Six decade season-ticket holder of the A’s Makes it To Cooperstown
At age 92, Mel Goulart finally made it to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on Monday.
A season-ticket holder of the Oakland A’s since 1968, Goulart traveled east for the first time in his life to experience the Hall of Fame with his daughter, Margaret Mary and her husband, Bill. Their five-day journey started this weekend with a visit to Niagara Falls, headed east on I-90 and will conclude on Wednesday with a trip to Fenway Park, in order to see his beloved A’s “Turn Back the Clock” when they’ll play the Red Sox in this 100th anniversary season of Fenway Park.
Goulart has been a baseball fan for nearly as long as Fenway has existed. The opportunity to celebrate his life on this baseball odyssey was the reason for this spirited visit, with Cooperstown at the heartbeat of traveling so far to experience so much of the history of the game.
A life-long Bay Area resident, Goulart has had season tickets at the Coliseum in Oakland since 1968, with his tickets marked “Section 122, Row 27, Seats 1-2” every year since.
“Those are my seats but I haven’t sat in them in years,” Goulart cracked as he visited the Museum. He now sits at the top of the section, where he’s able to avoid the stairs required with making his way down to row 27.
During his visit to Cooperstown, the Museum staff made available a few pieces of A’s history not presently on display so that Goulart could relive his own personal history through the eyes of an Oakland A’s fan. Goulart was able to hold the bat Dave Kingman used to hit his 400th career home run, back in 1985 at Seattle’s Kingdome, while playing for the A’s, as well as the cap Vida Blue wore when he threw a no-hitter in 1970.
An admitted collector himself, Goulart has signed ticket stubs from both the Oakland A’s perfect games thrown in team history – Catfish Hunter in 1968 and Dallas Braden in 2010. After all, Goulart was there for both of them.
A promising youth and semi-pro ball player in the 1930s, Goulart played against Dom DiMaggio and was a part of a Northern California baseball experience as a youth that saw many of his contemporaries make it to the major leagues.
“Dad used to say his whole life was baseball,” said his daughter, Margaret Mary. “The game has always meant so much to him.”
And at every turn, Goulart has been there, rooting for his beloved A’s. He once went across the Bay to a Giants game at Candlestick Park, but “I got dirt in my eyes because of that wind, and ever since I’ve been only a hometown rooter.”
Brad Horn is the senior director of communications and education at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum