a weekly sports talk show “Steve & Schwartz Talking Sports” on WMAR, with the other new writer Steve Sabato, and I can eliminate any east-coast bias–sort of (I love college football and I’m from Oregon, that’s about it for my west coast persona). I look forward to writing for HFA, spreading some knowledge, and honing my skills. Thank you both Greg Kaplan and Kaiti Decker for the opportunity, watch out for more articles, I have to go deal with some rain here in Oregon. Stay excellent people, go watch some baseball.
Oh and Happy Birthday John Jaha.

Michael Schwartz is a staff writer for Home Field Advantage

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About Home Field Advantage
We are two senior Sports Communication majors at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. We have launched this blog as part of our senior year capping project, with the goal of creating a comparative analysis and multimedia approach to the differing sports cultures in America.

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